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[@]


Kiosk and Listening Bench Tours

Find the audio-video kiosk or listening bench nearest to you! The next bench to be installed will be in Great Waltham, in Banbury Square, on Sunday 7 August from 3pm. Contact us for more information.

Benches are currently installed at:

  • Stansted Airport (touring bench)
  • Belhus Woods Country Park (touring bench)
  • Forge Green, Castle Hedingham
  • Castle Park, Colchester
  • Town square, Great Dunmow
  • Banbury Square, Great Waltham
  • 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.


Audio Comparison Map

Our audio comparison map lets you compare the past and present sounds of Essex. Do we have any sounds from your community? Explore our map to find out.

We want our map to represent the full diversity of the county. 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.


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
  • Clavering
  • Coggeshall
  • Epping
  • Galleywood
  • 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.

Do you have fond memories of seaside holidays in Jaywick? The Jaywick for Happiness project brought together photographs, films, and oral history recordings that capture what Jaywick Sands was like in its heyday as a tourist destination. Find out more about the project on their website.

August 2016

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