The Speakers

The speakers declaim to crowds of hundreds or talk intently with small groups. They are mostly, but not only, men, with firm ideas about their territory. Stepladders, milk crates, or beautifully crafted wooden boxes raise them up. “Fisherman’s Friends” and oranges soothe their throats. Some have a serious message; others set out to entertain, but every orator needs jokes or controversy to draw a crowd into their orbit. Many embellish their platforms with banners and placards, ranging from the self-deprecating: “Tony Allen; advocate heckler, anarchist parasite, mixed ability shaman,” to the sincere: “Heavenly flight paths, Christ’s embassy.”

Audio clips about the speakers

“Fight or flight”

Listen to clip

“You can’t come with a script”

Listen to clip

“The ‘Open Platform’”

Listen to clip

“BOAC"

Listen to clip

“Anti dependence”

Listen to clip

“Google doesn’t have the answers"

Listen to clip

Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London.

About the project

Sounds from the Park is a unique oral and visual history of Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park: the UK’s last great open air oratory site.

Read more about the project
© Chris Kennett

Exhibition

Our exhibition can be seen online here or read our booklet about Speakers' Corner.

See the exhibition
© Philip Wolmuth

Radio show

Our radio show can be listened to here.

Listen to the radio show
Young man talking at Speakers' Corner, 2013 © Sophie Polyviou

Education resources

History and Citizenship resources for Key Stage 3 and 4. Complete with a timeline of events at Speakers' Corner and other resources.

Download education resources