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Sounds of Old Cumbria, at a Phone Near You
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Sounds of Old Cumbria, at a Phone Near You

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Sounds of Old Cumbria, at a Phone Near You

Sounds of Old Cumbria, at a Phone Near You
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A telephone helpline that plays callers the sounds of vacation in Cumbria (in the north of England) launched last week. It includes the sound of Lake Windermere lapping against a jetty, and the crisp crunch of leaves on a country walk. Robert Siegel and Melissa Block take a listen.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

NPR listeners know the power of sound. And it appears the tourism office in Cumbria in northern England does, too. In a new promotional campaign, the office is trying to entice Brits suffering from the winter blues to come visit by playing regional sounds over the phone.

(Soundbite of telephone recording)

Unidentified Woman: For the sound of Lake Windermere lapping against the jetty, press 1. To walk beside (unintelligible) Waterfall near Lake (unintelligible), press 2. For the sound of fresh air blowing across England's highest mountain, press 3.

BLOCK: It will set aside the question of whether while walking down Barnaby Street, listening on a cell phone, a caller would be able to tell the difference between this:

(Soundbite of waterfall)

BLOCK: That's the waterfall. And this.

(Soundbite of air blowing)

BLOCK: That's the fresh air blowing across England's highest mountain. We'll put that question aside and simply ask if you make it through the entire phone message and reach this -

Unidentified Woman: To hear Cumberland sausage sizzling in a pan, press the sizzling 7.

(Soundbite of sizzling)

BLOCK: Will you even remember why you were calling in the first place?

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