Cityvisitor blog

Oh I do like to hear the British seaside

Don’t you just love the British seaside? Just thinking about it conjures up many memories and feelings of nostalgia: thoughts of fish and chips, cowering in the rain, trying to skim pebbles in the sea etc. So what a great idea to record its sounds for a new project.

The British Library and the National Trust are asking members of the public to record sounds of our shores for a new UK coastal sound map.

The sounds you record can be anything from the noise of the arcades to the sounds of the seagulls and the crashing waves, from the rustle of fish and chip paper to strong winds on a bad day.

Cheryl Tipp, Curator of Wildlife and Environment Sounds at the British Library, explained: “There is something really evocative about the sounds of our coast; they help shape our memories of the coastline and immediately transport us to a particular time or place whenever we hear them.”

Sounds can be uploaded onto an interactive map and will be added to the British Library Sound Archive.

Martyn Ware, musician, producer and founder member of Human League and Heaven 17, will also be using the sounds to create a 20-minute piece of music. He said: “I’ve had a deep connection with the coast all of my life. As a kid growing up in Sheffield we’d go on family holidays to Scarborough or Skegness; I can still remember the sounds that filled our days at the seaside.”

Wouldn’t it be great if we could do the same with the smells of the British seaside – everything from candy floss to seaweed, from the vinegar on your chips to the smell of sun tan lotion?


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