ORBEM

Memories

A collection of personal memories, mostly describing the early days of the contributors' BBC careers. Click on the names....


Horace joined the then new British Broadcasting Company in 1926. He worked as an Outside Broadcast engineer until the late 1960s, witnessing many historic broadcasts including the abdication of Edward VIII and the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.


LG
LG joined the BBC in the last month of the 1920s as a tracer and junior draughtsman and retired as Head of Sound Distribution Unit in 1971. Here he looks back on Equipment Department in the 1930s, his years at Wood Norton (1939-1941) and later work at 200 Oxford Street and Aldenham.



Like several other contributors to this section, Ron joined the BBC as a "Youth in Training". He remembers his time during the war at Aldenham and at the Bedford studio centre. He recounts his time with the British Forces Network in Germany, and his return to the BBC, working on the coverage of the 1948 Olympic Games at Wembley. There's a photo of the Wembley control room on this page.



John Longden (better known as Johnny) recalls joining the BBC in 1940, after a well timed bomb explosion cut short his first BBC job interview. He remembers, too, some of the outside broadcast equipment he used in the early years.



Having started at an 'H' group transmitter at Hastings, Roy worked in Broadcasting House control room. Later he was based in Bristol, producing, among other programmes, "Any Questions" and "Any Answers".



Len also started BBC life at an 'H' Group transmitter. Recruited from Hull Technical College in 1941 he here describes his days at the nearby transmitter. The page includes his letter of appointment and the lapel badge which came with it.



Geoff, who died in 2004, joined the BBC in Birmingham in 1941. He describes the control room there, and his early duties. He also discusses the 'H' Group transmitters.



Joining the BBC in 1942 Frank initially worked at the H Group transmitter at Bournemouth, then at Brookmans Park. He later worked at Bedford, the home of BBC music during the war years.


Joe Latham
Joe's career began at Droitwich in 1943. A move to Washford, in Somerset, is illustrated with Joe's photos of the transmitter hall taken in 1948.



Starting at Tatsfield in 1943, Roy's early BBC career also took him to Washford and Daventry. He moved to London in 1948, working in the control room and becoming a Junior Programme Engineer the following year.



Michael's first experience of broadcasting was giving a piano recital on Childrens' Hour at the age of 12! Four years later he became a Youth in Training at Birmingham.



Rita joined the BBC in 1943 and here describes life at various 'H' Group transmitters. She later worked at 200 Oxford Street as she describes on another page.



Joe Latham records Geoffrey's career, starting as a recording engineer in 1947 and ending as Head of Programme Operations.



Sylvia joined the BBC in 1957 and worked in the script printing department and the ticket unit before leaving in the mid-1960s.



Barry recalls his decision to join the BBC in 1959, the one-week Induction Course and his first two weeks in the Control Room.



Mike recalls his short BBC career in Operational Engineering during the mid-1980s.



Chris recalls applying for a job as a TA in the transmitter department and getting a job as a TO in Broadcasting House Control Room! The page features scans of the 1968 job advert, the letter inviting Chris to a board and a list of allowable expenses.

Jonathan Kempster


Jonathan joined the BBC in 1986 and here remembers his training attachment to Bush House and looks at some of the changes in News Operations during the 1990s.