A LARGS history buff believes he has found a credible explanation for the infamous hum that has plagued the town for more than 40 years.

Robert Cathcart believes the electrification of the local railways line and how it interacts with the surrounding landscape is to blame.

He says he made the discovery, which he believes has never been put forward before, while researching the Largs hum for a timeline project.

Robert said: “I was trawling the net in recent weeks to find when the hum started as I wanted to add it to the town’s timeline we are creating from the Largs History Group, which I run.

“When I went to put it in I noticed that Largs railway was electrified at the same time and I thought it was a bit of a coincidence.

“So I looked into the description of the hum as measured by university studies, the frequency of the current and where it’s been heard from.”

Robert believes the noise comes from the hum of the railway tracks bouncing off the hills and echoing, creating a small noise only in certain areas of the town.

He said: “I believe that the noise is an interference pattern resulting from an almost inaudible electric hum interfering with its own echo from the hill behind Cathcart Road.

“This creates pockets where the crests of sound are doubling up and becoming audible, even though you cannot hear anything when you stand beside the railway.

“Poor shielding, cable problems and proximity to magnetic fields cause hum, which may be inaudible at source but when crossing its echo every second wave doubles in volume.

“The people hearing it are mainly between the hill and the railway line, which also supports the electrification theory.”

Although there have been other ideas put forward by locals over the years, Robert believes his explanation stands up to scrutiny.

He said: “My theory definitely explains why it’s heard in certain locations and measured loudest just to the east side of the main road.

“I’ve never read any of the theories where people have mentioned windmills and activity at Hunterston.

“To me any source of sound could be pointed to, walked towards and pinpointed, except of course an interference pattern.

“It beats me how 10,000 people could wonder and debate it for 30 odd years and still not agree on the cause. I just wanted to throw this theory out there.”