It was ninety years ago today…
No-one taught the band to play; I’m not sure if there was a band. But there was a broadcast. The first-ever broadcast. By the BBC. It’s their birthday today. And in spite of all the recent troubles, let’s remember where we’d be without them. America, that’s where. And we don’t want that, now do we?
I’ve had my own small walk-on part in the history of BBC Radio, once or twice. It began some little time ago, when I was ‘nobbut a bairn’ (as they say in Hull, for it was there). The whole thing can only have happened a year or two after BBC Radio Humberside was launched in 1971 and how it came about (through school? church? cub-scouts?) is a mystery. But one Saturday morning a taxi arrived to take me to the city’s old Chapel Street studios (below), there to read a ‘Tufty’ story as part of the children’s programme, ‘Playmates’ (presenter, Gail Fryer).
There were several more Saturday morning Tufty readings before my involvement ceased as suddenly and as inexplicably as it had started. Maybe my voice broke; maybe they found someone better. I have no idea. I never listened to the show myself. It was bad enough being on it.
But my dad recorded it.
Are you sitting comfortably?
Then I (or my seven or eight-year old self) shall begin: