Tag: BBC Home Service

Sir Adrian Boult puts on his tails again


Sir Adrian Boult puts on his tails again

THE postwar pattern of broadcasting for the home listener was soon drawn. Three months after the end of war in Europe, the Home Service, with its six regional variants, and the Light Programme, with a national coverage, were on the air, followed, in a little more than a year, by the unique and daring experiment, the Third Programme. Signs of peace were plentiful. The announcers, who had become so well known, no longer ‘signed’ their reading of news bulletins. Weather forecasts returned. The Symphony Orchestra put on evening dress again for its increasing public performances, and in June, 1947, made a European tour, and was memorably received. Variety put on civilian dress. The radio series, with its catchphrases and foundation characters who week by week became involved in new adventures, became the fashion in comedy entertainment. The serialization of great novels, and particularly those of the Victorian era, was another indication of the listener’s liking for continuity and of his readiness to keep a regular appointment with his radio. Among others who, in the early post-war world, were habitual listeners, were the Services. Forces Educational Broadcasts began in 1945 as a supplement to the Forces’ own educational schemes, and were transmitted to occupying garrison troops overseas as well as to recruits at home. Their success was such that they were continued even after the great bulk of releases had taken place. Radio had made a start on the new problem of post-school education. But the great adventure in Sound broadcasting after the war was the Third Programme, which was tied to no timetable and made no concessions, but drew upon the resources, many of them hidden or neglected, of music, opera, drama, poetry in all parts of the world, to the incalculable enrichment of the serious listener.


The regions are active

The regions are active

REGIONAL broadcasting which has returned since the war with great vigour and vitality, is as old as the BBC.

In the early days local stations were needed not only because transmitters had a limited range, but because there were different traditions and cultures to be expressed regionally. Over twenty years ago, for instance, a station like Manchester was doing as many as thirty hours of its own programmes each week. The next stage came in the early ’thirties, when twin-wave transmitters enabled each part of the United Kingdom to enjoy its own, or the National Programme.



WHEN, in September, 1939, the exigencies of war took from the Regions their own programmes, their identities had become strongly marked. The re-establishment of regional services after the war was generally popular. Since then the songs, plays and talks in the Welsh language, the farming and rural life broadcasts in the West, the free discussions in the Midlands, the humour of Gracie Fields and Wilfred Pickles in the North, the native drama of Ulster, and the national repertoire of Scottish music and poetry have once again flourished on their native soil.


The BBC’s visitors




Headshots of 5 men

ABOVE: (left to right), Col. Moses from Australia, Prof. Shelley from New Zealand, Howard B. Chase from Canada, Major Caprara from S. Africa, Prof. Bokhari from India


AMONG the many and welcome visitors to the BBC and its studios after the war, some of whom are shown on these pages, two groups may be selected as significant of the BBC’s place as a world institution. In February 1945 the heads of the broadcasting organizations of the four Dominions and All India Radio (as it then was) met at the BBC to consult with each other how to continue their co-operation and develop it. Later in the year representatives of the Dutch people, led by a schoolmaster, brought to London a bronze tablet, showing a kneeling man with his shackled arms above his head listening to the voice of freedom from the west, and this was unveiled in the Council Chamber of Broadcasting House.


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