Villagers outraged as 110-year-old church bells silenced after single complaint

·Freelance Writer
·2-min read
Mike Adams, a bellringer at All Saints Church in Kenton, Devon, fears the bells could be permanently silenced. (SWNS)
Mike Adams, a bellringer at All Saints Church in Kenton, Devon, fears the bells could be permanently silenced. (SWNS)

The 110-year-old bells of a village church have been silenced after a local council took action following a single complaint from one local.

All Saints Church in Kenton, Devon, has housed its clock since 1910, but a resident recently made the first official complaint over its sound.

The complaint to Teignbridge District Council has meant it had to silence the clock and its regular chimes from the church bells.

Councillors have confirmed following the complaint it was deemed a noise nuisance – and could be served a noise abatement notice.

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Mike Adams is a bellringer at the church in Kenton where he has lived for 78 years. (SWNS)
Mike Adams is a bellringer at the church in Kenton where he has lived for 78 years. (SWNS)
All Saints Church in Kenton, Devon, has housed its clock since 1910. (SWNS)
All Saints Church in Kenton, Devon, has housed its clock since 1910. (SWNS)

Mike Adams, a bellringer at the church in Kenton where he has lived for 78 years, now fears that the notice could mean the bells will be permanently silenced.

On a social media post about the complaint, Adams wrote that it “will be another nail in the coffin of what appears to be a failing village”.

He added: “Apparently, someone has does not like the clock striking and environmental health have threatened the church with an abatement order and possible court action.

"The clock was put in the church in 1910 and to my knowledge this is the only complaint in all that time…

"Remember the complainant has moved to be near the church, the church hasn't moved to them!”

Commenting on Adams’ post, Teignbridge district councillor Alan Connett said that the council had a “legal duty to investigate the complaint”.

He explained: "Having done so, it confirmed there is a noise nuisance.

"The council has contacted the church to find a solution that would avoid the need for a noise abatement notice."

Locals appeared furious at the decision, with one writing: "We live right behind the church and love the sound, doesn't bother us at all, in fact I can't sleep when they don't chime.

A picture taken in 1949 showing the bell ringing team with Mike Adams' grandfather Frederick Gardener (centre), who was also tower captain. (SWNS)
A picture taken in 1949 showing the bell ringing team with Mike Adams' grandfather Frederick Gardener (centre), who was also tower captain. (SWNS)
The clock mechanism at All Saints Church, Kenton. (SWNS)
The clock mechanism at All Saints Church, Kenton. (SWNS)

"Absolutely ridiculous."

Another added: "The clock has been chiming, except when broken, for as long as I have lived in the village and decades before that as well.

"And no one has complained, yet one complaint and Teignbridge District Council are playing the big brother hand.”

A spokesperson for Teignbridge District Council said: “We have a duty to investigate noise complaints and we are working with the church to find a satisfactory solution.

“No notice has been issued.”

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