Teaser: The Texture of Air…


The Texture of Air: Impressions of the Eastman Dental and Royal National Throat Nose & Ear Hospitals will be a permanent public art project by On the Record/ScreenDeep. Sign up to our newsletter for more details. All audio will be captioned and have a mix with less music for audiology patients. Site specific music recorded in situ by Nicole Robson.

Sonic Notes from the Grays Inn Road


Two historic London hospitals on the Grays Inn Road are moving to a new site on Huntley Street. We’d like your help creating artworks celebrating staff and patients of the Eastman Dental Hospital & The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital. This project aligns sensory perception with architectural exploration during the hospitals’ last days on the Grays Inn Road.

Sonic Notes begins with behind-the-scenes walking tours of Space Age silence rooms and Art Deco murals, and ends with an installation in the new Huntley Street site (Phase 5). A publication and digital map / archive will delve deeper into the anatomy of the hospitals, and honour the people who make them tick.

The project is led by On the Record CIC & ScreenDeep. It is curated and guided by Guy Noble from UCLH Arts and Heritage. Sonic Noteshas been made possible by funding of £48,762 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and generous support from UCLH Arts and Heritage.


 Staff and patients

If you are a patient, staff member or you run a patient group affected by conditions treated by the hospitals we want to record your memories. We’ll meet you at a place and time convenient to you or invite you for tea and cake at the hospitals in the last week of October.

 We’ll also be turning the techniques used to image patients’ bodies onto the old buildings themselves which have been declared ‘no longer fit for purpose’ – if you’d like to nominate an object from the hospital for a sound or image study, get us in touch and share a story about it.


Potential volunteers

Learn how to make oral histories and ambient recordings and Foley in autumn/winter 2018/2019. This is an opportunity to get hands-on training and work experience with specialist oral history and sound art production companies, and contribute to the creation of a permanent arts and heritage installation. Volunteers should write up to 200 words explaining why they wish to get involved, clearly stating your availability.


Contact Details for Sonic Notes

Laura Mitchison


T: 07787243656

Olivia Bellas


Background on the hospitals

The Eastman Dental Hospital (EDH) (est. 1930) and The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital (RNTNEH) (est. 1874) have been at the forefront of head and neck medicine for the last 150 years. The hospitals have a long tradition of surgical innovation (common surgical instruments are named after former staff) and diagnostics for conditions which resist objective tests (tinnitus, dizziness, trigeminal neuralgia). They have pioneered facial reconstructions for cancer patients, culturally-sensitive oral healthcare, and voice exercises relied on by performers including Lesley Garrett who was treated at the RNTNEH. The specialist expertise of these hospitals fosters a unique culture of care and familiarity between the long-serving staff and their often equally long-standing patients. The RNTNEH is the European centre for audiological research, and its voice clinic is the oldest and largest in the UK.

 About UCLH Arts and Heritage

UCLH Arts and Heritageis committed to providing a welcoming, uplifting environment for all patients, visitors and staff through the use of a varied and stimulating arts and heritage programme. Its work aims to improve patient well-being, boost staff morale, increase engagement with the arts and celebrate the Trust’s unique heritage.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebookand Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.








Portraits from A Hackney Autobiography – new exhibition

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Learning from ‘Doing it Ourselves’

Revealing the History of Walthamstow’s First Neighbourhood Co-operative Nursery

In the 1970s working parents struggled to find places in nurseries for their children. Today’s parents face a different set of challenges, not least the struggle to afford the cost of childcare. At Walthamstow’s First Neighbourhood Co-operative Nursery parents could work at the nursery in exchange for a reduced fee. Parent – members worked together to run the organisation and employ its staff.  The nursery became an important feature of the local community, helping working parents with affordable childcare, while involving them in the education of their children and creating deep, lifelong friendships.

Oral history not-for-profit On the Record has received a £9,600 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Doing It Ourselves: The First Neighbourhood Co-operative Nursery, Walthamstow. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will record the history of this unique parent-led co-operative nursery and drop-in, led by a local parent and ex-member of the nursery, Eva Turner.

In 1977, childcare was a burning issue for working parents. A new toddler drop in was set up at Harmony Hall, Truro Road, E17 which gave space for parents to get together. It wasn’t long before they formed a parent co-operative to establish a nursery for under-fives. They found new premises at Verulam Avenue, Walthamstow, where it was based until the late 1980s. The nursery had a strong focus on innovative pre-school educational methods and provided training and employment opportunities for local parents.

Over the next year “Doing it Ourselves” will be collecting the memories of parents, staff and children involved in the nursery and starting an archive, to be held at Bishopsgate Institute in Liverpool Street. The project will culminate in an exhibition of collected material in local community centre The Mill and hold discussions and workshops, inviting local parents and children to contribute.

If you remember the nursery or are interested in becoming a volunteer researcher, photographer, archivist or in helping with project workshops and exhibitions, or for further information please contact On the Record: rosa@on-the-record.org.uk / 0785 322 8023

Notes for Editors

About Doing it Ourselves

  • Doing it Ourselves is a volunteer-led project supported by On the Record; a non-profit oral history co-operative specialising in amplifying the voices of those who have been hidden from history through workshops, trainings and creative productions, exhibitions, books, radio-shows and audiowalks.


  • Bishopsgate Institute will house the project’s archive. For over 120 years, Bishopsgate Institute has been a home for ideas and debate, learning and enquiry and independent thought.  We offer courses, workshops, talks and tours in subjects as diverse as London history, feminism, languages, Ballroom dancing, film studies, photography and creative writing. Our historic library, special collections and archives cover a variety of topics which explore radical, social, labour, feminist and gay history in London. The Institute is an oasis in the middle of a frantic city which provides you with the rare chance to explore, escape, research or relax.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

  • Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.


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Share your stories about Brompton Cemetery for a podcast series.


Share your Memories of Brompton Cemetery

Share your Memories of Brompton Cemetery



Be part of a new sound archive and podcast series exploring the Life & Death of Brompton Cemetery – one of the magnificent seven.

Call Out for Brompton Cemetery Oral History Volunteers

Brompton Cemetery


A new training opportunity on an exciting project run by our friends at Brompton Cemetery.

We are delighted to have been invited to co-ordinate an oral history project at Brompton Cemetery – the ‘Life and Times of Brompton Cemetery’.  Our friends at Brompton Cemetery have been researching some of the 205,000 people buried in Brompton Cemetery, producing a list of notable highlights, and now wish to explore the living memory of the cemetery. As part of this ‘Life and Times of Brompton Cemetery’, On the Record can offer free oral history training  for volunteers.

The project will involve asking people who have been visiting for years – including LGBTQ groups, families, the ‘Friends of Brompton Cemetery’, wildlife lovers and community groups – about their subjective experiences. We’ll cover changes to the site, the diverse uses of the cemetery over the years and impressions about the future of the cemetery, and other topics decided by the volunteer team. We will be using industry standard audio recording equipment to conduct these oral history interviews with cemetery visitors, past and present.

This opportunity will involve:
– Developing your historical research and media skills.
– Learning about a unique Victorian site.
– Attending participatory training in the method, value, ethics and practicalities of recording oral history interviews to British heritage industry standard on Saturday 10th March and Saturday 7th April.
– Preparing for and recording oral history interviews at a time that is convenient for the interviewee.
– Summarising and archiving oral history interviews (with training and support).

Experience/Qualifications/ Attributes:
– No formal qualifications are required and this opportunity is open to all experience levels
– You will need to have a suitable grasp of English language as all interviews will be conducted in English.
– You do need to be available for the training days unless agreed in advance with Halima.

Lunch and travel (up to £10 per day).

Time Commitment:
All volunteers will need to be available for:
– 2 days training – 10th March and 7th April.
– up to 5 days oral history recording over May/June.
– up to 5 days interview summarising over July/August.
We will have a regular weekly drop-in for oral history volunteers (at a time that suits the majority) at South Lodge, Fulham Rd, Kensington, London SW10 9UG. However, you may need to be a bit flexible as not all oral history interviewees will be available at that time.

How to apply:
If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact the project on bromptonproject@royalparks.org.uk or call Halima Khanom on 0207 352 1060/ 07521 515911. Please state in your email whether you are available for training.

Deadline for applications, March 8th at 12pm. 

Fighting Sus: Youth/Drama Co-ordinator Wanted

Front cover of Talking Blues (1978)

Front cover of Talking Blues (1978)

On the Record is recruiting a freelance Youth Coordinator for their exciting new project Fighting Sus: Resisting and Repealing Stop and Search 1970-81. We are looking for someone with experience of both youth work and drama production.

Download the application documents here and read the project’s press release here.

Please send queries and applications to us at info(at)on-the-record.org.uk

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Hyde Park Soundscape

copyright Moyra and Rodger Peralta



On the Record was asked to create a soundscape for the Royal Parks drawing on the Sounds from the Park archive, which has a permanent and welcoming home at Bishopsgate Institute Library.

Speeches and songs highlight the struggle to win the vote (19th century), student protests (2010), Donald Soper’s anti-nuclear platform (1970s), the Hyde Park Gays and Sapphics (1980s), an Irish heckler discussing the Bible (1990s), Ishmahil Blagrove on racism (1990s) and the women’s march (2017).

Sounds from the Park archive (collected by On the Record at Bishopsgate Institute) with thanks to Philip Wolmuth, Chris Kennett, Paul Kennett and Stef Dickers, Michelle Johansen, Nicola Hilton, Barbara Vesey & Rachel Smith of Bishopsgate Institute.

Additional footage of Women’s March 2017 by Rachel Smith and student protests by David Hardman (“no ifs, no buts, no education cuts”).

Music stems by Isa Suarez



Food Memories & Frontlines: An Oral History Taster

Follow the beat of the bass towards sound systems, street battles and food stories with an oral history Audiowalk and workshop. Learn about Ridley market and surroundings and how to record your own family’s memories using food as a stimulus for storytelling.

Workshop involves walking so wear comfortable shoes. Please contact info@on-the-record.org.uk to book your place (suggested donation 10 pounds, free if you can’t pay). If you have a smart phone, please download the free ‘a hackney autobiography’ app beforehand. Type ‘a hackney autobiography’ into Google Play or Android.

People without smart phones are warmly welcomed and will be accommodated with wireless headphones.


© Joanna Layla

© Joanna Layla

Launch A Hackney Autobiography on 7 May

© Joanna Layla

When: Sunday 7th May, 5 – 7 pm

Where: Sutton House, 2 and 4 Homerton High Street, London E9 6JQ. Map here.
Booking essential. Contact: info@on-the-record.org.uk to reserve your place.

What: hear a roundtable of speakers who are engaged in cultural and community activities in related fields, reflect on the history of Centerprise as re-presented by a hackney autobiography and join the discussion. Receive a free copy of The Lime Green Mystery, preview the app and get help downloading it.

Speakers include: Toyin Agbetu from Ligali, Vivian Archer from Newham Bookshop, Nana Fani Kayode, teacher and radio producer, Gary Molloy from Core Arts, Marie Murray from Dalston Eastern Curve Garden and representatives from the Young Historians’ Project.

Before the party, there’s a unique chance to preview Inside Out Homerton – one of the audiowalks featured on the app, as a group. Meet at 3:30 at Homerton station. To book a place on the Inside Out Homerton audiowalk, please contact us by 21 April. Later bookings will be accepted if places remain available.People who don’t like smart phones are welcome!

Event organised in collaboration with Pages bookshop.

Pre-order your free copy of The Lime Green Mystery: An oral history of the Centerprise co-operative now, by emailing us with your address.  Limited numbers available, pre-ordering is encouraged to avoid disappointment. Donations to cover the cost of postage appreciated but not essential.

The app and website is at https://www.ahackneyautobiography.org.uk/

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