Sunday 9 October 2022

Jerry Wright

On Friday last, my friends Charlie and Simon visited Jerry in hospital in Maidstone.  Jerry was admitted this week for a serious condition which happily is improving. He received many good wishes from friends and listeners and was touched by the love and affection sent by well wishers.

He made a couple of videos that he asked me to share with you.

This is the first:

The second one was a little more off the wall, but I thought it would also be fun to share:

Saturday 29 February 2020

Radio Nordsee International

For a change, not a post about politics or brexit.

This is about a radio station that defined my teenage years.

In 1970, it was just 3 years on from the demise of the '60s pirate radio stations, Radio London, Swingin' Radio England, Caroline (for a while) and many others were recent happy memories. We longed for something better.

Then late 1969, tuning around the MW band at the 'bottom' (more properly the 'top' end) - we used metres rather than frequency to determine stations, I found this pop music playing, mixed with morse code interference, on 186m.

It was the first test transmissions from RNI (Radio Nordsee International).  

A couple of months later it opened up officially and here are the first few hours on air.

Monday 27 January 2020

The End.. Or is it just the start ?

So here we are. In our final week in the EU.  

My last post on this subject was on the day our (then) PM, Theresa May, 'triggered' Article 50, starting the process of leaving the EU.  It's almost 3 years since that day and despite many attempts it seems the battle to remain has been lost and on Friday at 23:00 UK time, this country will formally leave the EU.

Nothing of course will change for at least a year, as we will be within a transition period, during which have to obey all EU rules and we retain all aspects of membership ... except having a say at the top table.  From that hour we will have no representation and become a 'vassal' state and rule takers.  No doubt leavers will be crowing victory but we'll see their faces when they realise the brexit is not 'done' but only just started. With the difficult negotiations on trade and the future relationships just starting.

I don't know what's going to happen in the end but I hope that we will begin to realise in the next 12 months what we are losing and that we either opt for a close relationship with our European friends, or in the coming years rejoin.

Regardless I personally will remain at heart a British European Citizen.

And nothing and no one can take that away from me.

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Article 50 Day - March 29th, 2017

Today, March 29th, 2017 is the day that many have been either looking forward to or dreading. 

The day when Theresa May triggers Article 50 to start the UK's departure from the European Union. I'm very sure it will be remembered as a landmark day, however the process ends. I'm just going to mark it by posting a note I hastily wrote on my Notes app on my phone in February 2016, some 6 months before the referendum. My views have not changed one iota since then: 

"The only way the people will get the information is from politicians or news media who will spin it to suit their aims. Being brutally honest, the average 'joe' such as you and I really don't know and I don't believe should be trusted with such a decision. It's a huge one and I believe an abdication of responsibility to let us decide. If in years to come, whatever decision is made is proved to be wrong, it will be our fault for voting the wrong way. We elect these politicians who are paid handsomely to run the country and it should be they and their expert advisors who decide. I understand why everyone feels they should be involved and I will of course vote with my head and heart. But I still feel this is an abdication of responsibility on the part of governments." 

I'll say no more for now and hope that whatever transpires in the next 2 critical years does not harm the country we all know and love.

Thursday 9 February 2017

I said I'd be back

It's February 2017.

It's been a long time since I posted, but I'm going to resurrect this blog as I've got too much to say to put it just into Facebook posts.

Not right now, but watch this space, we are alive and kicking.

Thursday 26 May 2011

Summer is here at last

So Summer 2011 is here - characterized by the start of the Test Cricket series and of course the weather.

Nothing but sun, wind and rain, and oh yes more wind this morning in Surrey making more work for the fencing repair industry.

We're going to have to bite the bullet and get most of our fencing replaced, it's long overdue but almost seems futile given the fact that we seem to get strong winds several times a year and the subsequent slow destruction of the fence.  You'd have thought that in this day and age you could have fencing that can stand up far more to the elements.  The design seems to have remained identical for more than half a century, certainly is no different to when I was knee high to a knee.

And of course if the wind and rain abate for long enough, we may get some play in the cricket.  No problem though if it doesn't go, we can always watch 'Countdown' or highlights of previous matches... errrr..... no, satellite dishes don't like wind and rain and you get the 'No Satellite Signal is being received' message, till the rain stops.f

So what to do now, maybe update my blog..

Nah, what would I have to say?

Tuesday 14 September 2010

The Destruction of Local Radio - The Final Phase

So Global Radio have announced that the remaining legacy stations in their group, as well as the 'Galaxy' network are to become 'Capital'   This will leave the company with 2 quasi-national networks (Heart and Capital) and is maybe the final nail in the coffin for local commercial radio.

It is, of course, just a back door way of getting national commercial music radio in the UK.  After the commercials were originally denied a 'pop' music station back in the days when the licences for Classic and (eventually) Virgin were offered, the commercial sector has been trying every method under the sun to get national stations to 'compete' with the BBC.  This is just the latest attempt.  Will it succeed?  Well, I really don't know, despite the vocal opposition to the 'Heart'ification by Global in the last year, nothing has happened, and it doesn't appear that stations have been deserted by listeners in their droves.  So I guess that's why Global now feels able to proceed.

But a few random points:

"Capital" was (and still is) a fantastic brand name for a music station covering the capital of this country (ie London). It did what it said in the brand.  Capital (Oldham) doesn't have the same appeal and just sounds plain stupid.

"Heart" again was a superb brand for the Heart of the UK (The Midlands) and the Heart of London - again extending it to 'Heart Sussex' sounds plain daft.

I doubt whether quality and diversity wise the new networks will be able to compete with the BBC.  They insist on filling the schedules with 'personalities' who know little about radio and are really just names.  If you look at Radio 1 and 2, Chris Moyles, Ken Bruce, Chris Evans, Jeremy Vine etc are all radio people.  They know all about the medium and how to exploit it.  On the Heart/Capital side you have the likes of Jason Donovan (actor/singer), Emma Bunton (singer) etc.. all great in their field, but not radio presenters.  

So all the people in the local areas formerly served by the legacy stations will be disenfranchised and effectively have nothing local, looking at local issues, making people feel special because they live in 'Sutton' or 'Barnoldswick' and get their names and towns mentioned regularly.  And of course local advertising will become more expensive and out of reach and will advertisers want to spend the rapidly dwindling money to use a station that rarely acknowledges its service area on air?  We'll see.

All this should mean that the small number of true independents left in 'ILR' should be able to CAPITALise (sorry!) on this, and the third sector, Community radio, start to fill the void.  From all the negativity, maybe something better will emerge.