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Street life 2017

An array of daytime recordings made along street markets and other gathering-places which are pedestrianised by official design or unofficial habit. Playback of each recording is synced to a simple animation plotting the route taken.

Romford Market and South Street 10:56

Map image extract © OpenStreetMap contributors, reproduced under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 license.

Time, date and weather: 12.40 pm, Saturday 2nd September 2017. Mostly sunny, 21°C, wind 4 mph.

Description: Starting in South Street by the junction with Western Road. Hubbub of voices; a busker plays an instrument resembling a zither; footsteps; recorded music from a stall; a busker plays the guitar and sings 'Here Comes the Sun'; a broadband company sales rep greets the recordist; rattle of wheeled luggage; a stallholder repeats his cry; recorded music from a stall; rustle of carrier bags; a stallholder raises a cry for fruit-and-veg bowls; brief squeak of clothes hangers on a rail; clatter of cutlery and voices of diners from a cafe at the east end of Market Place; airplane drone; a buzzing machine noise; a radio plays on a stall; a van's engine idles; hubbub of voices around food stalls.

Comments: On this day South Street seemed about as busy as I've ever seen it, but Romford Market has shrunk in size somewhat since I first recorded there in 2008; in particular, there are now fewer stalls on the northern side of Market Place. In the 2008 recording you can also hear a greater number and variety of traders' cries. It too was made in the early afternoon, which controls for the effect of traders crying out more loudly and often near the end of day so as to clear their stocks of perishable food.