KCOM finds its voice as secret Rediffusion research rediscovered


The air was thick with lateral lulls, plosives consonants and glottal stops when an intriguing new sound project visited KCOM’s Salvesen Way offices.

A team from the Voice Extraction And Rediffusion Project – or Project VEAR for short – dropped in on KCOM workers this week in a bid to capture their smooth tones, velvet voices and distinctly ‘Ull accents using equipment recently unearthed on Beverley Road.

The equipment, which was marked with the star logo of the old Hull TV and radio company Rediffusion, was found in a buried crate by a KCOM engineer during routine maintenance work.

After some investigation by local historians, The Green Ginger Fellowship, it was revealed the equipment might have been part of a secret Rediffusion research project that “collected voices”.

Now with the equipment reassembled, a new team of researchers is using the equipment to create Hull’s perfect voice.

Brandishing equipment that strangely resembled a gas mask and copper pipes connected to rubber tubing, bellows and a retooled horn, lead researcher Joe said they were visiting areas of Hull to capture as many voices as possible in the weeks ahead.

Joe, a newly appointed Voice Extraction And Rediffusion Officer (VEARO) with a penchant for dressing like a Ghostbuster, said: “My great uncle Frank used to work for Rediffusion and he used to tell me there was a secret side of the company. So when I heard about this discovery I knew exactly what it was.”

To help in the project KCOM employees took a break from their daily duties to make “ooh” and “ee” noises – while making an array of unusual faces ­- into the Heath Robinson-esque contraption.

“I feel like I’m in a parallel universe,” said one as she puckered up for an “oo” which was then captured by the machine’s “sticky vapour” and encased within what looked like a water cooler bottle.

Asked to make some “plosive B, P and G sounds” KCOM customer services operator Jackie Hunter, said: “It’s all a bit odd isn’t it? Fun but odd. I’ve definitely never done anything like this before.”

VEARO Joe, said: “The plan is to capture as many voices as possible using the equipment then take it back to our really big VEARO distilling machine at the warehouse. There we can get rid of all the rogue bits of phlegm and tonsillitis. From all the noises we have left we’ll be able to create Hull’s most pure and powerful voice.

“When we‘ve done that we’ll no doubt have some big event where we can reveal what Hull’s most perfect voice is.”

Project VEAR is the latest in a long line of bizarre happening in Hull this year that have been investigated by the Green Ginger Fellowship.

As well as the rediscovery of the long lost Gold Nose of Green Ginger earlier this year, which has been installed in the North Point Shopping Centre, Bransholme, the fellowship has also helped organise the Seven Alleys spectacle in East Park, recounting some of Hull’s more unusual myths and legends.

For more details about the Green Ginger Fellowship visit

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