Hear Me Out (Music in Detention) Update

One of the many charities the Parabola Foundation supports is “Hear Me Out” (formerly Music In Detention).

Hear Me Out takes music-making into UK immigration detention centres to release the words, music and life stories of people held inside. It helps those inside immigration detention centres to express their humanity through music – to air their losses and fears, their hopes, and their dreams. The aim is to help everyone outside hear the music and understand the lives of people trapped inside.

Due to COVID 19 restrictions no face-to-face workshops have been possible since March 2020 in Immigration Removal Centres. Along with the pandemic’s impact nationally, this has led to the development of a programme based around innovative ways to access people in detention, remote learning and presentation platforms, and artist development. Workshops were delivered on zoom and via mobile phones.

A new project, ‘DIY Radio’, was launched. Developed with help from the Prison Radio Association and a radio producer at BBC, they started with a workshop for artists about radio and DIY radio, followed by a call to artists for proposals. Five different radio segments were commissioned, from five artists/collaborations, including artists with experience of living in detention. Segments are relaxing, informative, hopeful and create a sense of solidarity. The radio presenter is Russ Haynes, who has previously presented radio for Sunlight Radio and National Prison Radio. Editing of the first series has just been completed and will be distributed shortly.

In summer 2020 the first online creative workshop sessions were run. Participants were young people living with mental health diagnosis. They met once a week on Zoom for 1½ hours, to create poetry, lyrics, music and art, in an informal yet carefully curated space.

The project led to the creation of:

  • A booklet
  • A compilation of audio from the sessions
  • A video, with footage based on images from the booklet and portraits created by the participants
  • A live-stream of the video on 10th October 2020 for Mental Health Awareness Day, as part of Southend YMCA’s ‘The Huge Hangout’

Plans are being made to deliver programmes via remote methods and with more accessible offers.

The above is a very condensed update, if you would like more information please visit their website –

Hear Me Out (Music in Detention) Update | image

Iconic landmark clock restored

Parabola, landlords of the historic building in Edinburgh’s West End, have co-funded the restoration of the famous ‘Binns Clock’, named after the former department store that first installed it in 1960.

The clock is one of Edinburgh’s best-known landmarks and has been restored as part of the joint effort with Johnnie Walker, the world’s number one-selling Scotch whisky. The beautiful cantilever clock is located on the corner of Princes Street and Hope Street in the heart of the city.

Sadly, the classic timepiece had fallen into a sad state of neglect and disrepair over recent years but is now beautifully and meticulously restored to its former glory.

The clock has been restored, over the past year, by The Cumbria Clock Company, one of the UK’s leading specialist restorers, who have worked on some of the UK’s most famous timepieces, including The Great Clock (Big Ben) and the Royal Liver Building, led the restoration.

The Cumbria Clock Company dismantled the timepiece to study its original mechanics and colours, including the hand painted highland figures that march out of the clock to mark the hour and half hour, before meticulously rebuilding it. They have also repaired the musical mechanism which plays the traditional Scottish tunes ‘Caller Herrin’ and ‘Scotland the Brave’ every half an hour as the kilted figures march out of the clock.

In keeping with tradition, the highland figures will emerge to the musical accompaniment every seven and 37 minutes past the hour.

Parabola Managing Director, Tony Hordon, said: “We’re delighted to have played our part in the restoration of this iconic part of the Edinburgh city centre landscape and we look forward to it being enjoyed by residents and visitors for many years to come.”

Mark Crangle from the Cumbria Clock Company said: “It has been a meticulous process restoring the clock to its original condition. We had to delicately strip back worn paintwork to source and match the clock’s original colours and gold trimmings, and we spent a great amount of time on the speed and timings of the bells, tunes and pipers to ensure it all matched perfectly.

“Working on this restoration project has been such a privilege and I’ve really enjoyed hearing the stories of what the clock means to locals and how it’s played a role in so many special memories. These stories really consolidate why we do what we do, and we can’t wait for Edinburgh residents to now be able to enjoy the clock again in all its grandeur.”

Johnnie Walker Princes Street will tell the 200-year-old story of the world’s best scotch whisky across an eight-floor multisensory visitor attraction. Due to open in summer 2021, the whisky experience will feature rooftop bars, private dining areas, modern sensory tasting rooms, personalised tour and tasting experiences, and live performance areas.

The opening of the state-of-the-art visitor centre is part of Diageo’s £185m investment into the transformation of its Scotch whisky experiences, which will also see investment into 12 of Diageo’s Scottish whisky brand homes and the revival of lost distilleries Port Ellen and Brora.

Iconic landmark clock restored | image

101 George Street,
Edinburgh EH2 3ES

Newcastle upon Tyne
Central Square, Forth Street,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3PJ
+44(0) 131 603 8300

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