Radio actuality recordings

A unique collection of original BBC and other radio actuality recordings brings to life the London of the 1920s to the 1950s. These sounds were captured at street markets, fairgrounds, skittle alleys, auction houses, hopfields and elsewhere.

Commercial saleroom 1936

ALTHOUGH A BBC radio recording, this one doesn’t turn up on the BBC Archive catalogue. The British Library shelfmark is 1CL0067857 and their Sound Archive catalogue has this brief description:

Auctioneer’s voice, assistant’s voice, coughs, other sounds, auctioneer tells people to ‘shhh’.

The recording date was 16 November 1936. No location is given, but we may guess from the accents that the saleroom was likely to have been in or near London, perhaps even at the London Commercial Salerooms on Mincing Lane, which were also the venue for tea auctions.

Recording © copyright BBC. Audio digitisation and restoration by the London Sound Survey. Many thanks to BBC Worldwide for granting permission to reproduce this recording here.

Commercial saleroom 0:45