Farnham Taiko Club: Voices 009

Our youngest volunteer Noah Dann was on hand to record a soundscape when the Farnham Taiko Club came to the Farnham Maltings to perform, as part of the Big Bus Tour for BBC Surrey at the end of May 2018.

Noah Dann with the trust ‘Zoom H5’ recorder captures Mark Alcock and Allison Ferns before the drumming commences.

Their teacher, Mark Alcock, who you can hear being interviewed during the podcast, gave us permission to capture the sounds of the drumming, which is described as a musical form  of martial art.  The sounds captivated the assembled crowd – as well as setting off some of the vehicle alarms in the car park.

You can also hear Mark giving some lessons to BBC Surrey presenter Allison Ferns (around 1min 48secs into the podcast), while the full drumming performance begins around 3min 24secs in) – as covered in BBC Surrey’s own Facebook video above.

Members of the Farnham Taiko Club pose for BBC Surrey outside Farnham Maltings.

You can find the Farnham Taiko Club on Facebook and via their website.

You can find out more about Taiko more generally at the Taiko Meantime website.

The Election Count: Voices 008

In this episode of the Sound Vault: Voices podcast, the chief reporter of the Farnham Herald, Daniel Gee captures the atmosphere at the count for a local council by-election.

Candidates and agents huddle around Waverley returning officer Tom Horwood for the moment the town council by-election results were declared. Credit: Farnham Herald.

On Thursday 24th May, 2018, by-elections took place simultaneously for the Farnham Castle ward on Farnham Town Council, and Waverley Borough Council.  The seats had been resigned by the group leader of the Farnham Residents party, John Williamson, after he moved away from the area.

In this podcast, Daniel captures the atmosphere of what is not a standard election count, with it taking place in a less formal venue than usual (at Potters Gate School, late into the night), with one of the successful elected councillors facing re-election in only a year, when borough-wide elections will be upon us anyway.

As well as Daniel, featuring in the podcast are Tom Horwood (Waverley Borough Council’s Chief Executive, and Returning Officer for the elections); the winning councillors, each from the Farnham Residents party – George Hesse (town council) and David Beaman (borough council); the candidate who ran them a close second in each seat, Jo Aylwin (Liberal Democrat);  and Rashida Nasir who trailed in third place in both seats for the Conservatives – as well as Jerry Hyman, the leader of the Farnham Residents.

Daniel’s podcast captures a sound portrait of what it is like to cover the local political scene as a chief reporter on a local paper, and some of the atmosphere as the politicians gather in a local school to await their fate, and hear the declarations.

Credit: Farnham Herald.

You can read the report of the result in the Farnham Herald here.

The full results for each of the elections were as follows:

Farnham Castle – Waverley Borough Council by-election:

David Beaman (Farnham Residents):  354 votes [ELECTED]

Jo Aylwin (Lib Dem):  338 votes

Rashida Nasir (Conservative):  175 votes

Rebecca Kaye (Labour):  42 votes

Mark Westcott (Independent):  26 votes

Farnham Castle – Farnham Town Council by-election:

George Hesse (Farnham Residents):  390 votes [ELECTED]

Jo Aylwin (Lib Dem):  339 votes

Rashida Nasir (Conservative):  164 votes

Rebecca Kaye (Labour):  41 votes.


Beating The Bounds: Voices 007

In this episode of the Sound Vault: Voices podcast, we join residents of the civil parish of Yateley in north-east Hampshire, as they revive the ancient custom of “Beating The Bounds” of the parish.

The event took place on Rogation Sunday  (29th April, 2018), and as well as explaining the history behind the custom, and talking to some of the organisers and participants, the podcast captures a soundscape of the walk – footsteps, birds, water, breeze, urban and country life and other interventions.

Join us as we walk through avenues and alleyways (many lined with bluebells); alongside and through common land, farmland and heath; across runways and between gorse; along and over ponds, lakes and tracks – and a railway line and a river.  And past many people’s homes.

Listen out for some of our favourite sounds at around 19m 57s (bird song at the the bottom of Fry’s Lane); 20m 51s (the faster flowing river under the bridge at Mill Lane); 26m 41s (the railings and the buzz of the electricity pylons near Moulsham Lane), 29m 25s (runways and gorse); and 29m 38s (flying machines – insects, and what for me is one of the signature sounds of Yateley, small planes flying above Blackbushe Airport).

One of the groups of walks before heading off from the Darby Green Centre. Credit: Andy Teo.
The Mayors of Yateley (Tony Spencer) and neighbouring Sandhurst (Hazel Hill) officially get the “Beating The Bounds” walk under way. Credit: Paul Simpson.
Well known to residents of Yateley from his appearances on social media, David Roy Moore joins us on the walk – and talks ‘exclusively’ to the podcast! Credit: Paul Simpson.
Pounding the residential streets of Yateley, as well as the greener pockets, all well signposted by the organisers, the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust. Credit: Andy Teo.
Falling behind my group of walkers – but I can always join the next group behind me. Walking alongside the River Blackwater, towards Willow Gardens retirement home. Credit: Paul Simpson.
A favourite Yateley location for photography, and today is no exception – Swan Lakes. Credit: Andy Teo.
Beating The Bounds is not all about trees and rivers. I hadn’t seen this before. It was like something out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but it was more likely something to do with being on the site for the former Hall Aggregates/cement site. Credit: Paul Simpson.
The sound of the fast flowing flowing river, by the bridge on Mill Lane. Credit: Paul Simpson.
Looking back across the River Blackwater, from the Sandhurst side, back into the more ornamental river bank in Yateley. Credit: Paul Simpson.
The River Blackwater in all its glory – playing a major part in the walk. Credit: Paul Simpson.
The boundary gets quite moist as we approach Moor Green Lake. Credit: Paul Simpson.
The path gets very muddy at Moor Green lakes. Credit: Paul Simpson.
The view across Moor Green lake, out towards Finchampstead. Credit: Paul Simpson.
Back across the bridge over the River Blackwater, into Yateley again. Keep following the signs! Credit: Paul Simpson.
The huge electricity pylons as we head back to Moulsham Lane. If you listen carefully, we pick them up on our soundscape. Credit: Paul Simpson.
We capture the sound of the railings, as we ‘Beat the Bounds’ near Moulsham Lane. Credit: Paul Simpson.
Bluebells line the path behind West Green, as we walk up between Reading Road, and Firgrove Road. Credit: Paul Simpson.
More blooms line the path as we approach Firgrove Road, and the border with Eversley parish. Credit: Paul Simpson.
We approach the border with Eversley, as we start to head up from Firgrove Road, towards Castle Bottom. Credit: Paul Simpson.
The walk crosses the runway at Blackbushe. Credit: Andy Teo.
Walking with attitude across the runway at Blackbushe. Credit: Andy Teo.
Across Yateley Common – one of my favourite places. Credit: Andy Teo.
Down a track from the Common. Credit: Andy Teo.
Heading back towards Darby Green – one of the tracks back down from the Common. Credit: Andy Teo.
Walkers ‘Beat The Bounds’ at the border with Blackwater. Credit: Andy Teo.
Crossing over the river and the railway line. Credit: Andy Teo.
Up and over the river and the railway line. Credit: Andy Teo.
The end is in sight. Credit: Andy Teo.

A big thank you to the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust for organising the event, and giving us permission to record the podcast; to Tony Spencer (the Mayor of Yateley) for the original idea to record the soundscape (and for much of the information contained within it), and to Andy Teo, for his permission to use many of his photographs. While recording the soundscape, a lot of participants mentioned the Yateley Walking Group, so it only seemed fair to give them a ‘plug’ too.

Karen (Spirit Rescuer & Barber): Voices 006

In this episode of the Sound Vault: Voices podcast, we feature Karen, whose day job is as a barber, but who in her spare time, is a ‘spirit rescuer‘.

Karen at work, about to cut Paul from Sound Vault’s hair.

Capturing the soundscape while at work at Kerrie’s Barbers in Yateley with scissors, electric shavers and hair dryers, Karen discusses what led her to discover her calling.

She discusses what the practice entails, as she describes it, “communicating with spirits who are stuck between realms, and have been unable to move on to the other side.”  Often, Karen says the spirits do not know it, and as a result, are causing distress to others in their mortal lives.

Karen (left) pictured at The Kingsley Hotel, Eversley, Hampshire.

Karen explains how she has practiced her ‘spirit rescue’ work in private houses, pubs, and hotels throughout the Surrey/Hampshire/Berkshire border area – even just out and about.  She recounts one extraordinary occurrence at the lake at Virginia Water.

Karen explains that her over-riding aim is to bring people peace of mind when she works with them, and when she works in a healing capacity, peace and balance.

Stained Glass Window: Voices 005

In this episode of Sound Vault: Voices, Dr David Lister explains what has led him to seek support for a new stained glass window for St. Mary’s Church in Eversley, Hampshire, the design of which he has personally conceived. A fascinating insight into an often overlooked subject.

Dr. Lister’s sketch of his design for the proposed new stained glass window at St. Mary’s Church. Credit: ©️ Dr. David Lister (2018)

He expands on some of the central themes behind the design, which he first explored in a podcast last year about his life, called ‘The Particular‘. These are, the importance of being able to recognise what love is really about; celebrating the transformative beauty of love, and emphasising the importance of God’s love too.

Dr. Lister was moved to share his ideas for the design for a new stained glass window through a podcast, when his last one managed to reach a couple he hadn’t seen for fifty years!  As he recounts at the end of this podcast, they gave up trying to make contact thirty years ago, and then along came his last podcast, which gave them the clues needed to track him down!  It also underlined the power that podcasts can have!

The inspiration behind the lower portion of the proposed design: Fra Angelico, Annunciation. Credit: carulmare, CC BY 2.0.

If the proposed design is approved, it would take its place in one of the windows at St. Mary’s Church, Eversley, where Charles Kingsley was once rector for 31 years between 1844-1875.  Dr. David Lister is part of a group planning to put on a festival in 2019 to mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Kingsley’s birth.

St. Mary’s Church, Eversley, where the window would be. By Elisa.rolle – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57796499

Obviously, if Dr. Lister’s proposal were to get the ‘green light’, it would be professionally designed and built, based on his initial drawings.  But he is very keen to know what you think, particularly if you live in Eversley and the surrounding local area.

Take a listen to what he has to say on the podcast.

  • What do you think about his idea for the design?
  • What do you think about what he has to say about the concept of the beauty of love, and the importance of God’s love?

If you feel his idea is worth supporting, and would like to see a new stained glass window at St Mary’s Church, Eversley, he would love to hear from you via email.

  • You can contact him via palgrave@waitrose.com

Music credits:

“O Magnum Mysterium”, Composer: William Byrd; Performer: Ensembles Morales;  via MusOpen, under CC BY 3.0.

An alternative version, performed by the Nordic Chamber Choir, which inspired Dr Lister to include it as a backing track in this podcast because of the Nordic resonances in his life, can be found in the YouTube clip below:

Fan’s Eye Radio (World Radio Day 2018): Voices 004

In a special podcast for World Radio Day 2018 called Fan’s Eye RadioKevin Rye takes a look at the exponential growth in fan-driven radio and podcasting at a more grassroots level in football.

Fan engagement campaigner/consultant, and Wimbledon fan, Kevin Rye.

Some stations are run by volunteers; some have emerged into full-time operations, but either way, they can guarantee a more diverse range of voices are heard when it comes to our football clubs.  They can offer a matchday online operation, as well as connecting a wider group with content for fans from across the world.  Some have become so polished, they can even provide content for mainstream broadcasters.

Radio WDON’s matchday nerve centre.

Kevin interviews Mikey T of Radio WDON (at supporter-run Wimbledon) and Ben Hughes of FCUM Radio (of supporter-run FC United of Manchester) for an insight into the growth of such grassroots stations.

View from the pressbox at Wimbledon for the match against Northampton Town.

As well as such initiatives at the grassroots of the games, fans of bigger clubs are also ensuring a more diverse range of voices are being heard using fan-run podcasts too.

View of the stadium – for now – at Wimbledon. Photo Credit: Kevin Rye.

Kevin Rye started going to football matches at the age of five when Wimbledon FC first entered the League in the 1970s.  Decades later, he was part of the Wimbledon Independent Supporters’ Association (WISA) which tried to save, and then resurrected Wimbledon’s favourite club – AFC Wimbledon as it became.  In his professional life, he has worked for many years, helping supporters and clubs to build better relationships.

Kevin is a Sound Vault contributor, and lives locally in Surrey.

This podcast is one of three special shows made for Sound Vault to mark World Radio Day 2018.  The theme this year is ‘Radio and Sports‘, and in particular, issues associated with diversity in sports coverage, coverage of traditional and grassroots games, and helping people reconnect with their cultural heritage.

Sound effects credits:

Whistle from SpliceSound, via Freesound (under CC0 1.0 Public Domain)

Others self recorded at the match – and from www.freesfx.co.uk – with thanks.

Campaign Slam Dunk (World Radio Day 2018): Voices 003

In a special podcast for World Radio Day 2018, sixth form student Michael Chacko reflects on the importance of sport to our cultural and civic life by sharing the story of why he and a group of friends decided to launch – and how they won – the campaign for a basketball court in their local community in Yateley, Hampshire.

For the love of basketball.

A keen sports player – whether football, badminton or basketball for example – he used insights he gained in part as a Member of the UK Youth Parliament between 2015-2017 as he helped mobilise the campaign to secure a new sporting civic resource.

Coverage on the campaign at the time in the local News & Mail.

Although born in the UK, Michael has Indian and German parents, which has given him a personal angle on diversity issues.

Hold the front page! Ben, Michael & James make the cover of the local News & Mail at the time of the campaign.

Michael – aka ‘Chack’ – is a founding Sound Vault contributor, and a 6th form student in Yateley, Hampshire.  He made a four part history of rap for Sound Vault, ‘Tracks with Chack‘.

This podcast is one of three special shows made for Sound Vault to mark World Radio Day 2018.  The theme this year is ‘Radio and Sports‘, and in particular, issues associated with diversity in sports coverage, coverage of traditional and grassroots games, and helping people reconnect with their cultural heritage.

Sound effects credits:

Whistle from SpliceSound, via Freesound (under CC0 1.0 Public Domain)

Additional self-recorded – and from www.freesfx.co.uk – with thanks.

A Kick In The Family (World Radio Day 2018): Voices 002

In a special podcast for World Radio Day 2018, children’s storyteller Gilly Stewart discovers the part that football has played in her own family’s cultural heritage when she tells the story of making the difficult decision to track down her birth family in the 1980s, only to discover her paternal grandfather, Tom Perry (and two of his brothers) played for West Bromwich Albion in the 1890s.

“That’s him!” Gilly’s grand-father, West Bromwich Albion’s Tom Perry.

Gilly believes it might go some way to explain why she was so keen to join the boys’ football team at college for a kick-about, but with diversity less embraced on the pitch than it is today, deliberate fouling to keep her off the pitch, and her own concern to stay ‘injury-free’ for her other love, dancing, meant she had to give up the football.

Storyteller Gilly Stewart.

If Gilly had been born today, might she have been more likely to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and play at Wembley, but for West Bromwich Albion FC Women?

Gilly is a founding contributor at Sound Vault, and lives in Farnham, Surrey.  Her regular podcast is called Tale Waves.

This podcast is one of three special shows made for Sound Vault to mark World Radio Day 2018.  The theme this year is ‘Radio and Sports‘, and in particular, issues associated with diversity in sports coverage, coverage of traditional and grassroots games, and helping people reconnect with their cultural heritage.

Sound effects credits:

Whistle from SpliceSound, via Freesound (under CC0 1.0 Public Domain)

Crowd noises from paulw2k, via Freesound (under Creative Commons CC BY 3.0)

Others from www.freesfx.co.uk – with thanks.

Christmas Carol Crawl: Voices 001

Episode 1 of ‘Sound Vault: Voices‘ captures the Councillors’ Charity Carol Crawl 2017 around the seven pubs of the civic parish of Yateley, in the NE corner of Hampshire, raising money for the Yateley Town Mayor’s Charity for 2017-18, community transport service YelaBus.

The podcast follows the Mayor (Tony Spencer), the Town Clerk (Jane Biscombe), members of the Yateley Choral Society, and town councillors who joined them en-route as they sung carols, and delivered recitations at each of the pubs.  To provide added interest, the podcast provides a brief snapshot of the history of each of the pubs.

The first stop was The Anchor, on Vigo Lane in Yateley, where “I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In” and “Deck The Halls” were sung, and the Mayor read “Santa’s Sack”.

The second stop was The Ely, on the A30 London Road, where “The Holly and The Ivy” and “Away In A Manger” were sung, and the Mayor read “A Donkey’s Christmas”.

The third stop was The Bell, on Frogmore Green, where “Ding Dong Merrily On High” and “Silent Night, Holy Night” were sung, and the Mayor read “Little Lost Fairy”.

The fourth stop was The Cricketers, on Cricket Hill Green, where “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night” and “The First Noel” were sung, and the Mayor read “Sleepy Little Shepherd Boy”.

The fifth stop was the Royal Oak, on Reading Road, where “We Three Kings of Orient Are” and “Once In Royal David’s City” were sung, and the Mayor read “The Christmas Tree”.

The sixth and penultimate stop was the White Lion, at the junction of Reading Road and Village Way, where “Good King Wenceslas” and “God Rest You Merry Gentlemen” were sung, and the Mayor read “Quality Street”.

The seventh and final stop was the Dog and Partridge on Church End Green, where “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree”, “Silent Night” and a special version of “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night” were sung, and the Mayor read “When Vicar Put on’t Live Nativity”.

On the night, £338 was raised for YelaBus, and if this podcast has helped provide some festive cheer, please consider donating to YelaBus, via Yateley Town Council’s offices, next to The Tythings on Yateley Green.

Fundraising for such community transport provision has become vital following Hampshire County Council’s recent vote to cut £140 million from it’s annual budget – which will effectively mean no further support for such schemes for the elderly and less able.

Special thanks to the Yateley Society Local History Wiki site, and the research of PJ Tipton, Richard Johnston, and Elizabeth Tipton of the Yateley Society for signposting the history of Yateley’s pubs.

Thanks too for additional background to Greg Bramwell on the history of the White Lion, in ‘Myths and Legends’ in the October 2016 edition of ‘Around Yateley’ magazine.

Sound effects credits: www.freesfx.co.uk