Tag Archives: Mike Barraclough

Skelton, Penrith and the World 1943-1993

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Barraclough, who notes the following update to BBCeng.info:

Skelton, Penrith and the World 1943-1993

A personal account by the author Ken Davies.

Following my request I have been notified that Cumbria County Council, the publishers of this book, would have no objection to it being on bbceng. Unfortunately I have not been able to contact Ken Davies but, given the nature of the publication, I think it is likely that he would approve. He clearly wanted to celebrate the achievements of everyone involved with Skelton transmitting station and his efforts in compiling this record are gratefully acknowledged.

68 pages with many photos.

Click here to download [PDF].

Fascinating!  Thank you for sharing this, Mike. I’ve just downloaded a copy to my (rooted) Nook e-reader.

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More info about KIMF

KIMF transmitter site (Source: James Planck via Facebook)

KIMF transmitter building (Source: James Planck via Facebook)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Barraclough, who writes:

Photos of the site were posted in December. Mauno Ritola posted in the WRTH Facebook group January 26 that “James Planck informs, that KIMF Battle Mountain NV, USA plans to start operation around 1st April on shortwave. Time will tell, if the plan is realistic.”

Click here to view photos on Facebook.

Many thanks, Mike, for sharing this info. Note that these Facebook photos are listed as public, so a Facebook account is not needed for viewing.

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Update: RTÉ RADIO plans to axe longwave service in 2017

SX-99-Dial-Nar

Contrary to a news item we recently shared from The Independent, SWLing Post contributor, Mike Barraclough, notes the following news from the Irish Post:

RTÉ RADIO will proceed with plans to axe its longwave 252 service next year, it has been confirmed.

[…]RTÉ has consistently argued that better use could be made of the money and that listeners should consider other options, such as internet and satellite receivers, to tune in to their favourite shows.

Despite undertaking a survey of almost 3,000 longwave 252 listeners in Britain last year, in conjunction with Middlesex University London and the Irish in Britain charity, the broadcaster will now go ahead with the move.

The survey had revealed that the service was a vital “lifeline” for many elderly listeners, and an important link to their homeland.

[…]The Irish in Britain organisation, which helped facilitate the RTÉ survey, today said that they would be meeting with the consultative steering group in the next few weeks to discuss the next steps for the campaign to save longwave.

Chief Executive Peter McNulty told The Irish Post: “We will be sitting down with the consultative group to review the situation and discuss the research to see how we can move forward.

“The research is very clear that there is a demand for this type of service from the Irish community here in Britain. That link with home is very important.”

RTÉ would not reveal when in 2017 they plan to close the longwave service.

Read the full news item on the Irish Post.

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AIR to recruit Balochi speakers with money saved from shortwave broadcasts

All India Radio (AIR) Headquarters in Dehli, India. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

All India Radio (AIR) Headquarters in Dehli, India. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Barraclough, who shares the following link from The Sunday Guardian Live via Facebook:

At present, AIR has only two Balochi speaking people who have been helping with the daily one-hour programme transmitted to Balochistan. A senior AIR official, on the condition of anonymity, said, “There has always been a dearth of Balochi speaking people here. Even before Balochistan got attention in mainstream Indian media, we had been working to improve our Balochi show. For years, we had been writing to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs to help us get some talented people from Balochistan who can work with us on improving content in our Balochi shows. ”

[…]”Since we are gradually switching from short-wave to a web-based service now, all our overseas shows in various languages are already starting to get more human resource. We have more funds to invest on quality of our programmes. Earlier, such funds were largely spent on the maintenance of short-wave machinery.”[…]

Click here to read the full story.

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Mike reviews The Pol Pot Conspiracy

PolPotConspiracyMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Barraclough, who writes:

Neil Ffrench Blake is a former BBC producer and journalist who launched and was Managing Director of Radio 210, first station Mike Read and Steve Wright worked at. He was also involved in psychological warfare radio stations broadcasting to Aden, Afghanistan and managed ones to the Falkland Islands and Cambodia.

The Kindle book The Pol Pot Conspiracy, a work of fiction, but solidly based on autobiographical fact, covers in one of its chapters his work on Radio Atlantico del Sur.

[Radio Atlantico del Sur was] run during the Falklands War using requisitioned BBC transmitters on Ascension and aimed at Argentinian conscripts. [T]he majority of the book [focuses on the] Voice of the Khmer (on the air from 1985 to 1992) and operated by members of the two non-communist factions who were in alliance with the Khmer Rouge and opposing the government set up following the Russian backed Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in 1978.

Radio Atlantico del Sur met opposition in Whitehall particularly from the Foreign Office and from Douglas Muggeridge at the BBC World Service though behind the scenes he says the BBC could not have been more co-operative. This resulted in stories fed to the press about amateur broadcasters speaking the wrong kind of Spanish which Neil asserts are not true.

Voice of the Khmer received covert funding from the CIA, some of which was siphoned off by the corrupt Thai military. It was received worldwide on 6325 [kHz]. Transmitters were in Thailand or just over the Thai-Cambodian border in areas not controlled by the Vietnamese.
Details of the background to the book and link to it on Amazon below.

It’s long and perhaps overly detailed in parts but written in a very readable style.

Two links to a summary of the 20 May 1982 programme of Radio Atlantico del Sur and an interim assessment of its programming in the comments:

Thank you for sharing, Mike!

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BBC Waveguide and Letterbox archives now available online

Waveguide

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Barraclough, who writes:

BBC World Service Archives continue to put up programmes on the main site, they were previously available on a beta site you had to register for and were allowed to add tags or edit data. 64 editions of Waveguide, their radio broadcasting developments programme now up, first one 21 April 1988. last one 14 March 2001.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0338l70/episodes/guide

There were only 4 editions of the long running Letterbox on the beta site but they have been transferred over, includes the final edition. None of World Radio Club in the archives unfortunately.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p033dqhr/episodes/guide

Many thanks for the tip, Mike! I’m happy the BBC is making their archives even more accessible as a part of their strategic plan. Please let us know if you note any other archives of interest!

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Download the 1923 “first Wireless Christmas” edition of The Radio Times

RadioTimes1923

(Source: BBC Genome Blog via Mike Barraclough)

The much-loved Christmas edition of the Radio Times made its first appearance in 1923. 

It was all very different to today’s multi-channel, on-demand world. There was only radio, and London station 2LO had a meagre five-and-a-half hours of programmes on Christmas Day.

But to some extent, the first Christmas issue set many traditions which have prevailed for decades in various guises. The cover was a warm splash of colour and very festive in tone, while the publication’s austere masthead was festooned with snow and holly.

John Reith, who went on to become the BBC’s first director general, was given the first page to deliver a message to listeners, in which he deliberated the meaning of Christmas and then inevitably talked about the joy of broadcasting and the “first Wireless Christmas”.

“The loud speaker is such a convenient entertainer,” he wrote. “He doesn’t feel hurt if a cracker is pulled in the middle of a song, or offended if the fun grows riotous during his performance”.

While Reith was keen to talk up the virtues of broadcasting, the magazine was packed with adverts for radio sets and cartoons about the joys of consuming radio programmes.

But Christmas is all about giving, and we’d like to offer you the chance to download the first Christmas issue. It’s a fascinating document and we hope you will enjoy it. Happy Christmas fromBBC Genome!

Download a PDF version of the 1923 Christmas Radio Times by clicking on this link

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