You Are Hear

From 2015 to 2018, the Essex Sound and Video Archive at the Essex Record Office received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to run a project, You Are Hear: sound and a sense of place.

We digitised almost 1650 sound and video recordings to better preserve them and make them available. We then helped people engage with them by taking them into every corner of Essex, encouraging a development of a sense of place by increasing appreciation for the sounds of the county, past and present.

Although the project has now finished, you can still engage with the project outputs, or read all our blog posts published throughout the project.

Audio Comparison Map

What does Essex sound like? Listen to past and present sounds of Essex on our Essex Sounds audio map. Why not record the sounds of your own community to share with us?

The map is also available as an app! Download from the Google Play store or the Apple app store, then take the content on the road so you can listen to the recordings while out exploring the county.

Kiosks and Listening Benches

Find the audio-video kiosk or listening bench nearest to you! The listening benches are installed at:

  • Weald Country Park (touring bench – final host)
  • Westlake Park, Bowers Gifford, Basildon (awaiting repair)
  • West Quay, Burnham-on-Crouch
  • St Nicholas churchyard, Castle Hedingham
  • The Meadows, Backnang Square, Chelmsford
  • West Cliff Theatre, Tower Road, Clacton-on-Sea
  • Blacksmith’s Corner, Clavering
  • Doubleday Corner, Coggeshall
  • Castle Park, Colchester
  • St John the Baptist churchyard, St John’s Road, Epping
  • Galleywood Heritage Centre, Galleywood
  • Town square, Great Dunmow
  • Banbury Square, Great Waltham
  • Harlow Museum and Walled Gardens
  • St Helen’s Green, Harwich
  • Packhorse Bridge, Kelvedon
  • Museum grounds, Saffron Walden
  • METAL, Chalkwell Park, Southend-on-Sea
  • The Pier, Southend-on-Sea
  • River Walk, Witham

The audio-video kiosks have now moved to their final homes at Saffron Walden Library and Harlow Museum. Sample some of the treasures from the Essex Sound and Video Archive without having to travel to Chelmsford.

You can check full installation details here.

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 has been looking at the impact of sound on perceptions of place. Check out similar projects here.

September 2019HLF Logo