After resonating for 150 years, the village clock fell silent on Sunday night due to a solitary complaint about its loudness.

Situated in the tower of St John the Baptist in Witheridge, Devon, the clock had its chiming privileges revoked last December after a local resident voiced concerns about the noise disrupting their sleep.

Prompted by this complaint, the local parish council received a noise abatement notice from North Devon council, warning of potential legal action for violating noise regulations.

In response, residents rallied behind the church clock, launching a petition to restore its chimes. Over 300 people signed, emphasizing the clock’s significance and arguing against penalizing the majority for one person’s grievance.

Becka Cook, a petitioner, stressed the clock’s long-established tradition, deeming it unjust to silence it now.

Despite the public outcry, the parish council had no choice but to comply with noise regulations, installing a NZ$4208 silencer. As a result, the clock now chimes only once per hour between 7 am and 11 pm.

Rev Adrian Wells, the church’s vicar, viewed the silencer installation as a pragmatic compromise, expressing gratitude for the daytime chimes’ return.

While some residents bemoaned the loss of nighttime chimes, they acknowledged the need to adapt to modern noise laws.

David Gale, a Witheridge resident, lamented the erosion of age-old traditions but recognized the necessity of complying with contemporary regulations.

North Devon council defended its decision, citing concerns about the clock’s noise level and its potential to disturb nearby residents’ sleep. Despite additional complaints, the council concluded that the chimes were most likely to affect those in close proximity to the clock.