[East Midlands Oral History Archive logo]

Affective Digital Histories

[link to: search][skip navigation menu]








The Sounds of Leicester's Cultural Quarter

Affective Digital Histories was a research project investigating how community ties and bonds have changed, and continue to change, through periods of decline and regeneration of urban landscapes in some of Britain's post-industrial towns and cities. The archival materials that document these changes can be difficult to access and are currently scattered in different places. The University of Leicester was awarded a number of research grants to do the work of collecting, analysing and digitising the data that exists.

As part of this project Colin Hyde and Dr. Andrew Hill of De Montfort University, with the help of volunteers, recorded sounds and then created soundscapes in the Cultural Quarter. Two drop in sessions were held at Phoenix Cinema and Arts Centre on Thursday March 27th 2014 and Thursday April 3rd 2014 to highlight the archive material, which is linked to below.

Forty years ago the Cultural Quarter was a very different place. It hummed with the sound of hosiery machinery and the bustle of industry; the NCP car park was Leicester’s wholesale market; the LCB Depot was a bus depot; Athena was the Odeon cinema; most of the blocks of flats in the area were factories or warehouses. Over the years the sights, sounds and smells of the area have changed dramatically. We wanted to record how people feel about this area and how this might have changed over time - what sounds could you hear then and how does this compare with what you can hear today?

We were particularly interested in the sights, sounds and smells of the 1970s-1990s but welcomed hearing from people with memories from any era.

This project was part of ‘Affective Digital Histories’, a project being run from 1st October 2013 to 31st March 2015 by the University of Leicester with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

The Sounds of the Cultural Quarter app can be downloaded from here:


This was the information pack for anyone who wanted to take part -

The Sounds of the Cultural Quarter Information Pack.pdf (370kb)

Other resouces

The project website:


Photographs, press clippings, documents etc. about the Cultural Quarter can be found on the My Leicestershire History website:


Maps and a history of the area can be found on this City Council page about the St George’s conservation area, which is similar to the Cultural Quarter:


Look for more information about Leicester's industrial past on My Leicestershire History: http://leicester.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/


More information about the project on the University website - http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/management/research/affective/affective

Leicester City Council's Cultural Quarter webpages - http://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council-services/lc/culturalquarter/

The Phoenix website - http://phoenix.org.uk/

Dr Andrew Hill - http://www.ahillav.co.uk/

For further information contact:

Colin Hyde, East Midlands Oral History Archive.
0116 2525065

Logos for Affective Digital Histories partners



Last updated: 05/12/15
East Midland Oral History Archive Web maintainer
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.

Valid HTML 4.01!