10th March 2003

Inspector Morse Music Man sends Airport Expansion S-O-S

Composer Barrington Pheloung celebrated the launch of his CD for the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign at his Essex studio in High Roding on Saturday (8 March) ­ just ten days after the government consultation into airport expansion restarted.

Barrington, well-known as the composer of the Inspector Morse music, Dalziel and Pascoe, and over 50 other works for television, film, ballet, dance and theatre, was joined by young local mother Kim Blake who wrote the lyrics and six children from nearby Takeley School which is threatened by the government’s expansion plans for Stansted Airport.

The song was first previewed back in September at Stop Stansted Expansion’s ‘Runway Ramble’ protest, attended by around 2500 people. Called ‘Voices of the Future’ it is an S-O-S from Barrington, Kim Blake and local children to the Secretary of State for Transport who will ultimately determine the fate of Stansted and other communities threatened by airport expansion proposals.

The song highlights the noise, pollution and urbanisation from all airport expansion and related development which threatens future generations. Its chorus appeals for a healthy environment for kids:

We are your children, the voices of the future
Listen to us, hear what we say
We are your children, the voices of the future
Hear what we say, we say, No Way

Children’s health is at particular risk as a result of the higher concentration levels of aircraft emissions in the vicinity of the airport. Studies have shown that interruptions from aircraft noise cause lapses in childrens’ concentration in the classroom and damage the quality of education in schools near to airports ­ thus damaging their education too.

Secretary of State for Transport Alistair Darling will therefore be sent a copy of the CD, urging him to reconsider his expansion plans which would impact so heavily on children’s lives.

Barrington was inspired to write the music for ‘Voices of the Future’ when Kim wrote a short poem about her children’s fears about the plans to make Stansted into an airport twice the size of Heathrow and nine times bigger than it is today. Campaigners at Stop Stansted Expansion introduced Kim to Barrington who was very moved by her words and who recognised their potential.

“Like many thousands of others in the region,” said Barrington, “this village suffers the consequences of noise from low flying aircraft, including those that ignore the flight paths. Aircraft noise destroys serenity ­ something which those living near to airport communities nationwide know only too well ­ and not just at Stansted.”

The situation is set to worsen considerably if the government’s plans go ahead since they would mean a fivefold increase in the number of passengers flying to and from Stansted with a total of around 2000 planes per day at full capacity. Traffic and air pollution would also rise dramatically.

Two versions of ‘Voices of the Future’ appear on the CD, the second featuring Felsted School choir. The disc is available both by mail order from Stop Stansted Expansion and through selected shops across the region, price £3 (plus £1 postage and packing for mail order). Anyone wishing to source copies should contact Stop Stansted Expansion via the website www.stopstanstedexpansion.com or call on T 01279 870558 for up to date details of local stockists and mail order.

At the time of writing, the CD was available as follows (further outlets will be added to website):


Bishop’s Stortford: Pearson’s
Duton Hill: Three Horseshoes Pub
Elsenham: The Crown Pub
Great Bardfield: Hitchcock’s Grocers
Felsted: Linsells Store
Great Dunmow: Luckins Wine, The Curiosity Shop, Maggie’s Trinkets
Great Easton: Swan Public House
Henham: Village Shop
High Easter: Penny’s Coffee Shop
Little Easton: Gardens of Easton Lodge, Stag Public House
Molehill Green: Three Horseshoes Pub
Saffron Walden: James Jewellers, Amy Louise, The Men’s Room, The Missing Link, Tourist Office
Sawbridgeworth: The Tuck Shop, Crafty Frames
Stansted: CK Men’s Room
Takeley: Takeley News


Campaigning to ensure Stansted Airport's authorised operations stay below harmful limits