Occasional posts on subjects including field recording, London history and literature, other websites worth looking at, articles in the press, and news of sound-related events.

02 January 2019

Street cries now being added to Pinterest

MORE OLD books and other publications are being scanned, typed up and added to the Street Cries of the World section. It’s repetitive work but I find it absorbing.

Cries of Philadelphia

Many of the drawings are also now being added to the London Sound Survey’s account on Pinterest. If you’ve come here from there, hello.

02 January 2019

Social media

Social media

10 December 2018

Recent site upgrades

RECENT CHANGES, upgrades and repairs include the following:

* A newer version of the site’s content management system has been installed. Pages should now load a little bit faster than before.

* The London Sound Survey now has an SSL Certificate to protect long-term rankings on search engines, and to allow for a store page at some point in the future.

* The ‘Old publications about street cries’ section has been given the more ambitious title of Street cries of the world and its navigation revamped to resemble an accordion menu. Both changes reflect the ever-growing amount of material that’s being presented there.

* A fault in the Old London maps section has been made good so the maps can be displayed properly again. They still need Adobe Flash to be enabled in visitors’ browers though, and a purely HTML5 map viewer will be installed in 2019.

* Three longish wildlife recordings, making up a feature about Lakenheath RSPB reserve in Suffolk, have been linked to and integrated with the rest of the site.

14 August 2018


AN ILLNESS in the family requires me to become a full-time carer for a while. Little or no new material will be added to the London Sound Survey during this time, although I’m able to make a few modest recordings around where I live. You can hear them on my Soundcloud account.

An album of my Thames recordings is due to be released later this year or early next year by the composer Iain Chambers. I’ll post more news on this when I know a definite release date.

07 July 2018

BBC sound effects plotted on a map

IN APRIL this year the BBC put online around 16,000 of its sound effects recordings, making them available for non-commercial use at no cost. The BBC presents the recordings in a plain-looking list here: Expressions like ‘no cost’ or ‘free’ have a certain resonance, so I examined the collection to see what could be done with it.

A large majority of the recordings are from unknown places or else are studio creations. Around 400 are from named locations in the United Kingdom, and of these I judged just over 300 to be worth presenting and reproducing here. The results range in time from 1940 to 1986 and access to them is through a simple sound map on this page:

The map took me a while to draw, but the way the red link spots are made and positioned is easy: each spot is a DIV element that acts as a link, made round-shaped with the CSS radius property.