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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.

Whitechapel Market 6:33

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

Time, date and weather: 4.05 pm, Saturday 14th October 2017. Partly overcast, 18°C, wind 9 mph.

Description: Starting at the junction of Vallance Road and Whitechapel Road. Traffic on Vallance Road, receding; constant traffic on Whitechapel Road; footsteps and voices of passersby and stallholders; rustle of carrier bags; car doors slam and a man coughs; occasional rattle of shopping trolleys; faint beeping from a pedestrian crossing; a stallholder raises his cry in the middle distance; recorded music plays briefly from a stall; sounds momentarily take on a reverberant quality, caused by wooden hoardings enclosing the pavement outside Whitechapel tube station, the main entrance being closed during Crossrail works; a child's toy makes an electronic siren noise; a market trolley rumbles across the pavement; stallholders shout to each other near the junction with Brady Street.

Comments: The market appears much the same as it did a few years ago, with the exception of the closing-off of the main entrance to Whitechapel tube station, once a focal point for loiterers, newspaper distributors and sellers of mobile phone cards. This site's recording from 2009 (scroll almost to the end of the right-hand side panel) has more music being played from stalls, and some more distinct traders' cries. However, the 2009 recording was made earlier in the day (1.30 pm vs around 4 pm) and this may account for the differences.