To accompany David Hoffman's new photography book and his photographs taken in St Botolph's Crypt Shelter held in his collection at Bishopsgate Institute, these sound clips were recorded by David in 1977 and 1978. As he explains:


St Botolph’s Crypt Shelter was a ‘wet’ shelter for the homeless, offering tea and sandwiches, somewhere warm and dry to sit, booze, talk, fight and get a little food. While other shelters turned away alcoholics and addicts, St Botolph’s welcomed anyone and everyone. I remember arriving at the top of the steps outside the crypt and just standing there, frozen, too scared to go down. The noise was deafening and the hot, wet stink of cheap cider, meths, urine and unwashed bodies drifting up from below was overpowering. I was frightened but I knew it needed documenting.


Unlike most in St Botolph’s Crypt Shelter Jane wasn't a drinker, living in a cold, damp, barren room with her Percy they had almost nothing. They were not at all bitter and remained cheerful. The crypt offered a few hours of warmth, sandwiches and sometimes some clothes. I found her resilience inspiring. I made this recording with her in September 1978.