In December 2011 a multi-million pound refurbishment project began on Truro Cathedral. The bell tower was to undergo an exciting upgrade, including 2 new bells.
Until this point the Cathedral bells rang loud and clear. They rang every Sunday morning and on all Special Occasions. Delightful! You may think. However, the weekly Tuesday evening practice sessions had increasingly become a different matter.
The bell ringing had become noisy and difficult for many of the surrounding residents. One local resident even described the weekly practice as “painful on the ears” another as “noise pollution”.
The chief Steeple Master took it upon himself to at the point of renovation find a happy solution to the obvious noise problem. Terry Norman, Acoustics specifier from Trim Acoustics was contacted by the Cathedral Steeple Master to offer a solution to this unusual problem.
An acoustic panel was specified to try and mitigate the excess noise – Maxiboard, manufactured by Sound Reduction Systems Limited.
Maxiboard is an extremely high performance and versatile soundproofing board designed to be used much like plasterboard. Suitable for walls and ceilings, It can be installed directly onto timber studwork, joists, masonry or existing plaster. Maxiboard can be used to Meet Part E of the Building Regulations or just to improve comfort in a domestic situation, such as noisy neighbours.
This unique project also involved using a local carpenter who went about designing a bespoke louvre system. Each panel was lined with the above Maxiboard allowing the bell ringers to cleverly sound block during practice sessions and selectively open to allow the bells to peel at all required times!
“The difference is magnificent! Although we have now created a new problem in that the sound reverberates back down the steeple directly onto us, the bell ringers” commented one gentleman.
Even with Ear defenders the sound was unbearable, so Sound Reduction Systems offered a further solution in the form of Acoustilay Floor, forming a barrier between the two levels. Both residents and ringers alike are now happy and satisfied!