Saturday, 14 July 2012

Acoustic Problems at BHA AGM

I went to the BHA AGM in London today. Overslept, so caught a late train and arrived at London Bridge station at 11:55. As usual the ticket I was issued with, which states "London Terminals" as the destination rather than London Bridge, would not allow me to pass through the barrier, but the inspectors there seem to allow one to pass through the gap at the side without bothering to check anything.

I walked over London Bridge, where lots of tourists were photographing Tower Bridge which has the Olympic Rings suspended from the walkway. Then past the Monument and up Gracechurch street to Bishopsgate. The BHA meeting was at the Bishopsgate Institute, in the Upper Hall whch I'd not seen before.

I sat down to listen to the Education and Promotion session which was already in progress, though the acoustic was very poor. There was a break at 13:15 for a tour round the Library downstairs, where some archives were on display. I wish I could find time to go there to do some historical research. Back in the Hall the BHA Choir was entertaining, but I couldn't make out many of the words they were singing.

Then there was the Report by the Chief Executive (Andrew Copson) who was as usual quite amusing. Then the AGM proper began, and I stayed as far as the end of the address by the Chair (Robert Ashby). However I was having increasing difficulty making out what he was saying.

This was due to the bad acoustics. I could hear a deep background noise, which may have been reverberation, or perhaps from some other source such as the air conditioning. Others didn't seem to be bothered, but I do have sensitive hearing, as you can maybe tell from the size of my ears.

By that time the strain was making me feel distinctly ill. I complained about the acoustic problem to the staff at the back of the Hall and decided to catch the early train back. So a bit of a wasted journey in many ways.

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