Watch This Space offer a uniquely atmospheric interpretation of heritage spaces through events, audio tours and installations

Leicester Cultural Quarter

DATE: 2008
GENRE: Audio tour
STATUS: Current


Using a map and an audio player, participants take an audio tour down the side streets of Leicester's past. Combining historical research, interviews with local people, original writing and a lush soundscape, the Cultural Quarter Audio Trail investigates the past, present and future of Leicester's blossoming cultural quarter.

The Cultural Quarter Audio Trail, like all Watch This Space projects, is a site specific piece that presents the area's history and atmosphere in a new and contemporary way. Each project requires extensive research. Local people are interviewed. Sights and sounds unique to the place are recorded and replayed. Historical archives are investigated. Intriguing stories are discovered and pursued.

During the Cultural Quarter research period the WTS team visited a Secular Society open day and explored The Leicester Mercury Archive. Interviews were recorded with retired textile workers, reggae musicians and former teddy boys. The roar of textile machinery was captured and a book about The Guild Of Disabled revealed a local woman's inspiring journey from a spinal carriage to independence.

Exciting stylistic effects, parallels and contrasts emerged during the making of the Cultural Quarter Audio Trail. A cacophony of voices listing buildings, businesses and streets recreates the vibrancy of the textile era. A disabled woman's life is presented parallel with the history of the organisation that helped her. The sound of a practising opera singer overlaps with a swing band to recreate the excitement of a Friday night in the 50's. The Cultural Quarter Audio Trail balances accurate historical research with innovation and human interest to create a work that offers an intriguing insight into the area's forgotten stories.

To connect to the CQART audio tour site and download media (map & audio tracks) please follow this link...