‘Heart of Sandwich’ silenced

Residents have been left outraged over Dover District Council’s (DDC) decision to silence the bells of St Peter’s church that have chimed all day and night for over 900 years.

Action group Save The Chimes has been fighting to save the bells since a single noise complaint made earlierthis year.

However, despite the support of 85% of the people in Sandwich and a petition with over 3, 500 signatures asking for the bells to keep ringing, it has been decided the bells will be silenced from 11pm-7am everyday.

The ancient bells currently ring every 15 minutes throughout the day and night, have been in the Norman church tower since 1778 and are called the ‘Beating Heart of Sandwich’.

Carol George, leader of Save The Chimes, is angry and disappointed with the council’s actions.

Mrs George said: “We were told when we started this campaign not to make a fuss and push the DDC into a corner. We listened and this is how they rewarded us.

“Silencing the bells sets a precidence that puts our history at risk and the council has not listened to Sandwich, the church and the people.”

South Thanet MP, Craig Mackinlay has promised to keep supporting the campaign to save the bells despite the council’s decision.

Mr Mackinlay said: “I will continue the fight, with local residents and campaigners, to get common sense to prevail.”