'Distant Drums' goes too far: Court silences woman who played Jim Reeves songs 18 hours a day

WITH SOME noisy neighbours, you bang on the wall. With others, you start a war of attrition - recording their noise and playing it back to them over 300-watt speakers can be effective. But when the neighbours play Jim Reeves records 18 hours a day, this may not be enough.

One resident of Trinidad Crescent in Poole, Dorset, told a court she regularly ran away to Coventry to escape the sounds of the Country and Western singer. Others started a petition, which resulted yesterday in Poole County Court banning Mary Carruthers, a 55-year-old grandmother, from playing Reeves or any music in her flat for two years. Council officials have already removed her gramophone.

'The noise was unbearable, it would go on day and night. Sometimes it would start first thing in the morning and go on until the early hours the next day. There just wasn't any escape. They would sing along to records like Jim Reeves's 'I Love You Because',' a neighbour, Linda Moore, told the court.

Another neighbour said the noise would often go on for 18 hours a day. Peter Donaldson, an environmental health officer for the council, told the hearing it was one of the worst cases of noise pollution he had dealt with in 12 years.

Residents accused Mrs Carruthers and her two sons of other offences against good neighbourliness, like getting drunk, swearing, fighting pitched battles in the street and driving motorbikes around the estate. Mrs Carruthers denied the allegations: 'I don't play loud music, I don't even like it,' she said, though she agreed to be photographed outside the court with a tape of Jim Reeves hits.

Arie Den Dalk, the Netherlands-based secretary of the Jim Reeves Fan Club, said he had never before come across an example of such hatred for the singer. 'I can understand neighbours who do not like playing Jim Reeves too loud,' he said. 'But I don't think people should be evicted for playing the music of just one artist.'

Mr Den Dalk said that no one had ever complained about his playing Jim Reeves. 'With Jim Reeves music you are only attracted to it if you are in a certain mood. But he has so many styles that in any mood you can find a song you want to play.'

Jim Reeves was not available for comment yesterday, having died in a plane crash in 1964. Bill Kirkwood, Mrs Carruthers's boyfriend, said he would still play Jim Reeves in the flat on headphones. His 1963 hit 'Guilty' will doubtless be top of the playlist - or possibly the classic 'Distant Drums'.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Recruitment Genius: Part-time Editor

£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Executive

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exceptional opportunity has arisen for a pa...

Recruitment Genius: Kitchen and Bathroom Installers

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of designer kitch...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border