Pictures: Dale Spridgeon

AN organisation may have "dropped a clanger'" by mooting plans to remove an historic bell from an Anglesey lighthouse replacing it with a foghorn.

Residents and visitors say they are deeply "alarmed," and haven't the "foggiest" why Trinity House, which maintains lighthouses, is investigating removing the "iconic bell" at Penmon Lighthouse (also known as Trwyn Du Lighthouse) which chimes every 30 seconds.

Trinity wrote to residents warning that they were trialling an electronic foghorn on Friday.

According to the nearby Pilot House Cafe proprietors Hayley Peace and Phillip Russell, the foghorn had an "atrocious sound" and was "extremely loud."

Phillip said: "It just sounds like some sort of hideous siren for prison inmates," said Phillip.

"It is absolutely awful, it is completely out of keeping with this beautiful and peaceful place.

"People round here love the bell. It has rung out for years. They automated it in 1922 but the lighthouse was built in the 1838, so the bell may even be older.

"It will definitely affect us. Our customers don't want to have to sit eating their icecreams listening to that awful din going off and local residents don't want to have to live with it. We just don't want it."

Holyhead resident Stuart Comins, said: "I heard a recording of the foghorn and it sounds totally wrong for the ambience of this peaceful place.

"There is something about bells and the sea, and the Penmon bell sound is so atmospheric and in keeping. I think a foghorn would be very intrusive."

Beverley Addy, a visitor from Huddersfield, said: "The bell's chime feels in tune with the natural, peaceful ambience of this beautiful area."

Jane McDonald from Manchester said: "I think it is an awful idea. We come here often and the bell is part of the experience of this lovely place.

"It has a soulful sound which is right for the area and the lighthouse which is steeped in history."

Artist Ronald Haber said: "I don't think they should replace the bell. I come here to paint, it would definitely have an impact on me and my art, as well as local people and visitors."

A spokesperson for Trinity House said: "Trinity House is tasked under the Merchant Shipping Act (1995) to establish and maintain aids to navigation, such as lighthouses, buoys and beacons around the coasts of England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar.

"The navigational requirement and the equipment used are reviewed regularly to ensure the service delivered remains appropriate for shipping in the area and that reliability is of the highest standard for the safety of shipping, the safety of the mariner and for the protection of the environment.

"Prior to any upgrade, the features of the station such as the light flash sequence and range are reviewed, including considerations of obsolescence and reliability.

"The bell (which currently sounds every 30 seconds, 24 hours a day) is activated by an ageing electronic striker mechanism which no longer provides the assurance of reliability which is needed.

"Consideration was therefore given to the new system, as it is already in use in other locations where it has proved to be both reliable and effective."