Sound Vault: Voices (07)

Beating The Bounds

In this episode of the Sound Vault: Voices podcast, we join residents of the civil parish of Yateley in north-east Hampshire, as they revive the ancient custom of “Beating The Bounds” of the parish.

The event took place on Rogation Sunday  (29th April, 2018), and as well as explaining the history behind the custom, and talking to some of the organisers and participants, the podcast captures a soundscape of the walk – footsteps, birds, water, breeze, urban and country life and other interventions.

Join us as we walk through avenues and alleyways (many lined with bluebells); alongside and through common land, farmland and heath; across runways and between gorse; along and over ponds, lakes and tracks – and a railway line and a river.  And past many people’s homes.

Listen out for some of our favourite sounds at around 19m 57s (bird song at the the bottom of Fry’s Lane); 20m 51s (the faster flowing river under the bridge at Mill Lane); 26m 41s (the railings and the buzz of the electricity pylons near Moulsham Lane), 29m 25s (runways and gorse); and 29m 38s (flying machines – insects, and what for me is one of the signature sounds of Yateley, small planes flying above Blackbushe Airport).

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Group of walkers before heading off from Darby Green Centre. Credit: Andy Teo.

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The Mayors of Yateley (Tony Spencer) and neighbouring Sandhurst (Hazel Hill) officially get the “Beating The Bounds” walk under way. Credit: Paul Simpson.

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Well known to residents of Yateley from his appearances on social media, David Roy Moore joins us on the walk – and talks ‘exclusively’ to the podcast! Credit: Paul Simpson.

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Pounding the residential streets of Yateley, as well as the greener pockets, all well signposted by the organisers, the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust. Credit: Andy Teo.

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Falling behind my group of walkers – but I can always join the next group behind me. Walking alongside the River Blackwater, towards Willow Gardens retirement home. Credit: Paul Simpson.

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A favourite Yateley location for photography, and today is no exception – Swan Lakes. Credit: Andy Teo.

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Beating The Bounds is not all about trees and rivers. I hadn’t seen this before. It was like something out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but it was more likely something to do with being on the site for the former Hall Aggregates/cement site. Credit: Paul Simpson.

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The sound of the fast flowing flowing river, by the bridge on Mill Lane. Credit: Paul Simpson.

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Looking back across the River Blackwater, from the Sandhurst side, back into the more ornamental river bank in Yateley. Credit: Paul Simpson.

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We approach the border with Eversley, as we start to head up from Firgrove Road, towards Castle Bottom. Credit: Paul Simpson.

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The walk crosses the runway at Blackbushe. Credit: Andy Teo.

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Walking with attitude across the runway at Blackbushe. Credit: Andy Teo.

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Across Yateley Common – one of my favourite places. Credit: Andy Teo.

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Down a track from the Common. Credit: Andy Teo.

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Heading back towards Darby Green – one of the tracks back down from the Common. Credit: Andy Teo.

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Walkers ‘Beat The Bounds’ at the border with Blackwater. Credit: Andy Teo.

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Crossing over the river and the railway line. Credit: Andy Teo.

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Up and over the river and the railway line. Credit: Andy Teo.

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The end is in sight. Credit: Andy Teo.

A big thank you to the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust for organising the event, and giving us permission to record the podcast; to Tony Spencer (the Mayor of Yateley) for the original idea to record the soundscape (and for much of the information contained within it), and to Andy Teo, for his permission to use many of his photographs. While recording the soundscape, a lot of participants mentioned the Yateley Walking Group, so it only seemed fair to give them a ‘plug’ too.

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