Nursery rhyme bell-ringer is back

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A maverick bell-ringer silenced for playing nursery rhymes instead of traditional peals will return to church tomorrow.

A maverick bell-ringer silenced for playing nursery rhymes instead of traditional peals will return to church tomorrow.

Maurice Bennett-Green was banned for two months after angering people living and working near St Peter's Ecumenical Church in Chester by playing tunes such as "Hickory Dickory Dock" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy". Some even threatened to report him for noise pollution. Now Mr Bennett-Green, the church's resident bell-ringer for the past year, has agreed to curb his choice of melody. He said: "I will try to be more reserved and will only play the traditional 'ding dong, ding dong' on normal Sunday services.

"But I will play "Happy Birthday" for the Queen and Bishop of Chester on their birthdays and maybe nursery rhymes on special holidays. The church was embarrassed about what happened, but the people who complained were being a bit churlish." Peter Tonkinson, the proprietor of the Commerical hotel, behind the church, said he had complained when "Jingle Bells" and "Ding Dong Bell Pussy's in the Well'' rang out. "It was happening during the week and on Sunday mornings after the service. I'd had enough," he said.

The church warden, Ken Roxburgh, said the dispute had now been resolved. "Mr Bennett-Green will ring the bells before each service. He just got a bit carried away," he said.

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