Friday, 23 September 2016

Radio Times, September 1953

While making a BBC Radio documentary about the Third Programme (1946-1967), I've just come across an original copy of the Radio Times - then sub-titled the 'Journal of the BBC' - dating from this very month sixty three years ago. 

There are some tantalising snippets within its 52 pages priced at Threepence. Here are a few previews of radio and television shows, and some lovely adverts in an era when you could buy Shaka Salt, Lassie dog food, Mayfair Royale chocolate assortments (So Hard to Resist!) and Scroll automatic ink pens.


The Other Third

Listen in pop-out player
Think you know the Third Programme? Think again.
Alan Dein explores the 'other voice' of the Third - not the plummy accent, or the rarefied readings and art music, but the articulate and expressive voice of so-called ordinary people, brought to the airwaves via a group of producers fascinated with everyday lives and the wild sounds they could collect beyond the confines of the radio studio.
There's a significant omission to most studies of the life and times of the Third Programme. In the words of a title of one of the Third's own history programmes, there are 'Gaps in the Record'.
The gap which the Third helped to fill - through the work of figures like Douglas Cleverdon, Philip O'Connor, AL Lloyd, Alan Lomax and David Thomson - was to harness the stories of ordinary people's lives with a collection of creative and ground-breaking radio features and talks spanning the Third's two decades.

These programmes changed our conception of what radio should sound like - and their influence continues in the programmes we hear today.
Featuring: Andrew Barrow, Alecky Blythe, Dame Julia Cleverdon, Tim Dee, Johnny Handle, Doreen Henderson and Sir Jonathan Miller.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Bookends, Farnworth

Another bookshop stamp, another story. Last night I came across a paperback that had once found its way in and out of BOOKENDS which was based in Farnworth, near Bolton in North West England.

No idea when, and for how long, they were in business - but judging from their opening days, BOOKENDS must have been a stallholder at Farnworth Market whose trading days were on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays.

But after serving the local community for a century, Farnworth Market was closed down for good in February 2016. 

But why can't these places be kept going? Instead in comes some kind of sanitised development - often in a location where you need to drive to - and stallholders will inevitably have to pay much higher rates too...

Sadly, the signage reflects that the end was indeed nigh for Farnworth Market...