An arrangement of sounds from Croydon’s wonderful fruit and veg market. There has been a market in Surrey Street since the 13th century.
Hear the sounds
I first discovered Surrey Street Market when I was taken there by Mary Webb and Jenny Gunston from Croydon Clocktower Museum. We were investigating the sounds of Croydon as part of a community arts project. I was so struck by the cries of the market sellers, I decided to make a return visit and collect some sounds for my own archive. In Christmas 2006, I put these sounds together to make a short soundpiece, celebrating the sounds of that market.
I visited the market with my good friend Rachel Attmere and the stall holders were very friendly, once they realised I was holding a microphone and not a bugging device from the council! When the trader calls ‘Two scrubbers for a pound’, he was looking at us and smiling.
We’re very fortunate in Britain to be able to find such a wealth of beautiful sounds on our doorstep – sounds that are deeply rooted in the history of this island and the various cultures who settled here over centuries. We can be too ready to jump on an aeroplane in search of the exotic, forgetting there are many sublime and curious sounds on our own doorstep. Er, I suppose that’s my contribution to the debate, against the building of the Third Runway at Heathrow (a project which is pure folly, given the scientific consensus on the contribution of air travel to global warming).