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The Holbrook Sound Project: 
Exploring the changing sounds of village life 

Some of the sounds we have collected so far

Below are the sounds we associate with Holbrook. Some come from Warrenton's book and some from your suggestions.

Do you have any more information about the sounds Warrenton Page mentions in his biography such as:

  • What was the make and model of the mill engine? 

  • When did the blacksmith close?

  • What tune did Dilla Stiff play on his bugle five mornings a week?

 

You can use the contact form to add information to the sounds below

If you spot an error, or have more information about one of the sounds below, please use the contact form above and I will update the sound!

Holbrook Mill

Sound Description: On most days the 'putta-putta-put' of the gas engine at the mill could be heard from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Date: Pre 1926 (the year the mill closed) 

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4MbVHY7bJo or 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-9WC20YiwM (might be too large an engine?)

The Wheelwright

Sound Description: Hammering, sawing and shaping wood and the hissing of water on shrinking metal.

I believe that the Wheelwright operated out of a building next to the smithy.

 

More information needed

Date: 

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound:

Horse Worker

Sound Description: The horses were guided by verbal instructions, as well as by reins, namely 'Cupee-wee' meant go to the left, 'Gr Wherr-ee' to the right, and the well known 'Whoa'a there' meant stop. 

Date: Linked to mechanised farm machinery? When did the horses vanish?

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound:

Horses Ploughing with Roger Clark in Suffolk, 1998

Hob-Nail Boots

Sound Description: 

As there were very few machines around, it was possible to hear the footsteps of the workmen with their heavy footwear, going to and from work. One pensioner (Abraham Stiff) who was bedridden, would guess, mostly correctly, who was passing his house, by the particular 'step'

Date: 

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound:

Stutton School Bell

Sound Description: If the clock on Stutton School was heard striking, it was considered a sure sign of rain approaching. 

Date: 

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound:

The Sound of Pigeons

Sound Description: Growing up in The Street, my bedroom overlooked the village hall green. My sound is that of the wood pigeons cooing in the mornings when I woke up. Years later I now live in a different part of the village but still hear the pigeons in the mornings. Sounds like home!

Date: Within the last 100 years

Source: Website submission

Possible similar sound:

Dilla Stiff's Bugle & Percy Abbot's Whistle

Sound Description: At about 9 a.m. on five mornings a week the bugle of 'Dilla' Stiff could be heard, and at 1 p.m. Percy Abbott blew his whistle, and those people who required goods from Ipswich would give their order to o n e of these two carriers.

Date: 

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound:

Waterside Works

Sound Description: When the wind was in the right direction the hooter or bell at Waterside Works could be heard distinctly. It sounded several times during the day, but at 7.45 a.m. people took special note of it as it was accepted as Greenwich time. and workmen would set their watches at the correct time.

Where is this?

Date: 

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound:

Church Bells [Practice]

Sound Description: which were rung for each Service, every Sunday, and for practice for 11⁄2 hours on a Monday evening. 

Date: 

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound: Present day bell-ringing practice now takes place on a Tuesday

Ice Cream Van

Sound Description: "I also remember the sound of the ice cream van that used to visit Clench Road playing Greensleaves."

Note: I think that all Mr Whippy vans played Greensleaves as a standard song, but that other operators also used the tune once it was popular.

Date: 1980s?

Source: Facebook

Possible similar sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ys8CVn4nDBs 

Combine Harvisters

Sound Description:

Date: 

Source: Facebook

Possible similar sound:

Helicopters

Sound Description: the helicopters overhead - coastguard but also we used to get the bigger sea kings come over I think possibly to RHS when royals visited?

Also link in Apache and - Chinook + Princess Anne landing on the Academy playing Field.

Date: ?

Source: Facebook

Possible similar sound:

The Hunt

Sound Description: years ago you would hear all the horses and dogs coming up the road and we would stand at the edge of the primary school field and watch the fox hunt go past!

Date: 1980s?

Source: Facebook

Possible similar sound:

Alton Water Construction

Sound Description: I can remember the noises from the reservoir construction.

Link to other large building work (RHS+ what?)

Date: 

Source: Facebook

Possible similar sound:

Animal Sounds

Sound Description: 

Note: MS needs to decide how to show all the different animal sounds suggested

Date: 

Source: Facebook

Possible similar sound:

???

Sound Description:

Date: 

Source: 

Possible similar sound:

???

Sound Description:

Date: 

Source: 

Possible similar sound:

The Blacksmith

Sound Description: '... at intervals throughout the day the pleasant ringing sound of the Blacksmith's hammer on the anvil could be heard by people in the near vicinity.'

 

Hammer on anvil, bellows, fire crackling, water hissing, horses, workers.

What other sounds do blacksmith's make? When did the smithy on Church Hill close?

 

Date: Smithy shown on 1904 map, but not on 1924 map.

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound -

Heavy Horses

Sound Description: The sound of horses' hooves on the picked stoned roads was quite common, and sometimes very interesting: each horse or pony had a distinctive step, especially when trotting. The heavy horses which pulled the waggons loaded with corn etc.

 

Heavy hooves on the rough road, cart wheels, animal noises

Date: 

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound:

Ransomes' Engine

Sound Description: First came a 'Ransome' Steam Traction Engine, pulling at threshing box or drum, and then followed an Elevator or Straw Pitcher. All three vehicles had heavy iron wheels and were without any kind of springs [...] when the threshing box had been 'set' along side a corn stack, more pleasant humming sounds could be heard, as the grain was separated from the straw.

Date: 

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound: 

Thresher and engine

Ransomes 'Enterprise' on road 

A Threshing Mill arrives on a farm

Brantham Xylonite Works

Sound Description: If the wind blew from the opposite [South West] direction, the hooter at Brantham Xylonite Works could be heard,

This is 4.2 miles away from Holbrook. What does this tell us about the ambient sound levels of the village at this time?

Date: The factory opened in 1887 & closed in 2007

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound:

Holbrook School Bell

Sound Description: In School Term time the bell at the village school could be heard at 8.45 a.m., 8.55 a.m., 1.45 p.m. and 1.55 p.m. reminding parents, as well as children, that it was time for lessons. One has to bear in mind the fact that very few cottagers had reliable time pieces, and so the schoolmaster was anxious to help the scholars arrive on time.

Date: 

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound:

Cattawade Train

Sound Description:  If the wind blew from the opposite direction, the hooter at Brantham Xylonite Works could be heard, as well as the roar of the trains going over Cattawade Bridges. 

Date: 

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound:

Church Bells [Death]

Sound Description: One of the bells was used to inform the Village of a death. It would toll at intervals of three minutes, for an hour. I believe it was three pulls for a man, two pulls for a woman, and one for a child. The’ death’ bell was also tolled at the time of a burial. It began to toll about an hour before the time fixed for the Church Service. This was a signal for the villagers to draw blinds as a mark of respect for the deceased. On arrival of the cortege at the Church, the bell was silent until the end of the Service. It was then tolled until the procession reached the graveside.

Date: 

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound:

Church Bells [General]

Sound Description: which were rung for each Service, every Sunday, and for practice for 11⁄2 hours on a Monday evening. 

Dennis Wombwell rang the bells on wedding days in the 1970s/80s/90s.

Date: 

Source: Warrenton Page book and Facebook

Possible similar sound:

Butchers

Sound Description: As each butcher killed, on the premises, the animals which supplied the meat for the shops, some very distressing noises were often heard.

 

Pig killing probably caused the greatest concern, and as I lived near to the slaughterhouse at Reed House I have vivid memories of the piercing shrieks that could be heard at killing time. The mournful blare of the bullocks, and the continuous bleating of the sheep was sure evidence of their unnatural surroundings.

Date: 

Source: Warrenton Page book

Possible similar sound:

Air Raid Siren/Fire Brigade

Sound Description:

We used to have an air raid siren to call the firemen down to the station or at the side of the village hall before the station was built I believe, I think it was a green goddess as well, you could hear it for miles around.

In the 60's siren in the RHS clock tower that would summon the fireman to the fire station, most of them worked for the school's works department at the time.

Date: When RHS under construction to 1960s?

Source: Facebook

Possible similar sound: Discussion in Parliament in 1946 about the use of sirens to call part-time firemen https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/1946-10-09/debates/c7979a66-558b-42fc-b3c9-6f2a7495c7dd/AirRaidSirens(UseAsFireAlarms)

Coal Delivery

Sound Description: the lorry coming down the road with the bags of coal on the back & getting the coal scuttle ready in the passage out the back once the coal shed had been replenished

I remember the old coal man’s truck arriving too. He’d flip the full heavy sacks off the truck onto his back and walk them to our coal sheds. I remember the sound of the coal being poured into our shed, one sack at a time…

Date: 

Source: Facebook

Possible similar sound:

Sporting Sounds

Sound Description: Monday Club after school - at the clunk of rounders bats on the village hall green

Date: 1980s

Source: Facebook

Possible similar sound:

Children Playing

Sound Description: My children paddling in the puddle that formed at the bottom of Clench Road 

the swing chains clattering, creaky see-saw joints and the VERY creaky stand-on round about that was well overdue an oiling! 

Date: 

Source: Facebook

Possible similar sound:

Sweet Shop

Sound Description: The rustle of Small paper bags being opened by ‘Madders’ ready to scoop in our Ha’ Penny sweet mix 

Date: 

Source: Facebook

Possible similar sound:

Choir 

Sound Description: The sound of the choir singing. Under Marion Godley. Nothing better than a choir in All Saints Church. Every Sunday. Was beautiful.

Date: ?

Source: Website Submission

Possible similar sound:

???

Sound Description:

Date: 

Source: 

Possible similar sound:

???

Sound Description:

Date: 

Source: 

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