For whom the bells toll: but residents say they are too quiet

The chimes were originally silenced after just one complaint

TICKED off residents want the volume of their town’s clock tower turned back up – after a single complaint saw it muted.

A ding-dong battle ensued after one resident complained the bells at the Burntisland burgh chambers were taking their toll.

But a quieter recorded jingle replaced the traditional peal as a compromise after a petition by residents in the Fife town.

Now householders say they still can’t hear the chimes at night and want Fife Council to ramp the volume back up.

Members of the town’s community council raised their concerns about the 100 year-old historic clock tower at a recent meeting.

Member Morag Davidson, who lives very close to the clock tower, said the chimes were tested outside the town’s High Street at 11 am with lots of background noise.

She believes they chimes should have been tested inside the house of the person who complained at night to give them a better indication of the noise impact.

“Several people have said they are not happy with the volume of the chimes,” she said.

“I have noticed that I can’t hear them at all at night when my windows are closed. Previously I heard them clearly.”

Following an investigation, it was found that the noise levels breached World Health Organisation guidelines and the chimes’ mechanism was removed.

But this led to a backlash resulting in over 1100 residents signing a petition calling for them to be restored.

After a bell ringing protest on Hogmanay, a compromise solution of playing a quieter recording overnight was eventually reached by the council.

Moves are now being made to ask the council to turn up the volume again during night time hours.

However, Roy Stewart, the local authority’s planning and protective services manager, said: “Officers set the level and this was checked at night in September. It is operating at the current level to mitigate potential nuisance.”