You Are Hear

The Essex Sound and Video Archive at the Essex Record Office has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to run our project, You Are Hear: sound and a sense of place. The project will digitise and catalogue some of the audio and video recordings held in the Archive, and then help people learn about them, engage with them, and enjoy them. Over the next three years, we will be taking our recordings into every corner of Essex, helping people develop their sense of place by increasing their appreciation for the sounds of the county, past and present.

Want to know more? Sign up to receive updates on the project; read all our blog posts; or get in touch with Sarah-Joy Maddeaux, You Are Hear Project Officer: 033301 32467 or sarahjoy.maddeaux[@]


Audio Comparison Map

To celebrate the development of our Essex Sounds audio map, we are holding a launch event on 28 September 2016, at Colchester Town Hall, from 6:00pm. This will be a chance to learn about the development of the site, find out how you can contribute, and hear a memorable talk by guest speaker Martin Newell. Find out more and register to attend on our Eventbrite page.

If you can’t make it to the event, you can explore our map from home. Why not record the sounds of your own community to share with us? Or get in touch with suggestions of soundscapes to capture. Find out more about the map here.


Kiosk and Listening Bench Tours

Find the audio-video kiosk or listening bench nearest to you! Contact us for more information.

Benches are currently installed at:

  • Hatfield Forest (touring bench)
  • Belhus Woods Country Park (touring bench)
  • Forge Green, Castle Hedingham
  • Castle Park, Colchester
  • Town square, Great Dunmow
  • Banbury Square, Great Waltham
  • St Helen’s Green, Harwich
  • Packhorse Bridge, Kelvedon
  • Museum grounds, Saffron Walden

The audio-video kiosks are at Chelmsford Museum and Loughton Library until the end of September.

You can check full installation and tour dates here.



More Community Groups Required

We are looking for volunteers from ten different communities to adopt a sonic park bench. Volunteers will listen to recordings from our archive relating to their community; select a series of clips; and put them together in a sound montage. The montage will then be played on a sonic bench installed in their communities, to allow visitors and residents to enjoy them while relaxing on the bench. To match the locations to our audio collections, we are looking for volunteers from:

  • Burnham-on-Crouch
  • Chelmsford
  • Clacton-on-Sea
  • Coggeshall
  • Epping
  • Harlow
  • Southend-on-Sea
  • Witham

Please get in touch if you think you could help.


Contacting Interviewees

We are still trying to obtain permission to use some of the recordings in our collection, particularly oral history interviews. If you or someone you know has been interviewed about life in Essex, we might well have a copy of the recording. We are targeting individuals from certain locations, listed here. Do you recognise any names?


Developing a Sense of Place

You Are Hear is not the only project that is looking at the impact of sound on perceptions of place. Our project team is keeping an eye on similar projects and putting them together for your enjoyment here.

Our Sound Recordist, Stuart Bowditch, has contributed to another sound map recently: a map of the sounds of the London Underground. The Next Station is part of the Cities and Memory project, and brings together sounds recorded at different stations with artistic interpretations of them. Which is your favourite station?

September 2016

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