25 Jun 2012

Save the endangered Cockney with Collins

London tradition dictates that to qualify as a true Cockney, babies should be born within earshot of the bells of St Mary-le-Bow Church, Cheapside. However, a new sound mapping study reveals that no London babies are now born within the sound of the Bow Bells.

To mark the publication of the new Times Atlas of London the Collins team commissioned leading acoustic consultants 24Acoustics to produce a new sound map of London to establish how far the sound of the famous ‘Bow Bells’ reaches in 2012 compared to 150 years ago.
The analysis reveals that the zone within earshot of the Bow Bells has shrunk significantly since 1851 when the famous church bells - known to children the world-over for inspiring Dick Whittington ‘to turn again’ - could be heard from the City of London across Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets and into parts of Camden, Southwark, Newham and Waltham Forest.
In 2012, it is shown that the chimes of St Mary-le-Bow are only audible across a small patch covering just the City and Shoreditch, in which no maternity wards are located. The BBC and Wired have already mentioned this story, more coverage is expected. 
To help save the Cockney and celebrate the role of the chimes throughout London’s history Collins – with the kind permission of St Mary-le-Bow Church – has made an MP3 recording of the famous Bow Bells available for download. This means that anyone with internet access can, at the vital moment, hit play and have their child born a Cockney, whether they enter the world in Camden, Colchester, or Calcutta.
And if you don’t Adam and Eve it then go and have a butcher’s at our Times World Atlases news article.
By Emma Potter

The Times Atlas of London - Souvenir Edition
Win a smallcarBIGCITY Italian Job Tour of London
A Guide to London 1908

1 comment:

  1. Whilst there may no longer be maternity wards within the curtailed coverage of the St Mary le Bow church bells, I feel sure that the opportunity for births to occur within this region, but not in a maternity wards, can still arise. Emergencies and accidents do happen.

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