The National Trust, the UK organization that preserves locations of historical or cultural importance has released an iOS app for hearing stories related to the Soho area of London.

Soho is known for its vibrant community, party scene, strip joints, entertainment, film industry and well, there’s a lot packed into a few streets and a long history of exotic tales. As you can imagine, over the years a lot has happened in this small section of the capital.

The app bears many similarities to The Guardian’s London StreetStories as both show a stylised map of an area and attach sound to particular locations.

soho520 Soho Stories app from the National Trust explores one of Londons most seedy, swinging districts

There are many adult stories relating to the area, which is why as a precaution, the app requires users to be over 17.

You can either listen to stories about Soho while you are on location or from afar. The tales are told by past and present residents like comedian Barry Cryer who introduces the app, painter and novelist Molly Parkin on boozing with artist Francis Bacon and Frankie Fraser, former gang member, on the rise of the gangster.

It could do with a few more voices, especially given the density of the area, there’s bound to be more famous folk willing to share their stories. But as a starter, with surrounding sound scapes and jazz music intro, this is a lovely audio introduction to the underbelly of London’s party district.

The app was commissioned by the National Trust and made by the folks behind Hackney Hear.

As Barry Cryer reminds us in the intro though, keep your eyes on the road, even when your ears are travelling back in time through this type of app.

Soho Stories

Image Credit: Scalleja