A BELL-RINGING competition in one of Devon’s poshest villages descended into violence after a bizarre bust-up.
Bell ringers were forced into a physical confrontation with an angry Noss Mayo resident who blasted them for their parking and ringing.
It took place on Saturday during an annual bell-ringing festival which has taken place for more than 50 years.
But sources claim it came to a shocking end after a furious resident crashed the festival demanding to know who was parked across his drive.
When he was told it was someone who was ringing at that very moment, he attempted to storm the bell tower and had to be restrained by other bell-ringers.
A source told Plymouth Live: “This man, in his late 60s, came in complaining about a bell-ringer’s car being parked across his drive.
“He started demanding to know whose car it was and when it transpired it was one of the team members who was actually ringing at that moment in the tower, he attempted to storm it.
“He had to be restrained from forcing his way into the tower and dragging the car owner out. He refused to even wait for a few minutes.”
After failing to storm the tower, the lout then started complaining about the noise from the bell-ringers and caused children to cry after he continued his tirade.
“He was shouting and swearing, grown men were thumping each other, children were upset and crying”
The source added: “It was a shocking sight. He was shouting and swearing, grown men were thumping each other, children were upset and crying.
“Then when he was held back he went and sat on the floor, refusing to move, swearing and shouting about the bell-ringing, complaining about the noise.”
Captain of the Tower at St Peter’s church, Barrie Furzlend, confirmed the incident took place but insisted no one’s driveway was blocked at any point.
He said: “It absolutely wasn’t a case of someone parking across his driveway.
“Far from it, there was clearly access to and from his driveway because whilst he was in the church ranting and raving his relatives drove up the road and parked in his driveway.
“Our group secretary tried to stop him and he was grabbed around the throat.
“Two or three other men stepped in and stopped him. He had to be dragged out and when he got outside the front door, kicking and screaming he just sat down on the floor.
“He wasn’t going to get up and sat there swearing, shouting abuse at everybody, complaining about the bells.
“We were very close to calling the police and I’ve told the group secretary that this was a matter of assault.
“Clearly he didn’t like the bells, but let’s be frank, what do you expect buying a house right by a church, a church that has been there for more than 100 years?”
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