Loud buskers: It's about time to put some shhhh into Shrewsbury
Silence is golden, wrote the two Bobs - Crewe and Gaudio - in a hit song for the Tremeloes in the late 1960s, but whisper it, the idea of a bit of quiet - if that was indeed the message of the song - has been forgotten nearly 60 years later, writes David Tooley.
Today we are surrounded by buskers, preachers, pan pipe players, loud motorbikes, cars with souped up engines, blaring TVs, loud computer games, the boom-boom of fireworks, and a seeming masochistic tendency to batter our brains with music from headphones.
The issue of noise has been brought to the fore by the 'disagreement' between Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury busker Jason Allan. The council has told Jason to tone it down and not sing for too long in one spot.
Now I must make it clear that I don't see Jason as a bad singer. I saw him in Wellington, with an appreciative crowd around him. I think he's got star quality.
But I agree with the council that he is rather loud.
He's not the only one. Personally I thought the busker who came to town with his bluesy slide guitar during the summer's fantastic multi-venue Loop Fest was superb. He told me that he made a load of cash during a few days in Shrewsbury, which means lots of people agree with me.
But he was also quite loud, and many people would have hated it as much as I appreciated the sound.