£30k tide-and-time bell fails to hit the right note

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There has been a snub from East Lindsey District Council for a proposal to bring an unusual piece of public art to the beach at Anderby Creek.

The £30,000-plus project would have accommodated within an oak frame a brass bell that would have chimed (at various pitches) according to the movements and heights of the tide.

The so-called tide-and-time bell would have been the sixth in a series of 12 proposed for British coastal locations, with five already having been installed.

Project co-ordinator Biff Vernon told Thursday’s planning meeting: “The project’s admirers include Prince Charles.

“It would be of international interest and a talking point, bringing more 
tourists to this part of the coast.”

He revealed that support had been sounded by Lincolnshire County Council’s culture supremo, Peter Fender, and James Brindle, of Magna Vitae.

But councillors refused the application, noting ‘noise pollution’ objections from villagers and further claiming the installation would be a threat to swimmers and marine craft users.

Coun Jim Swanson described the ideas as ‘a folly’, and committee chairman Coun Neil Cooper said oak was inappropriate because it ‘rots like hell’ after contact with water - which was why elm, when available, was used in harbour construction.

Following the meeting, a crestfallen Mr Vernon said he would consider lodging an appeal or taking the idea to another seaside location - possibly Cleethorpes or Humberston in North East Lincolnshire.

“It’s disappointing that East Lindsey planning committee members seem to have a closed mind to a project of obvious artistic and economic merits,” he commented.