BBC sound effects 1940–86

In 2018, the BBC made freely available for non-commercial use around 16,000 of its sound effects recordings. A few hundred come from known locations around the UK, and most of those have been presented here in a sound map. All recordings © BBC.




Open air swimming pool atmosphere  4:05

BBC DESCRIPTION: Open air swimming pool, with children splashing and shouting. Recorded near London.

National Gallery atmosphere  4:01

BBC DESCRIPTION: Art gallery atmosphere with footsteps and indistinct voices. Recorded at the National Gallery.

Battersea Funfair atmosphere  3:06

BBC DESCRIPTION: General fairground atmosphere, Nov 1980, recorded Battersea Funfair.

Battersea Funfair roundabouts  4:42

BBC DESCRIPTION: Roundabouts with fairground atmosphere, Nov 1980. Rec. Battersea Funfair.

Crufts Dog Show  6:07

BBC DESCRIPTION: Crufts Dog Show, atmosphere at dog show with large dogs barking.

International ladies hockey match  6:33

BBC DESCRIPTION: Crowd at International Ladies Hockey Match, including approx 60,000 girls. General match atmosphere at Wembley, 1961.

White City Stadium athletics 1  0:59

BBC DESCRIPTION: White City Stadium athletics meeting, starting gun, race, shouts and applause.

White City Stadium athletics 2  6:02

BBC DESCRIPTION: White City Stadium athletics meeting, cheers, roars, whistles and end of race.

Cup Final Wembley 1966  5:16

BBC DESCRIPTION: FA Cup Final Wembley 1966, general atmosphere with highlights.

Political demonstration  1:27

BBC DESCRIPTION: Public demonstration in a London square, surge of angry crowd.

Silver Jubilee crowd chant  0:18

BBC DESCRIPTION: Buckingham Palace: chant of "We want the Queen". Rec. Silver Jubilee, June 1977.

Royal wedding crowds 1981  0:52

BBC DESCRIPTION: Crowds outside St.Paul's Cathedral at the wedding of the Prince of Wales, orders shouted, carriage procession arrives, cheers, July 1981

Westminster Cathedral atmosphere  4:03

BBC DESCRIPTION: Westminster Cathedral atmosphere, with large tourist groups.

St Sepulchre's Church bell  1:50

BBC DESCRIPTION: St. Sepulchre's Church, High Holborn, exterior, tenor bell rung, with background traffic, 1985. This was the bell rung at public executions and rung here in an authentic manner, opposite the Old Bailey, formerly site of Newgate Prison, aka 'the bells of Old Bailey'.

St John the Baptist's Church bells  3:01

BBC DESCRIPTION: Church bells, start into ringing. St. John the Baptist's Church, Croydon.

St Clement Danes Church carillon  4:41

BBC DESCRIPTION: Sound of carillon playing 'Oranges and Lemons'. St. Clement Danes Church, London.

St Clement Danes Church bells 1  3:00

BBC DESCRIPTION: Church bells, ringing down with rapid, joyous and random ringing for last minute of recording. St. Clement Danes Church, The Strand, London.

St Clement Danes Church bells 2  3:00

BBC DESCRIPTION: Church bells, firing the bells. St. Clement Danes Church, The Strand, London.

St Mary-le-Bow Church bells  3:01

BBC DESCRIPTION: Cambridge Maximus, from churchyard, distant traffic, incomplete, St. Mary Le Bow Church, London.

London Central Mosque 1  1:45

BBC DESCRIPTION: London Central Mosque, Regents Park, congregation at Friday prayers, near end of prayers, with chanted responses from congregation.