Earth Notes: Soundwalk - an hour on the Cambridge Road Estate (2020-09-12)

Updated 2024-04-08.
Listening to the sounds of the estate near 16WW, pre-recorded talks, and detecting bats. #podcast #soundscape #soundwalk
3633s "soundwalk 20200912" (i) (captions) Uploaded . Downloads:


Hi, I'm Damon Hart-Davis, and welcome to Earth Notes podcast on all things eco and green and efficient @Home!

12th September 2020.

A soundwalk with Alison Fure, with interesting noises off from motorbikes to ice-cream vans! Starting at gates of the Bonnor Hill Road cemetery near 16WW, and continuing around the estate close by for about 90 minutes.

More is available from the Show Notes for this episode.

The track has been lightly edited in parts, and does not quite capture the very start and end in particular.

Thanks for permission from everyone participating for me to put this up, and thanks to Alison for making it happen.



[Alison] My walk is called Walk with Jane, and Jane Jacobs is [is] the person that I'm really looking at [her] through this prism because she was [] a journalist. But a lot of people think she was an architect. But she was really a kind of polymath. So, she wrote The Death and Life of [Great] American Cities. [John] So that's the Jane of Jane's Walks?


She fought Robert Moses who was a great road-builder, and he liked to build his roads through parks because that was the obvious place - it was open space and easy to build, so she stopped him from doing that, in around about the 1930s, something like that.


[Lots of children shouting and car noises]


So, a sound walk is all about sound.


So it's about that sound as well.


It's not really about, I make a lot of sound but I'm not really sure what the sound is.


It's everything else that is the important sound.


So we try to capture some of that sound and in various ways some of the sounds will speak to you differently.


Some will be of interest and some won't be of great interest but they're all really equally valid.


So, you know, there are all the sounds of this neighbourhood, there are all the sounds of what makes this place tick, the wildlife etc.


So, I'm a little bit cauliflower fingers when it comes to the technology.


So you'll have to bear with me and I'm hoping that some of you will help.


[Other] It looks a bit like you were fantastic, you're expert.


[Damon] Don't confuse me with an expert.


[Alison] So, last year Lucy Furlong curated this with me and she's written some poems.


She can't be here today but she has sent a recording of the poems that she wrote and that's the first quote about this.


It's about changing as well and that is the first challenge because Lucy's not here because she lives in Ireland.


So she's not even living in this country at all. So, all the various reasons behind that.


So that's really the first challenge about this area, these forums and we're going to see a lot more.


So, I think I'm going to start by playing a Radio 4 broadcast that was from last year which was about social housing and the ??? and the point of social housing.


It was also about who should live in social housing and looking at an actual estate in Sheffield.


So, I'll be there with you.


Oh, by the way, this will take about an hour.


We'll walk around the estate but we won't really, kind of, when we're talking we'll be in the calling areas.


So we could be on the estate now and we're going to talk about paths and we could be on the estate there.


It's kind of like invasion of privacy to a certain extent.


So I'd rather talk here and then we could walk through the path and then the next time we stop we'll be in a calling area and it's less threatening for people if they see you at the bottom of the garden and group and they wonder what we're doing.


Can't we go and study the people in that house over there?


So, we might be standing here for quite a while.


We'll just sit on the wall there please.


And listening is a bit of a knot as well because people do get distracted if a car goes by, you tend to follow it with your eyes, but the car is part of the thing.


Last year when we did this we had quite a lot of people and we had somebody who actually did a listening exercise.


So I thought I would play this waterfall and just to get us in the listening frame of mind.


It is when it works, it's ridiculous when it's...


[sound of mini scooter and motorbike passing]


(sound of water)


I don't use to edit for a UP but I doubt you ever got very close to the presses.


This is the segment from the Radio 4 broadcast.


You will recognise the voice.


(sound of water)


(sound of water)


(sound of water)


So you like it then?


Yeah, I'm just getting used to it.


All the days they've modernised it, put the tile in the bath hole and they've extended the kit.


It was a big change for me because I lived on power screens Friday night or back night so everybody had to go out whilst we were at the bath in front of home.


So yes, it was a big change.


Sorry, I touched it.




So I'm going to move on to the next recording but I'm just going to comment that when Betty arrived I was talking to Marilyn.


Marilyn was actually... she was one of the original residents and has been here 40 years.


Sorry, I just cut that a tiny bit short.


They're all 2 minutes.


(sound of water)


Leslie Pearson runs the Estates Family Support Centre.


Some days she has, you know, more to back-dress it now but I wouldn't say it's any different from anywhere else.


Why people seem to think that we're all going to rob you.


We're all selling drugs.


We're all just like, we're shoutable and our party's all that.


No, no, it's not.


Where does that come from?


Media, dare I say. Documentaries or programmes like Shameless.


Right, the next recording is a bit of fun really.


And it's one of the residents from the Estates talking about the sound of their house.


(sound of water)


[Damon] I used to edit a supercomputing trade magazine many moons ago and visualisation was a big deal then too.


It's no use spending millions on your experiments and number crunching if you can't actually get the results into your head or anyone else's.


Sometimes we use visualisation to make a pretty image such as a graph.


Sometimes we can use other senses such as touch or taste or vibration.


Sometimes we can make sounds instead.


What happens if I speed up data from my house to listen to a year's worth of readings in a second?


That speeds up the daily cycle happened 365 times in that second or 365 Hz.


That's between F and the sharp one that we see.


I end up using one sense reading about every 12 minutes in each soundtrack that I create.


If we listen to or look at temperature or light or humidity, we might expect not only to hear a daily cycle but also a weekly cycle in many homes and annual cycles driven by the seasons.


Other fainter or messier signals may be there from Western and other calendar months, maybe even something from the more regular lunar cycles.


We can look for these mathematically with number crunching called Fourier analysis.


But hearing or seeing could make us even more believable.


I spent a few hours messing around and have some interesting initial results.


Nothing shocking but you can hear the difference between inside and outside temperatures and inside which are inside and outside.


The air is the sound of temperatures at my desk.


In the month of August just gone, heating wasn't on and temperatures changed especially smoothly while we were away at the end of the month.


It's a fraction of a second but there is a buzzy tone there.


Now here's the whole of 2018 temperatures from outside as captured by the sensor in our porch.


4-0, the porch is below the window in my room 5S, the sensors are thus only a few meters away from each other, still a relatively smooth tone.


And finally for today, the sound of my room 5S temperatures for 2018.


The buzzing at the beginning and end of the year is the heating and Radbot working to keep the rooms only heated when someone is active in them.


So with much faster temperature movements in the basic daily cycle, you can hear the effect of heating.


There's more on my Earth Notes Web site at


[Alison] I thought you didn't expect that.


[Damon] No.


[Alison] But that's one that I just slipped in because the actual one that I do play is about how Damon has used his house to produce energy basically.


So let's listen to that.


[Damon] There's two lots of me.


[Damon] Sorry.


[Alison] There's two lots of everything.


[Damon] Oh okay.


[Alison] So each one is two minutes.


[Damon] Okay.


[Alison] So if you feel that every...


[Damon] You just carry on.


[Damon] You just carry on.


[Alison] It's only two minutes long.


[Damon] I was asked, you have solar panels alongside your fence.


I would like to know more about the considerations you made for this and whether you need a separate inverter.


The solar panels that I have on the roof feed power into the mains, which is great for powering gadgets and appliances during the day.


I recently added a mains battery that holds on to some of that solar juice we don't need during the day, to run lights and TV and fridge and so on overnight.


But there are some things that I prefer not to take power from mains for at all.


And until I bought the new mains battery, I would have had no way of powering those things overnight other than with the mains.


For that, I have a completely separate off-grid system with its own panels and battery and battery controller rather than an inverter.


From that, I can power some small lights, the server for my website, my laptop and other bits and pieces.


The big panels on the fence that you were asking about are part of the off-grid system.


One feature of those panels is the lake point due south.


The ones on my roof point east and west.


The combination makes it easier to soak up some light all day long, especially in winter.


Those panels also act as handy privacy screening since what they are on is rather low.


The big panels were an experiment to see if I could make a significant difference in the total solar energy that I collect in the middle of winter.


And so far the answer is not really, but I'm continuing to try.


When the big panels are getting lots of sun on a bright day, my system automatically transfers a couple of gadgets, such as my internet router, from being mains powered to the off-grid system.


Sometimes those gadgets can stay off-grid all night too.


There's lots more on my Earth Notes website at about all of this.


[Other] I wish I had bought my little gadget.


My grandson bought me this little black solar panel with holes in it.


You float it on a bucket of water and when the sun shines a little spray comes up like a miniature fountain.


It fascinates children because they can cross their shadow on it and it goes down and then they stand back.


[Alison] Before we leave Damon's household, just one more to play.


This is the housebarrows and on the estate there's a colony of about 150 housesparrows.


[Damon] About 30 of which sit on my windows pecking at something at times.


[Alison] They're on the ground pecking at so times.


[Damon] I'm just sitting there and I hear them go "choo choo choo". That's not chipping.


They're on the windows so it's really interesting.


Then they see me and fly away in the panic.


[Alison] This Damon's sparrow is hanging around in that.


[Damon] Hanging around in that ... yeah exactly. By the front door basically.


[sparrows chirping]


[sparrows chirping]


[sparrows chirping]


[Alison] It's a lovely beautiful sound. It makes so much difference here.


[Other] Anyone that's got a bush or a hedge in the front, that makes a big difference.


[Damon] But for years I didn't hear them. When I was a kid in Yorkshire I distinctly remember we had underneath my bedroom window


we had a hedge, a private hedge or something and they used to squabble and swarm and maybe chase one another.


I didn't basically hear sparrows for years and years and years and then suddenly they reappeared.


When you took that recording it was two or three years ago right?


[Alison] All the recordings are last year.


[Damon] Is it that recently? Alright but not much before then.


Suddenly they were back.


[Alison] I have got some in 2018 but I am playing the ones we did last year.


But yes it's a lovely sound.


It is, it's joyful. It's absolutely joyful.


Well actually that's not even squabbling but when they're squabbling it's also quite a fun life.


And I sometimes stand under the bush here by the cemetery which overhangs the pavement


and just watch the droppings coming out of it when they go to roost.


All these little white droppings.


But what we've been sending here, we've had a load of other sounds as well.


And particularly the jackdaws and they are a very local noise.


There's a mix of ordinary crows and jackdaws. Lots of them.


And we get parakeets as well. That is our sound. That is our neighbourhood.


And so there's another noise in here.


I took this from the gate.


So it's actually the cemetery.


Let's see if you can guess what the other noise is.


[Dogs barking]


I'm doing it for myself.


[Dogs barking]


Come on nature boy.


We've got all this composition from the real ones.


Yes, that's tricky. I thought I heard a squirrel in there. Maybe. Maybe.


That one.


No, that one.


No, I have no idea what that is.


Hi John.






Oh, Sabrina.


No, someone's taken it away unfortunately.


Well, stolen it.


Well, I noticed it this afternoon.


I'm going to use it as a cut-through.


Sabrina saw a cow with an air bank triggered.


So presumably something ran into it.


A nightingale.


Oh, fox.


There was a couple of times where I actually get a buzz of a bee in there as well.


Yeah, but that wasn't barking. That was a different noise, isn't it?


There was a young friend.




A young cat barking in there.




Not bad. Well done.


Yeah, I sometimes bark back at the fox to make them go away because they come and play and make a terrible noise.


And I bark back at them until they go away.


How can I make the dog in the house next to mine go away?


If you hire me, I'll come and bark at it for you.


Right. So now I'm going to talk about paths and trees because they're quite important features of the estate.


So there's about ten paths, alleyways, that are separated from traffic.


We refer to them as Twittens, don't we?


Yes, as what?




Yeah, they're are Twittens in London.


The Loudon Twittens are recognised and they're protected.


They're protected by the council.


They're listed.


They're in Loudon and they're quite close to Echincommen.


But these Twittens...




These Twittens are part of a design called Radburn.


They're Radburn lines.


And they are from America and 1960s estates.


So part of the landscaping, part of the ethos about what people should have,


what were they entitled to as residents, you know?


To be separate from the traffic, to meet each other, but to know who lives on your estate.


This is the streets in the sky business.


So they have these aerial walkways.


And we have everything here, the same.


Radburn lines, paths separated from traffic, and the streets in the sky,


so you can meet your neighbours and know who lives on your estate with you.


But in Britain, they didn't necessarily always get translated properly.


So for example, the Radburn lines over near Barrett Road


are really become a car park.


And it wasn't meant to happen.


You were meant to have a back and a front to your house,


with the back, a lovely garden, not to have the communality at the back.


But we still have these alleyways, and there's actually 890 metres,


which is nearly a kilometre footpath, which they're all going to go.


And the footpath that they will be provided, they're of absolutely no use to most people.


They will go north-south in parallel lines from Vincent Road.


But at the moment, we can walk down this one, which I frequently do.


Well, there's one over there, which a lot of people don't use,


and they go north-south and east-west, they're like a grid.


And the main east-west spine is 200 metres long, so that's a hell of a lot of path to lose.


But the other thing is, a lot of these paths come off Bonner Hill Road


down the back of the garden, and people let their creepers or whatever go over the fence,


almost do meet, and that's where the sparrows congregate as well.


So you see a lot of birds, there's only about 14 bird species on the estate breeding,


blackbirds, garden birds, robins.


But that's where you're likely to find them.


And what we're going to do is take a walk down the Twittens.


Before we do, I want to read something at home that I wrote,


which is in the Little Book of Pass, some of you have seen this one.


So, Sim contributed to that as well.


And I wrote this poem for a reading that I did at Cable Street.


No, not Cable Street.


Cable Depot, Cable Depot in Whooping.


It's called The Estate.


A mixed housing estate with three-storey balcony access,


walk-ups, aerial walkways and streets in the sky,


four tottering ten-storey towers,


230 air-cleaning nutrient recycling trees,


once planted on top of former 1960s hubs,


such as the Plebbers Public House,


a church of something and an ice cream pie.


Those haunted conversations soon found voice in a row of 1970 shots


heralded by a giant printing press next to a hairdresser,


a mini-mart and a news agent,


where the latest heart attack and domestic disputes were hot, hot, hot.


Appearances on dramas, such as The Bill and currently The Capture,


are not reputation enhancing for any estate,


but crime-ridden is unjust,


as it's a neighboring wall that statistically rises to the top,


by a factor of four.


Politicians suffer amnesia from sentiments in the Addison Housing Act


downplaying positive acts, such as hardworking,


community spirit,


beauteous gardens.


Sometimes these places are more beautiful


when the winter swept the politics clean out of the walkways,


down the Radburn lines and into the sunset.


By night, bats enter ten twittens or urban alleyways


that run more south than east west,


a gridded glada of insects attracted to lion flowers,


horse chestnut candles, apple and cherry blossom,


for the flower-filled turf of bird's foot trefoil and the vane.


There the one hundred feather bundles which sparrow along the roofline,


popping in and out of drop tiles,


sweeping dusty gutters,


pale-eyed jackdaws, call and door around the peaks of the tottering tower blocks,


where secret lives are conducted.


The Autumn's Festival feast is enjoyed by squirrels and winter thrushes,


a wassail conducted on acorns, contours, crapples and pyrocanth, the berries.


It is peaceful, no extraneous intrusions,


just a cultural blend of blowquots, chews and palm,


olives with silver maples and copper beaches,


accepting the occasional siren, breaking these networks diminishes us all.


So we're going to walk down the twitten.


We're going to look at the paths that run east west while we go north-south,


Just taking the...


the kind of effect of the path. We're going to mix it up with a little bit of trees as


well. So if I go on to... Hi Sharon. Hi Elsa, hi. Hi, thank you. Come on. But I just wanted


to point out that personally walked past early at home. In that poem a lot of the references


came from him because he was one of the original residents and his, I think his mum was born


in one of the cottages. And he used to talk about ralinerans, there used to be two scrap


metal merchants on the estate. And they would tape bits and pieces, they would get money


for it and if there's any change they'd go to the ice cream parlours. And he said that


the ice cream parlour was, it wasn't a shop, it was an ice cream parlour. It was just a


static kind of hatch, hard to imagine really. And the feathers was here, the pub. And there


was a brewery, Hobbskins Brewery, there was an offshoot of the Hobbskins which was in


the town centre. There was also a microwave brewery here, so it's interesting that we've


got the Parlour Brewery coming back. Yeah, that's interesting. And the reference to the


printing press, I actually thought, I remember seeing it, the shop, Tadlow, had all these


hairdressers, the news agent, probably a bit before the time. But it was a static, it was


the hairdresser stabbed her husband and it was all the gossip. Everyone used to come


out and just chat about it, it's so exciting. So I think he died, but it was kind of such


a long time ago. And then the people had the mini mart, they also had to own the news agents,


and then he had a heart attack and I think that's why it all came to an end and the council


didn't really let their own reasons.


I've never seen someone really sniffing around, that was the ice cream parlour.


Possibly, I don't really know.


There used to be a chap who had the ice cream van at the back of us in Glastonbury, but


he's long gone now. But I do remember that printing press, because he used to go in the


shop, the door was open, he used to walk in and the printing press was the whole shop.


That's all I remember and nothing else, you know.


Well how old is the estate?


It's about the same age as me, so the person who was our neighbour moved in pretty well


to one of the very first available houses, it will have been about 40 years ago, but


these were built in '66, '67, '68, something like that. So that's how old they are.


And the town blocks?


Hard, I have no idea about the town blocks.


Yeah, there is an older part which is the 1950s block, which we will just peek at now.


Alright, so I can then, to clarify then, so round here anyways, my house is pretty much


the same age as me, we're twins, one of us a bit bigger.


Yeah, twins.




Thank you, you can come round with a tea.


The trees are kind of 1970s really, I've got photographs of them being planted.


When they were planted, in London Plains, they're huge, they put in rooms which are


quite large trees, so men.


Before we go, we're going to talk about trees now, but hello.


Suzanne came on this walk last year, so she knows what I'm talking about.


We're talking about all the changes that there's been since last year, one of them being


that Lucy lives in Ireland now.


Yeah, she lives in Ireland, so I've got a recording of her voice reading her poetry.


Yeah, so I think what I'll mention before we get down onto this date is CAVAT.


So, CAVAT is a system of valuing trees, and it's really done by tree officers, and there


will be a lot of CAVAT going on on these trees when all the trees that are going to be held


are valued.


Well, I'll remove it one step back and talk about another estate where this happened.


So, the council gave this date over to a developer, and the developer has to have the trees valued.


And that's something that tree officers are used to doing.


You can read about that on the London Tree Officers Association website.


You can read about how they assess the trees aesthetically, but in terms of longevity,


they measure the diameter, they measure the height, they look at the condition.


They're not like us ecologists who like lots of poles and loose bark and weeds, etc.


They like a perfect tree.


So, I have a friend who's a tree officer, and I invited him to come and value some of the trees


that I know that are going in the development.


Because it's quite lucrative business for the council.


They will get that money, and they can use that money then to spend on replanting some trees anyway.


So, I had a tree officer come and value a horticultural variety of sycamore.


It's a sycamore, but it's a first class sycamore grown by a nursery for its candelabra shape


and for the wonderful leaf that it would generate during the autumn.


And it came out at £48,000.


So, I'll just give you an example of what the tree stock is.


Just for reference, that's what I think a single car parking space is worth here in terms of real estate.


Things which people expect to park on for free, it's about £50,000.


So, just for reference, I mean only here, right? But that's an interesting line up there.


£48,000. We went to the Piper Willow.


Piper Willow is kind of in personified.


Perhaps to take the heat off the E/E cork below, because that willow is in better condition


and worth a lot more than the Piper Willow is like.


But the Piper Willow is valued at £32,000.


So, you can see less, £32,000.


And it hasn't got as much longevity as the E/E cork willow.


But the E/E cork willow is in the way.


So, £32,000 for the Piper Willow, £48,000 for the candelabra shape sycamore that is off Willingham Way.


That's if they're maintained properly and they keep their nice shapes.


At the moment we're having some very harsh cutbacks of the trees.


So, that makes the point really about how the heat go to stay in Southwark,


which I did work then, did some back surveys in the early stages.


They valued the trees under CAVAT, £3 million.


When the council was given the £3 million by the developer,


but when they came to replant trees, because what they do is they go a bit silly


and spend a few thousand on one tree just to get rid of the money


and buy huge specimen that's never going to take.


It's much better to get a young tree grown.


So, what they did is in the expanded footprint of the building,


they found that they couldn't plant any trees because all the surfaces went away.


And if you look around all the paths where they've marked all the surfaces,


it's just the imagination to think where any more trees might be.


So, anyway, it's a little silly.


And what we'll do is move through...


It houses the sounds.


Yeah, it does.


We'll move through Twitters.


...trees scream of anguish as well.


OK, let's walk to the Twitters.


Never mind.




We are coming in bad jokes.


That's a six-word.


When I was in Yorkshire, it was "ginnels" and "snickets".


And when I was in Edinburgh, it was "wynds".


So, there are lots of different names for them.


Yes, you had all of my terms in there in your list.




Let's walk.










You have to get the salt.




Because we've got two in our garden, we've got three.




Yeah, we've got an apple and a pear, definitely two.


We've got the much-malined suckers, but it's very nice.


It's not a leylandii.




Yeah, no, so you've got a pretty nice one.


And it's got nesting and long-tailed soaps and don't press.


And all of them.


Of course, it's got pigeons and squirrels as well.




All of my say, all that could happen is...














And the creatures.


Well, they're travelling, you don't have to remember all that.


Then you realise that anything which isn't full of people is superfluous, right?


So the willing way won't exist, just for an example, because that'll be the middle of that.


Curiously, it's been meant to be knocked down for ages and it was built as a temporary thing, but they seem to be...


I don't know is the answer.


keep patching it up a bit but there isn't another community tent here so I think you'll go on patching it up a bit.


I suppose if they got rid of this then the Alpha, you know the church, would have to be the voting


polling booths and stuff like that because there wasn't another obvious. That game that's


meant to go that's why they cleared out all the shops. See that was the old hairdresser.




I'm Des Kay, I'm the director of a local charity in Kingston upon


and we've also got an offshoot that we call Save the Food Club and what we do is we go around


collecting all the surplus food from the supermarkets at the end of the day and we distribute it and


we have to distribute it around the Cambridge estate into the Piper Hall, the community facility


and it's used by the local community and it's also used by the refugees so we come in here


six nights sorry five nights a week we bring in the food fill up the fridges and the non-perishable


which we put on the work surfaces and they just give you a thick, we don't have to


prepare the food it just goes straight out again to the refugees and to the local community


and obviously saves them a little bit of money and of course stops it so that the food just


being completely wasted which is normally what happens to it it either gets incinerated or it


ends up being composted but that's that's quite a rare occurrence unfortunately because of all


the packaging and everything they just shove it all in a big incinerator and and then they show


off where they're using the energy for things like generating a lot of energy when of course


it's much much more sensible that this food which is perfectly good and perfectly edible


goes to families who sometimes have to choose between eating and eating


thank you Des and then I listened to Lucy's poem about a beautiful popular tree


um there






so that certainly wasn't here when I moved here 15 years ago but the the the shop was the um


grocery shop there. Hairdress was empty for a while this lot wasn't the previous one. Yeah


yeah the hairdresser's got taken over by somebody else somebody told me the story of that when I


pardon well this is where countryside this is the council and this is basically offices for the




[car noises]


home on here I hope I can find it


is a shaking leaf sea surrounds us in sound waves wishing whispering washing wishing rustling


whistling festering festering a shaking leaf sea surrounds us in sound waves breaking shore shingle


branches breeze dancing breaking shore shingle branches breeze dancing


I'm actually going to play that again because you didn't hear the beginning but scytherism is the


noise that the leaves make as they sort of rustle in the wind and last year this is another change


last year this tree was alive it was huge now it's really been packed back into another compound


and so I'm going to play it again because it's a really lovely poem and I'm glad that Lucy sent


me the recording because it's it's very difficult to to say it it's a tongue twister


scytherism whispering washing washing whistling flustering


festering a shaking leaf sea surrounds us in sound waves wishing whispering washing


washing rustling whistling festering festering a shaking leaf sea surrounds us in sound waves


breaking shore shingle branches breeze dancing breaking shore shingle branches breeze dancing


so thank you Lucy from uh from from clodie


at the moment where she is


well we've talked about people who live on the estate and the trees and the paths and


those pharaohs we've listened to them I've tried to give wildlife some voice and


we're going now to where people worked and that's another change another big change on the estate


when we do go down there we're going down another twitten by faldom and this is one that isn't


used very often please take care of the steps and it can get quite dark there and there are


robin and the siren always siren yeah always the siren and so on the way


there is a little bit of corn salad growing and I thought we'd try and find it because there's


some quite unusual plants on here like the vivain which I only find in woodland you know not there


is some on the barge walk but there's the rain doesn't grow in many places in Kingston and yet


there's one um play area absolutely full of the vein this year because there wasn't mowge


and it was about 90% of the vein likewise the bit along hamden road is absolutely full of birdsfoot


trefoil there's a lot of fungi grows there as well which has a lot of red tail bundle bees on on it


at the appropriate times of the year so this is all part of the ecology that's grown up over a


long period of time god be fighting this corn salad here north Kingston but for the first time ever


I don't think it's the area is better less nitrogen during the lot today


it's normally an arable region


of course salad I want to tighten just a little collector's corn salad just coming up


and a sweet blue woodruff over there




yeah a lot of corn salad but over there is sweet woodruff so you know it's just really


you've tried a few things yeah I know yeah very good so um Betty are you okay with your lift from


your daughter yeah what's the time now it's quarter ten to ten to sorry about that do you need to just


ring her yeah if you really do that that wouldn't be about another page since we were last here last


year and it's about people's jobs people who work on these things very near Hawke's Road


so Simon came on the walk last year hi I'm Simon Dreen I'm a nurse and I work here at the Hawke's


Road clinic which is the health centre on the Cambridge Road estate I don't work here full time


I work at Kingston hospital full time but at least once a week I come over here and we do a very


specialist clinic on a Monday and Tuesday evening which is a contraception clinic which is


predominantly female orientated so lots and lots of women who live locally come to the clinic and


you get their contraception from us and after having been at Kingston hospital all day it's


a really nice environment to come into it's a slightly older building some people do kind of


have the opinion it's going to rack and ruin there are certain parts of it that could certainly do


the little bit of TLC but you can see that it's somewhere that's been very well used for a very


long time and I really enjoy coming here there's a nice team of people that use the building on a


daily basis so when we come in there's usually been other people that have ran their clinics before us


sometimes we have to wait for them to finish because their clinics have run late a sense of


camaraderie and people are always happy to sort of help out and the people that come here are


certainly from a patient point of view quite loyal we have a very sort of strong following of people


that come regularly it's nice to see some of the sort of familiar faces people at the back


but it is a really nice place to be when you look out of the window which I'm doing now it does feel


quite an urban type setting you are surrounded by flats and houses and lots of people must be there


but actually it can feel quite quiet you feel it's quite a sort of subdued environment sometimes


you can hear things in the distance but immediately outside the building it's actually quite a quiet


setting it's a really nice place to sit particularly in the summer so I really enjoy


working here and really hope that the building's here for a long time to come


now I'm going to play his boss Tanya


hello my name is Tanya and I work for a Hawkes Road Sexual Health Clinic which is a specialized clinic


I do evenings here every week on a Monday and Tuesday night we see a lot of families


with their kids coming for their sexual health needs so we also do a lot of contraception


it's a lovely environment building could do some updating however we have a free car park


as well as a playground for kids it's got a bit of trees around it's got sun pit to play with


and a lot of kids love coming here they enjoy it it's a very safe area it's very quiet in the


evening we do loads of different activities during the day with kids still in this clinic as well as


the run local clinics or eye clinic or podiatry it's very central and everyone's really happy to


be here people are very friendly nurses come and go in the evening but everyone loves being here


so what happens now when you want contraception or sexual health advice is you have to get two


buses and go to subton I think we came here for some of the antenatal for our second one I think


so that would have been 11 years ago I had everything here I had all ben's oh he's 39


now but all of his weight baby weigh in oh yes we had some of that here too I've had podiatry here


boy trips but that's it then I tried to persuade when you already shut


I hope so I haven't been open for four months anyway you would get me yeah I tried to persuade


me put solar on room because it's south facing right but um they they've never talked to me that


was years and years ago long before the redevelopment was a possibility because it's a really good roof


to put solar on, nice angle south-facing no no that won't overshadow it you know really good roof but


no one got back to me it's a shame




The bat detector is on 45 kilohertz.  [BAT NOISES]


There's more on my Earth Notes Web site at Earth.Org.UK.

There's more on my "Earth Notes" Web site at Earth.Org.UK.

Show Notes

Organised and led by Alison, thanks again!

All recorded at 16-bit 48ksps FLAC on a Olympus LS-P4, handheld, no wind muff, on the evening of 2020-09-12 starting a little after 6:30pm BST.

I managed to cut the ~90 minutes of the walk down to about 60 in the end! Maybe that's not 'light' editing, but it took out a lot of walking and wind noise and so on!

2020-09-23: Automatic Transcription

The text up to Enjoy! was pre-scripted (ie read, not transcribed), and the standard canned 5-year-PV and welcome intro segment was inserted.

I then transcribed from 00:54 to about 01:22 by hand.

I searched for "transcribe English MP3" and a number of options were available to try.


I chucked the whole MP3 at the free 30-minute transcription trial at Fully-automated transcription that's fast, accurate, and affordable. Ad hoc transcription is USD10 per hour (the 'standard' plan).

That brought up a request for High quality audio and a Warning: Low accuracy potential. There is indeed a lot of background noise, multiple speakers, etc!

But I ploughed on!

I was then informed that my file was 1h and 32s and would require payment, rather than just getting the first 30 minutes...

So I extracted the first 30 minutes from after "Enjoy!" as a full quality MP3 and tried again.

This time no warning about "low accuracy potential", and the audio is reported as 29m 57s by Sonix while transcribing it.

The Sonix site chewed at my text for several minutes.

I was emailed a link to see/edit the transcript. I was told on-screen that Sonix was very confident about ~72%, fairly ~20% and slightly ~8%.

I get the option to download in several formats, including text, with the options to insert timecodes every paragraph or 30s for example. I did this before any attempt to tidy up on line with the tools provided.

The plain text Sonix transcript of the 30 minutes is ~19kB.

My manual transcription of the opening paragraph was:

My walk is called "Walk with Jane", and Jane Jacobs is [is] the person that I'm really looking at [her] through this prism because she was [she was] a journalist. But a lot of people think she was an architect. But she was really a kind of polymath. So, she wrote "The Death and Life of American Cities".

Sonix produced:

Because she was she was a journalist, but a lot of people think she was an architect, but she was really a kind of polymath. So she wrote the death and life of. It is OK, but that's the kind of change change and you can go and change school anywhere in the world, although she was American and she ended up in Canada and she thought Robert Moses was a great motivator and he liked to build his roads through books because he was the obvious place. It was open space, you know, needed to build.

Definitely not perfect, and continuing on beyond where I had the first paragraph end. It would require a lot of work to get into shape, but likely still better than a manual process from start to finish.


Vocalmatic also offers 30 minutes for free, so I'll try it on the second half of the soundwalk! (Well, from [30:00] for about 30 minutes.) This nominally overlaps a little with the Sonix test.

Vocalmatic seems to be saying that transcribing one minute of audio will take one minute. This was probably about right for my 30m test!

Vocalmatic claimed that my 30m was 31m, so I made a 29.5m one instead!

I was asked to select the language (English, United Kingdom), and choose a format (default, or SRP to be a video caption/subtitle). I went with default.

Ad hoc transcription is GBP29 for ten hours as of 2020-09-23.

When my transcription was ready I had a choice to export as a Word Doc, or a text. I tried the latter, but the] exported form omits the timing marks.

Instead I copied and pasted from the displayed page. The first paragraph looks like:

because I mixed up with a little bit of trees as well so far going to out can d came from him because he was going to do and about running errands you would would take the to ome would take bits and pieces of the get money for it and if there's any change that go to The Offspring hauler holler and he said that in the e e new s news new citation have too many had the minimum amount they also have to the newsagents and then he had a heart attack and I think that's why you can't turn engine in the council didn't me so he was on he was on Ava moved in pretty well but one of the very first available ounces houses and let you flipping about 40 years ago but leaves with built-in 66 67 68 something like that so that's how old they ve no I dea . about idea about the which is which is the one 1950s little round here anyways my house is pretty much the same age as me many with twins an't even n't you can come n t und to an come over and see and see if I put a n 't y th ly mature matured quite mature quad lock case mature quad lock case but e on this whole be ay e whole cluster the t they e's no se days re's nothing Thursday that there's been since last year s not a n t answer n circle the cool wake up John on today , is your sister

Here is the overlapping transcription segment from Sonix:

[00:29:10] We're going to mix up with a little bit of trees as well. So we're going to show.

[00:29:15] Well, thank you.

[00:29:19] But I just want to point out post New York Post link. And in that poll, a lot of the references came from him because he was one of the original investors and his I think his mom, who was born in the cottagers, and he used to talk about running errands. There used to be two scrap metal merchants on Tuesday and they would take bits and pieces so they'd get money for it. And if there's any change, they'd go to the ice cream parlor. And he said that the ice cream parlor.

2024-03-09: Transcobble

I used the amazing Transcobble tool to do transcription, and some editing, in my browser.

The transcription in my MacBook Air M1 took some hours I think, from ~1h source. Transcobble has done a very good job, and produced a WebVTT file. I have made a partial edit for some obvious errors, speaker names, etc, which could be improved in due course.

2024-03-10: Historic Note

I mentioned that the NHS would not talk to me about putting solar PV on the clinic roof: that building is now in the process of being demolished and replaced with a housing block.


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