People living near a Herefordshire parish church were woken by the sound of church bells in the middle of the night.

An instrument called a carillon in the bell tower at St Michael and All Angels in Church Road, Ledbury, usually plays hymns at 9am, midday, 3pm and 6pm every day.

But the clocks going forward last weekend somehow caused the automated system to play them throughout the night instead.

Patricia Harrison, who lives opposite the bell tower, heard the carillon playing hymns at midnight, 3am and 6am... but saw the funny side of it.

“They woke me up but I went straight back to sleep,” she said. “My bedroom is almost straight opposite the bell tower.

“When I realised that whoever reset the time to go forward an hour had managed to go forward 13 hours I thought it was really rather funny.”

Patricia, who runs Ceci Paolo in Ledbury, said the bells usually chime every quarter of an hour day and night.

The clock was installed in the bell tower in 1900 and plays a different hymn every day.

Throughout the week it plays O Worship The King All Glourious, Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem, Conquering Kings Their Titles Take, O Holy Spirit Lord of Grace, Jesu Our Hope Our Hearts Desire, The Way Not Mine O Lord, and Through The Night Of Doubt And Sorrow.

Rev Keith Hilton-Turvey, rector at St Michael and All Angels, said: “We’re not sure exactly what happened. We have a new electric time keeping mechanism and that may have been what caused it.

'One of those things'

“It would’ve jumped forward 13 hours instead of one. It wasn’t someone going up there and manually turning the clock forward 13 hours.

“This is the first time the new system has had to do this job, so we think that’s what it was.

“It’s one of those things. We were made aware of it and it was all sorted by Tuesday.”

He added that the new system will save someone a difficult job when the clocks go back again later in the year.

“Before we had the electric system, someone did have to climb up there and when the clocks went back, they had to wind it 11 hours forward because you couldn’t wind it back an hour.”