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Town council vows to solve Sudbury church floodlights timing saga

PUBLISHED: 15:32 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:32 08 September 2017

St Peter's Church, Market Hill, Sudbury. Picture: GREGG BROWN.

St Peter's Church, Market Hill, Sudbury. Picture: GREGG BROWN.

First the clock was chiming 13 times instead of 12 and now out of sync timing of a different nature is proving a tricky problem to fix at one west Suffolk church.

For months now floodlights that are supposed to illuminate St Peter’s in Sudbury have been shining in the day and not at night, leading to persistent calls from members of the public to fix the technical issue.

The lights are the responsibility of Sudbury Town Council, with Town Clerk Jacqui Howells admitting it had been a “long-running saga” and assured people they will “get there eventually”.

Earlier in the year refurbishment work was carried out to get the four clock faces on St Peter’s tower working again as for many years they ran out of sync and all showed different times. Two had stopped completely and the chimes sometimes rang 13 times instead of 12.

Sudbury community warden Bradley Smith, who leads the warden team at the town council, has been tasked with resolving the floodlights problem.

He said they couldn’t seem to “locate the timer” so they needed to enlist an electrician, who reset the timer last week.

It was thought that was the problem resolved, but Peter Gray, chairman of St Peter’s, confirmed that on Wednesday the lights had still been on in the day.

He said: “Of course it’s a matter of some concern, but we are sympathetic the town hall is doing its best to rectify what is an unexpectedly complicated problem.”

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Smith said the lights had now been totally isolated so would remain off until the timer was replaced.

“There will be Christmas lights at the church from November,” he added.

Ms Howells said the cost of the lights being on in the daytime will have been “minimal” and assured “we are on the case”.

She said: “I know it’s important - the public like the churchyard to be lit up.”

•Today as part of Heritage Open Days St Peter’s, in Market Hill, will be hosting an afternoon of live acoustic music, kicking off at 11am with the Belchamp Morris Men.

Between midday and 6pm an eclectic mix of musicians will entertain, while there will also be a magician, pop-up cafe provided by The Bridge Project and bar.

Entry is free.

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