A MYSTERY noise has been making an elderly couple’s life hell despite several investigations to uncover its source.

Ronald and Irene Bagshaw, of Barlow Park Avenue, Bolton, have complained of a strange “pressure”

in their home for more than six months, resulting in constant headaches and lack of sleep.

The couple, who are both aged in their seventies, say they only get around three hours sleep a night— and Mrs Bagshaw now spends most nights at her daughter’s home because it has become so unbearable.

Mr Bagshaw, who suffers from angina, now fears for their health.

He said: “It started in about October after quite a lot of work went on outside our home. It’s almost like a constant thump in your ears but it also affects your head as well.”

“We’ve reported it to Bolton At Home countless times now—I ring up sometimes two or three times a week. They’ve been out a few times with specialist listening equipment to try and find out what it is but they couldn’t find it.”

“They told us if it’s affecting us so badly that we should consider moving house. But although there was another bungalow available nearby, we weren’t guaranteed it as you had to go through an application process. These days they don’t seem to be doing anything about it.”

Mr Bagshaw added: “The noise leaves us both constantly exhausted and we can’t function properly.

It seems to affect my wife a lot worse. I’m the type of person that wants to wait it out and get to the bottom of it but I fear for my wife’s health — she’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown.”

None of their neighbours have reported any similar complaint.

Mr and Mrs Bagshaw also suffer from forms of tinnitus, although their doctor insists this is not the cause of the problem.

Both Bolton At Home and Environmental Health say they have investigated the problem several times, but despite their attempts the source of the noise is yet to be discovered.

A spokesperson said: “We received a complaint of a noise nuisance in October 2010, and as a result a number of visits were made to the resident’s home to try to assess the source.

“We used noise monitoring equipment on three occasions and specialist low frequency noise assessments were carried out to try and identify any possible sources.

“However, nothing untoward was detected from the equipment.”

Cases of unexplained noise began to spring up during the 1970s, with the case of the “Bristol Hum” still receiving complaints decades later.

Since then there have been reports of similar disturbances across the country.

Hugh Whitherington, former chairman of the Low Frequency Noise Sufferers Association, said: “These things occur regularly. We used to get about 500 complaints a year, and according to research it affects about seven or eight per cent of the population at some point.”

He added: “Once sufferers are ‘tuned-in’ to it, they can’t turn if off. The problem is that a lot of the time it is just put down to be tinnitus but that’s not the case.”

Experts have blamed the disturbances on various causes, including traffic noise, aeroplanes and electric and gas mains.

However, some put it down to serious “over-sensitivity” in some peoples’ hearing, which overamplifies quiet noise.