CHURCH bells are a tradition which should be appreciated in the town according to many who have defended the art after complaints were made on social media.

This week comments led to a debate amongst people of the town, after some said bell ringing at Str James’ Church late at night disturbs children. However many said this is a tradition which should be cherished by all.

Jo Reese: “Bell ringers are volunteers. Most of them have full time jobs and families. They practise once a week usually, 8pm is normal.

“I used to ring at Trowbridge for a little while, its a great tower. Its not personal to you. Teach your children to count the bells and listen for the mistakes. Enjoy the sound. An hour, one evening a week is a small price to pay to keep the skill alive.”

Ceri Francis said: “I personally think it is a blessing to still have people willing to ring for us, it’s a beautiful soothing sound which often drags me outside to listen. Use it to your advantage, like a lullaby.”

Jo Walton who volunteers as a bell ringer said: “Yes us ringers do have jobs and families of our own. We have practised at that time for many many years with no complaints.

“If you live near a church you should expect the bells to ring. Please enjoy them.”

One comment suggested bell ringing should be banned in the evening. It said: “Church bell ringing is lovely around five or six o’clock but children need to sleep and church bells up to nine o’clock is massively anti social and should be banned. Children need to sleep.”

Revd Rob Thomas said: “St James’ bells are a jewel in Trowbridge’s crown, as nowhere else in Wiltshire is there a full set of 12 bells.

“Ours dates from 1934, when the townspeople raised the money, backed by the Wiltshire Times.

“Wednesday has been practice night for more than 60 years, finishing at 9pm in line with bell towers nationally.

“On other evenings, they only ring infrequently on a special occasion. With 12 bells to ring we’re always looking for new ringers. That’s the importance of the Wednesday practices.

“I’m so sorry to hear of anyone being unhappy, and I’d like to invite the m to get in touch so we can talk about it.

“More widely, if anyone would like to know more about the bells or to learn how to ring, they’re welcome to contact us on 01225 351217.”