Robert Smith provides a personal memory of Reg
Other articles by Robert Smith
"I well remember a record, with no sleeve to protect it, standing on the shelf above Reg's bench and half-way across the playing surface was a small spot of silver paint. At this time well before the advent of CDs, such records were still very common (BH was still full of TD/7s !) so such an artefact was not particularly unusual in a workshop.
"It was during a conversation one day, between modifying Leevers-Rich tape machines and repairing GPA/4s, that in response to my curiosity about the silver spot he related how he had, indeed, been an engineer during the war. As far as I recall he said that it was on one of the '1000 bomber raids' over Germany with Wynford Vaughan Thomas as War Correspondent that he had first to put the uncut disc inside his flying jacket to warm it up before recording WVT's report on his portable recorder. The temperature inside the bombers flying at their operational height was very low rendering the disc's coating too brittle to cut.
"In the middle of the recording a massive bomb was released from the aircraft in which they were working and the aircraft rose, as mentioned above, 'like a lift' with the result that the stylus dug a deep hole into the disc! The silver paint, which looked like aluminium paint (or perhaps it was a special compound developed for the industry), was the repair which Reg had effected to allow the piece to be broadcast.
"I have often wondered what happened to the disc as it struck me even then that it ought to be kept more carefully than perched above his bench! Reg was a very kind man and I remember him with affection."
One of several photos taken by Reg in Delaware Road in 1944, just before the recording trucks began their journey to France.
Included in this shot are engineers Sydney Gore (2nd from left), Wilfred Lindop (centre) and D. H. Farley (far right).
If you can identify any other people in this, or any other shots in this section, please get in touch using the link at the bottom of this page.
The BBC's War Correspondents and Engineers
Correspondents: Robert Barr, David Bernard, Guy Byam (killed during an Eighth US Air Force raid on Berlin, 3/2/45), Richard Dimbleby; Rupert Downing, Robin Duff, Robert Dunnett, Alfred Fletcher, Frank Gillard, Denis Johnston, Pierre Lefevre, Stewart MacPherson, Howard Marshall, Stanley Maxted, Alan Melville, Richard North, Cyril Ray, Robert Reid, E. Colston Shepherd, Michael Standing, Kent Stevenson (killed during an RAF Lancaster raid on North-West Germany, 22/6/44), Wynford Vaughan-Thomas, Edward Ward, Douglas Willis, Colin Wills, Chester Wilmot, Ian Wilson.
Recording Engineers: C.D. Adamson, W.R. Arnell, F.J. Cooper, W.S. Costello, D.H. Farley, J.C. Fonvielle, Sydney Gore, H.L. Hayhurst, W.H.E. Lindop, T.A. Mellor, Reg Pidsley, H.O.Sampson, H.F.L. Sarney, Stanley Unwin, G.F. Wade, J.B. Watson.
Transmitter Staffs: C.F.R. Abbott, F.A. Cormack, W.H.E. Flint, J.H. Gilman, G.D. Herrin, R.W. Howard, W.A. Jackson, W.H.E. Lindop, T.G. May, E.P. Metcalfe, R.L.S. Newman, J. Oates, J. Shallcross, A.E. Snowdon, J.T. Stocking, P.H. Walker, A.E. Windsor.
Correspondents: Reginald Beckwith, Frank Gillard, Francis Hallawell, John Nixon, Michael Reynolds, Patrick Smith, Godfrey Talbot.
Recording Engineers: C.C. Carlyon, Douglas Farley, Stanley Unwin, G.W. Wade, Herbert Walden.
Rome Staff: R.C. Ashton, G.F. Beresford, Edward Bonong, R.W. Leslie, Arthur Philips.
Correspondent: Richard Sharp. Recording Engineer: Eugene Girot.
Correspondent: Kenneth Matthews.