Bells ringing in the New Year are a much-loved tradition of the Scottish Hogmanay.

They are a cue to raise a glass and wish friends and loved ones good fortune in the year ahead.

But when the bell at Balloch school campus started ringing unexpectedly in the early hours of New Years Day, it became a pain and not a pleasure.

For the faulty bell rang non stop, creating such a din that it drove neighbours to distraction.

According to locals, young children in the surrounding area were kept awake for two nights because of the din.

Martine Simpson, 70, told a national newspaper the school bell terrified her five-year-old dog Bitzi which had been unable to escape the noise ringing through their home in Smith Crescent.

Martine said: “Bitzi is usually so bright, cheery and full of life. He woke me up when the bell started ringing on January 1 and since then he’s been like a different dog.

“He lies on the couch and doesn’t make a sound, he constantly rests his head on the cushions."

Martine called the police who urged her to get in touch with the council – but the call went to voicemail.

Another resident said: “My kids are both very young and haven’t slept a wink for the past two nights. A number of us have phoned the council a good few times over the past day or two."

Now that silence has returned, West Dunbartonshire Council have apologised to locals

A spokesperson said: "We are sorry for any disturbance caused to residents by the faulty alarm at Balloch Campus.

"The alarm has now been silenced and the external contractor responsible for servicing will visit the site to ensure there is no recurrence."