The zebra crossing outside Abbey Road Studios. With recording studios in decline, why might Abbey Road Studios be expanding? See below...
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A Personal Note (Archive)
September 1, 2015
This week Abbey Road Studios announced that they were expanding. This announcement has been made at a time when recording studios generally are on the decline. Digital technology means that musicians can reproduce the resources of a recording studio at home. So why is Abbey Road bucking the trend? Perhaps it's because we need to feel there is somewhere special, more unique than our bedroom or garage. In the BBC news film about Abbey Road's expansion plans, studio staff led reporters into Studio 2 and said, "this is where the Beatles recorded 190 of their 210 songs," with the unsaid suggestion that there is something special here that will make music better. Of course there is nothing intrinsically unique about Studio 2. It looks a bit like the hall at my old school - same parquet tiled floor, with a piano to accompany hymns at assembly. It's only because people think there is something special there, that expertise gathers and makes it what it is. And that is probably the point. Even in a digital age, people need somewhere to go, to meet and share ideas. Abbey Road hopes to be one of those places, trading on its associations.
Historical news for September
A major new exhibition exploring the history of pop art opens this month at the Tate in London. The exhibition opens on 17th September 2015.
The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace open every summer for general visiting. This year's dates are July 25th - September 27th. For more information go to https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/exhibitions/a-royal-welcome
At Windsor Castle there are summer tours of the Round Tower, not usually open to visitors. Tours run 1st August - 30th September 2015. For more information go to https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/event/conquer-the-tower-tour-2015
Anniversaries for September
4th September 1666: The Great Fire of London is at its height. Diarist Samuel Pepys sees the fire in Tower Street, "the fire coming on in that narrow streete, on both sides with infinite fury". He then decides to dig a pit in his garden in which to save his wine and parmesan cheese.
5th September 1977: NASA launches Voyager 1, which after a journey past Jupiter and Saturn is now in intersteller space, beyond the solar system. Voyager 1 carries an audio visual record, with greetings in 55 different languages, sounds of Earth - which include waves breaking and babies crying - and a collection of music ranging from Chuck Berry and Willie Nelson to Mozart.
8th September 1944: London is first hit by a V2 rocket, the world's first guided ballistic missile. The missile lands in Chiswick. During the rest of the war 1402 V2 missiles will land on London.
10th September 2008: The Large Hadron Collidor, the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator, powers up for the first time beneath the French Swiss border near Geneva.
14th September 1812: On the day that Napoleon's troops enter Moscow, a fire breaks out which will destroy three quarters of the city.
27th September 1825: A steam engine called Active, pulls the first passenger train on the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the world's first steam passenger railway. Active, now called Locomotion 1 is now kept at the Darlington Railway Centre and Museum.
27th September 1981: One of the world's first mass running events takes place in London's Hyde park, when 27,000 people take part in the Sunday Times National Fun Run.
30th Sepember 1965: The first episode of the Thunderbirds television series, Trapped in the Sky, is shown on British television. The story involves a a bomb placed in the landing gear of a new airliner called Fireflash, which will explode when the aircraft lands.
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Thank you to photo contributors Danielle Davis, Jean Edwards, Vicky Eagle of Portsmouth Dockyard, Kevin Edwards, Derick Fusco, Julian Jones, Richard Jones, Jackie Lewis, Debbie Lowless, Judy Mills of the Corinium Museum, Jane Barron of the World Rugby Museum, and Susan Stuart of Old Spitalfields Market.