Sound as a Pound.


This week one of my childhood memories helped me to earn a bit of extra money.

When I was a kid, we often went shopping on a Saturday afternoon in Warrington. My Mum or sometimes my Nana would take us on the bus. What I remember most is the markets. In the fish market there was a stall called “Alf Critchley’s” with the slogan, “If it swims, Alf sells it!” I bought my first record at the record shop in the main market (I wish it had been something impressive but it was “The Streak” by Ray Stevens). My favourite stall was Parker’s which was a sweet stall. Their slogan was, “Have a nosey at Parker’s”. Nana would always buy my sister and I a quarter of hard toffee which we watched being expertly broken into pieces in front of us with a toffee hammer. 

The first carpet we had at our new house in Great Sankey when we moved fifteen miles from Aigburth in Liverpool was bought from Butterworth’s in Warrington Market. John Butterworth was a dashing character. He looked like an old fashioned army officer in his immaculate three piece suit and well tended Salvador Dali moustache.

Butterworth’s stall was made up of rolls of carpet stood on end forming a kind of carpet fort. When you went in, you entered a different world. A world that smelled of new carpet and where sound behaved differently. All of the noise of the busy market disappeared and when anyone spoke there was no echo at all.

So this week, I was asked to audition for some voice-over work. The only problem was I needed to have my own recording studio. Now, I’ve got a very good USB microphone and when I plug it into my Mac and record using a free program called Audacity, it’s near studio quality but our flat isn’t exactly soundproof.

Remembering how well carpet soundproofed Butterworth’s stall, I pulled up the big rug from our living room floor, formed it into a cone, secured it at the top with a bulldog clip and made a kind of teepee. Once inside, I recorded a demo, sent it in and a couple of days later found out I’d got the job.

Now I really fancy some hard toffee.

Craic on!

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