CALLS have been made for a centuries-old Haddington time-keeping tradition to return.

The ringing of the Haddington Town House curfew bell – a practice which dates back nearly 500 years – abruptly ended a number of months ago. But no-one seems to know why.

Now the town’s community councillors have called for the mechanised ringing of the bells to be heard once more.

Jan Wilson, the group’s chairwoman, raised the issue at the group’s meeting.

She said: “It used to ring 10pm to 10.10pm at night and then from 6.50am to 7am in the morning.

“I did not hear it so much with double glazing but why has it been stopped?”

The meeting was attended by three of the local ward East Lothian councillors – Shamin Akhtar, Brian Small and Tom Trotter – but none of them knew why the bell had fallen silent.

Mr Trotter, who lives in the town, said the issue had been raised before.

He added: “To my mind, I’m not aware of any instruction for the curfew bell to stop ringing and I would be very disappointed if that has happened.”

Mrs Wilson acknowledged the curfew bell had been brought to the attention of the community council several years ago by a member of the public who was annoyed by the bell ringing each day. However, she said that that person had since moved away.

She added: “It is part of our history and sadly it has stopped.”

The curfew bell had rung each day in the town since 1532.

Its chimes were set at particular times to wake up residents of the town in the morning and to highlight it was time for bed at night.

A spokeswoman for East Lothian Council said they were checking if the bell was still ringing and would look at fixing it if it was a mechanical issue.

She said: “Monday to Saturday, the bell is to ring at 7am and 10pm for two minutes.

“On a Sunday it is 10.45am and 5.45pm and originally that was 15 minutes but for the last two years it was down to two minutes.”