Working Memories Sound Walk


Imagine walking around Frome and hearing the past bought to life in words, sound and music. The Working Memories Sound Walk will be a free smartphone app which will take you on a wonderful walking, aural journey. At various sites in Frome, you will hear stories told by real people sharing real memories in the places where they happened: You might hear the excitement of the Cheese and Grain market, as thousands of cattle arrive and the hawkers and auctioneers call out to sell produce. Or from the old industries at Saxonvale, the girls at Beswick Fuses listening to records played through the factory loud speakers, chatting about nights out and dances as they work. You may hear sounds of Paniccia’s van delivering delicious strawberry and vanilla ice-cream. All this layered with voices from the present describing their lives, hopes and aspirations.

The sound walk will be composed of recordings of local residents collected by Home In Frome during the Working Memories project combined with environmental and industry sounds and new material collected from local people during a free one-day workshop – an opportunity to share a Frome memory or a hope for the future and to get involved in the making of the soundwalk.

We will work with Satsymph, a Bristol-based collective with over 13 years experience in creating geo-located sound walks. Through the use of their cutting edge media platform, fragments of Frome’s oral history will be placed at specific sites on a digital map. These ‘soundpools’ will be activated on your phone as you arrive at the relevant places. You don’t even need a signal – your phone and the app do it all.

A special launch event, including a guided demonstration of the walk, will take place during LISTEN, Black Swan Art’s summer season of sound art.


Title Description Total amount Amount requested
Management costs Coordination 22hr

Evaluation 12hr





Training 0 0
Office costs (rent, telephone etc) Contribution to rent, mobile, internet and supplies 30 0
Sub Total 1050 0
Salaries Satsymph. Running workshops, collating material and

making soundscape app







Expenses (travel etc) Train travel Bristol to Frome. Local fuel costs @40p per mile 189 189
Venue hire 9x£9 81
Materials and equipment 136 136
Publicity Contribution to posters, leaflets, online presence, advertisments 120 0
Volunteer expenses 20 0
Other (please specify) Contribution to HIF public liability insurance 25 0
Sub total
TOTAL 6,846 5,550

Public questions and feedback

Q: Hi how long will the App be ‘live’ for? All summer … forever once down loaded?

Q: Will the Sound walk be a permanent fixture?

A: The app will be available to download indefinitely into the future so people will be able to enjoy the sound walk for years to come.

Q: What is the Home in Frome Working Memories project? Please can you give other examples of what places and stories might be on the app?

Q: What is the Home in Frome Working Memories project? What other kind of stories might be included in the Sound Walk? How can people get involved?

A: Home in Frome Working Memories is a collection of the memories of over 80 Frome people, recorded during 2009-2012, talking about their working lives, homes, social lives and the past industries of Frome. The recordings capture glimpses of housing conditions, shops, employment, markets and schools. They illustrate local life in the decades since the 1930s, including wartime reminiscences, and show the thriving social life which was based on the town’s large employers. The Working Memories stories were also made into a book in 2012. It is available upstairs at the Library in the Local History section.

There are many stories in these recording and we do not yet know which will get used but examples might be the sounds from where the old watch and clock shop was on The Bridge in the 1950’s, or Gwenn Venn’s story of the tank engine pulling up on the line outside her house on Willow Vale and the driver asking her to “mash my tea”, or maybe the roaring furnaces at Singer’s and the pounding foot operated presses.

Satsymph will be running a day workshop which anyone can get involved in. They will be creating sounds to add in to the app and collecting new stories about life in Frome now and into the future. The app will act as a trigger for schools and clubs as well as anyone who uses it to explore Frome’s history and stories in greater depth, perhaps using Home in Frome’s new Working Memories website that will be available later in the year. We want the stories to be available to all and the sound walk will be a really fun, social and interesting way to explore them in context.

Q: Will this be accessible to people who don’t own a smartphone?

A: The sound walk app is for use on smartphones. The GPS feature of the smartphone is used to identify the locations where the sounds and stories will be triggered. We appreciate that not everyone uses a smart phone and we will be producing alternative methods by which people can experience the walk.  These may include a written guide and map and a downloadable mp3 version that can be used with ipods and mp3 players. It may also be possible to make pre-loaded mp3 players available for hire during the LISTEN season.  Home in Frome is also creating a new interactive website for Working Memories where many of the stories will be available to listen to. This website should be launched later in the year.