Our last walk of the year, The London Ear, will take place on Remembrance Sunday. It’s a poignant time to think about peace, silence and noise.
London experienced a noisy kind of peace on Armistice Day 1918. The social reformer Beatrice Webb wrote in her diary: ‘Peace! London today is a pandemonium of noise and revelry, soldiers and flappers being most in evidence. Multitudes are making all the row they can, and in spite of depressing fog and steady rain, discords of sound and struggling, rushing beings and vehicles fill the streets.’
A year later King George V issued a proclamation calling for two minutes silence to be observed at 11am: ‘All locomotion should cease, so that, in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.’
We shall start The London Ear with two minutes silence. As we stand speechless, we might think about the quality of those two minutes. Will we feel part of a city-wide moment of collective contemplation? Or will our sense of that time be filled with the chance sounds of contemporary London?
For more information about the walk and to book click here.
Photo: Remembrance Sunday parade at St Paul’s Cathedral, 11th November 2018