“When I used to listen to Radio Moscow back in the mid- to late 1960s, they used to play a little ditty just after they came on the air (at least in English). This tune was NOT the “Moscow Nights” tune so often heard. As I recall it was a lively tune.
On one of my many trips to St. Petersburg in the 90s and the 00s, I would often visit the memorial to the WW2 Leningrad siege, specifically the museum underneath. One time, I heard the melody I am looking for. I was told by someone there, that this melody was played during the siege as a signal that “all is clear” (I presume from German bombing).
I would be grateful if anyone has any information or a copy of this melody.”
Can you help George identify this tune? If so, please comment!
Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Mark Fahey, who has shared this special recording: a shortwave relay of the ABC Far North radio service.
“ABC Radio (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Far North (Queensland, Australia) Emergency Broadcast Service during the period that Severe Tropical Cyclone was making landfall in Australia’s Far North Queensland region. This capture of the shortwave broadcast was made near Sydney, Australia on 6.15MHz at 2119 Queensland Time (1119 UTC) on the 11th April 2014. The broadcast was being transmitted via a re-purposed Radio Australia transmitter in Shepperton, Victoria.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita is a tropical cyclone that crossed the coast of Queensland, Australia on 11 April 2014. The system was first identified over the Solomon Islands as a tropical low on 1 April 2014, and gradually moved westward, eventually reaching cyclone intensity on 5 April. On 10 April, Ita intensified rapidly into a powerful Category 5 system on the Australian Scale, but it weakened significantly in the hours immediately precedinglandfall the following day. At the time of landfall at Cape Flattery at 12 April 22:00 (UTC+10), Dvorak intensity was approximately T5.0, consistent with a weak Category 4 system, and considerably lower than T6.5 observed when the system was at maximal intensity. Meteorologists noted the system had, at such time, developed a secondary eyewall which weakened the inner eyewall; as a result, the system was considerably less powerful than various intensity scales predicted. Ita’s impact on terrain was attenuated accordingly.”
Regional: 5:30, 6:32am on weekdays, and 5:30am and 7:05am on weekends
Main centre: 5:05, 5:35, 6:08, 7:08, 8:08am on weekdays and 5:05, 5:35, 6:05, 7:05 and 8:08am on weekends
Urban: 7:32, 8:32am
Long-range: 12:32pm on weekdays and 1:04pm on weekends
Many thanks, Mike! I had no idea New Zealand had a coastal forecast similar to that of the UK. I shouldn’t be surprised, though, as New Zealand is very much a maritime country and indeed, Aukland, NZ has the highest boat ownership of any city in the world.
When I lived in the UK, I would often fall asleep and/or wake up to the Shipping Forecast: a BBC Radio broadcast of weather reports and forecasts for the seas around the coasts of the British Isles.
Though I had, of course, no real need of the Forecast, on many occasions it lured me like the voice of a hypnotic siren (especially, I must admit, when read by a woman). When I moved back to the US in 2003, I missed hearing the Forecast on the radio, but thankfully one can listen to it at Radio 4 online. Although the online stream lacks the delectable sonic texture of long wave radio, the Forecast still has the power can still reel in its listeners.
Last December, I followed a brilliant series on NPR which highlighted the BBC Shipping Forecast. I intended to publish it here on the SWLing Post at the time, but somehow lost it in the shuffle of a busy travel season. Fortunately, NPR has archived audio from the series online. I love their introduction:
“It is a bizarre nightly ritual that is deeply embedded in the British way of life.
You switch off the TV, lock up the house, slip into bed, turn on your radio, and begin to listen to a mantra, delivered by a soothing, soporific voice.
“Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger ….” says the voice.
You are aware — vaguely — that these delicious words are names, and that those names refer to big blocks of sea around your island nation, stretching all the way up to Iceland and down to North Africa.
The BBC’s beloved Shipping Forecast bulletin covers 31 sea areas, the names of which have inspired poets, artists and singers and become embedded into the national psyche.
Your mind begins to swoop across the landscape, sleepily checking the shorelines, from the gray waters of the English Channel to the steely turbulence of the Atlantic.
Somewhere, deep in your memory, stir echoes of British history — of invasions from across the sea by Vikings, Romans and Normans; of battles with Napoleon’s galleons and Hitler’s U-boats.
Finally, as the BBC’s Shipping Forecast bulletin draws to a close, you nod off, complacent in the knowledge that whatever storms are blasting away on the oceans out there, you’re in your pajamas, sensibly tucked up at home”
You can listen to the series on NPR, or via the embedded player below:
A smartphone app that I find quite useful is Shortwave Broadcast Schedules by Chris Smolinski at Black Cat Systems.
Chris has just announced an update which adds features like the ability to enable schedule reminders as well as keep track of your favorite broadcasts.
I’ve been using this app for a year and have noticed frequent schedule updates–indeed, A14 schedules were ready at the beginning of the season.
It’s an ideal app to use for one bag travel–indeed, you don’t even need an Internet connection to browse the listings. Admittedly, the typical smartphone screen is fairly small to display such a large amount of broadcast data, but Back Cat’s interface is designed with this in mind. I find the app easy to use and very useful while I’m on the go.
I have only used the iOS version on my iPhone. Black Cat also offers an iPad version which, I believe, would be ideal. I have not tested the Android version of the app.