Making Noises for Sound Effects.

They say the pictures are better on radio. That’s why I’m making noises for sound effects. I’m putting more sounds into By The Way stories. It’s all about helping to create the environment where the dialogue takes place and to immerse my listener in the story. I know it’s an indulgence, but here’s how I put together 14 seconds of audio to convey the horror of a gas attack during the Great War. The attack recounted took place at Reningelst on 18 April 1918.

The image is of a Gas Rattle similar to the one used to warn soldiers that a gas attack was underway. No one could blow a whistle while wearing a gas helmet.

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Hill 60 on the Western Front.

Here’s a bit of Extra Information about Hill 60 on the Western Front near Ypres. Hugh, the 20 year old Gunner Graham, was a Scottish soldier in the Royal Garrison Artillery who was awarded the Military Medal in 1918. This bit of his story is too good to bin. I’ve been able to include more of the fascinating research than would have fitted in the original script, which is why I dropped the scene. Here it is as an Extra Information short.

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Gunner Graham

Gunner Graham in RGA uniform before he was mobilised

Gunner Graham was an extraordinary Scottish soldier in the Royal Garrison Artillery during WW1. He had just turned 20 years old when he was decorated for gallantry in 1918 with the Military Medal. The Medal represents a level of valour in combat only surpassed by that for the Victoria Cross. As an enlisted man Gunner Graham didn’t qualify for the Military Cross, which was reserved for officers at the time.  Listen to the story of his medal and how he overcame the endemic discrimination of the establishment.

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Arranach

Angus Adamson is an Arranach. He was born and brought-up on Arran. We recorded a conversation the last week I lived there and it was a delight to hear the story of his connection to the island, its people and how he’s served the community in one way or another all his working days. Angus has been a mechanic, a fire-fighter and a Church of Scotland Minister. There are only two characters in this story. You’ll hear only two voices – Angus and the island of Arran. Angus and I spoke in his front room, but the island speaks through the sounds of wild-track I’ve recorded in the environment over the years. 

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AUOB Glasgow

80 thousand people braved torrential rain

Over 80 thousand people endured a downpour of biblical proportions when they attended the AUOB (All Under One Banner) procession in Glasgow on Saturday, 11 January (Please remember that date. It’s important at the end of the piece). It’s testament to their strength of feeling that so many walked happily from Kelvingrove to Glasgow Green to show their support for Scotland’s right to choose its own destiny. This is a soundscape of the day with a completely partisan collection of soundbites (well, they would be).

By The Way Podcast

Welcome to By The Way: true stories, unsolicited opinion and extra information from around Scotland. JB is the host and producer of By The Way, a podcast he makes in the heart of Perthshire; Scotland’s Big Tree Country.

The By The Way podcast is a sound-rich blend of documentary radio and audio drama that reflects the way Scotland sees the world and how the world sees us.

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Dunkeld Handbell Ringers

It was a bleak day when I sought shelter in Dunkeld Cathedral only to come across the Dunkeld Handbell Ringers. The team play there every other Thursday afternoon during the summer season. I met some of the group before a practice session just across the river Tay in Birnam.

Torylinn Creamery of Fond Memory

Toylinn Creamery, Isle of Arran is closed

Not only did Torylinn Creamery make outstanding cheese it also used milk from Arran’s dairy cows. Now the creamery is closed the jobs of those who worked there are gone, jobs have gone on farms, the very milk production of the island is collapsing and a great cheese is lost. Angus Adamson sees the effects first hand.

Crofters’ Music Bar Bistro

Crofters' Music Bar Bistro is usually full in the evening.

Over the years since my old mum and her cronies used to get half price chips I’ve known the modern Crofters’ Music Bar Bistro through different incarnations and proprietors. Today’s custodians are father and daughter team Dónal and Ealána Boyle. As Crofters’ Music Bar Bistro has evolved they’ve embraced modern principles caring for their staff, sourcing local and sustainable produce and presenting musicians with personality. They believe they’ve got a winning formula.

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