Compiled by Roger Millington and Dr Stella Barrows
The Bournemouth Pleasure Gardens (Lower Gardens) Sounding Space is situated towards the end of the Bourne Chine in an area initially settled by Captain Tregonwell in the early 1800s.
Bournemouth is at the centre of a geological formation of inward facing hills at the southern-most tip of what is known as the Winchester- East Meon Anticline. The Anticline is one of a series of parallel east-west trending tectonic folds in the Cretaceous chalk. This results in a near-complete ring of inward-facing chalk scarp slopes including Magdalen Hill to the north, Chilcomb Down, Cheesefoot Head and Telegraph Hill to the east, Deacon Hill, Twyford Down and St. Catherine's Hill to the south. NOTE: It is suggested that this geological ring acts to focus subterranean sonic phenomena in the manner of a ‘speaker cone’, allowing for detection of Deep Sound by means of NISG Ear Trumpet technology, and that this should be the focus of NISG investigations in the area.
The Bourne Stream runs near the sounding space, and is named from the Middle English Bourn or Burn meaning 'a small stream' has its mouth near to the sea at the end of the parkland. Bournemouth is a relatively new town, especially in comparison to its near neighbours of Poole and the ancient town of Christchurch. If you had happened upon this site in 1800 you will only have stumbled upon a few fishermen and a muddy stream. It is in the main a Victorian settlement, with large building projects and expansion continuing to this day.
There is evidence of significant Neolithic and Iron Age Activity in this part of Dorset (such as the 'double dykes' at Hengistbury Head towards the other side of the Bournemouth Bay) and we posit that alluvial deposits from the water may be a factor in the transmission of proto historic sounds from these surrounding ‘Bournemouth Bay’ area settlements.
Evidence of Crystalline Induction:
Geological connectivity between Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight suggests that we might expect to detect Reflection Phenomena, as geological sound ‘bounces’ back across the Bay of Bournemouth via undersea Transmission Layers. Investigations by NISG at Old Harry’s Rocks and the Needles are seeking to determine whether these chalk stacks above ground might act as supra-terranean transmitters, the first of their kind to be documented in the UK since Marconi conducted his early radio broadcasts in the area in January 1898.
Indeed, atmospheric and radio wave imprinting within the surface geology of the area is expected to be a significant influence on the background sound profile in the Bournemouth Sounding Space. Marconi’s identification of strong Etheric Wave Transmission in the area suggests the locale is particularly sensitive to electromagnetic fluctuation.
NOTE: The key question for our research here is the degree to which these radio phenomena might percolate into the ground, particularly in the light of recent discoveries as to the intensity of crystalline induction in the region (Barrows, S, Percolation and Puddingstones: Journal of Experimental Sonic Geography, 22.1: 97-146).
FURTHER NOTE: Care must also be taken not to confuse genuine geological sonic phenomena with carousal noise interference or from 'Disc Jockeys' or revellers who are engaged in dance parties in so called 'night clubs' in Bournemouth's Town Centre. However, there is some evidence of atmospheric pressure imprinting by plosive phenomena, caused by decades of Friday Night Fireworks in the area. Melodic phenomena have also been detected at the Bandstand in Bournemouth Gardens, which is particularly exciting given the natural affinity between brass bands and cutting edge Ear Trumpet technology (Millington, R: Getting the Horn: the Discovery of Ear Trumpet Technology and its Gift to Sonic Geology, forthcoming).
Talbot Village and beyond: 1850-1862
A further consideration is the Earth Trauma caused during the 1987 Hurricane, in which countless trees were torn from their roots, dislocating surface geologies and exposing the ground in a manner conducive to seeding and percolation of contemporary ambient phenomena. Talbot Woods and the surrounding Victorian parklands of the Talbot and Wallisdown areas were particularly affected by the Hurricane, as were the lower, mid and upper gardens in central Bournemouth.
In a subsection to their controversial but entertaining paper Dirty Ears: Listening to Sonic Phenomena in the Topsoils of South West England (Journal of Experimental Sonic Geology: 21.6, 28-47) Brunel, H. & Lathenby, B. have further suggested that even ploughing and surface agriculture may disrupt the ground enough for sound to be seeded.