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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.

Shepherds Bush Market 4:24

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

Time, date and weather: 3.10 pm, Saturday 16th September 2017. Mostly overcast; 15°C, wind 8 mph.

Description: Starting at the junction of Shepherds Bush Market and Uxbridge Road. Traffic on Uxbridge Road, growing fainter; a stallholder hails an acquaintance; hubbub of voices, thinning out so individuals become more easily made out; something is chopped on a wooden block; brief sizzling of food; rustle of carrier bags; footsteps; occasional noise of stalls' refrigeration units; airplane drone; a fishmonger's electric saw; traffic on Goldhawk Road; beeping from a pedestrian crossing.

Comments: My first visit to Shepherds Bush Market was around 1979 or 1980, when I'd saved up enough money to visit a clothes shop occupying one of the railway arches and buy a cheap imitation Crombie coat. The market then was definitely busier than today, although I don't recall any of the stallholders raising cries for their goods. Several stalls specialised in selling fabrics by the yard, and a gypsy fortune-teller ran a small booth, the outside of which had a lengthy hand-painted description of her mystic credentials. Today, Shepherds Bush Market seems to be surviving rather than thriving, but nearly all the stall spaces along its length are occupied at least.