THE WIRELESS IN THE 1940s.
I have always been a keen wireless/radio fan, which I prefer it to television.
I had an uncle who worked in the Barnsley Co-operative Electrical Department, he too was very keen on radio. I had never seen a television set. As the storm clouds, heralding the start of World War 11, were starting to gather, my uncle advised my mum and dad to buy a radiogram. There were very few coming into the shops, and as he told them, there wouldnt be anymore for years to come, if the threat of war turned out to be a reality. My mum and dad had won some money on the football pools, after talking it over they decided to take my uncles advice and buy one. There was the problem that we did not have electricity, so it was stored upstairs in my aunt and uncles home. The radiogram was a beautiful piece of furniture, made from walnut wood, with a very high gloss, the make was an Ambassador.
A bonus of our moving to Burton Grange was that we could have our radiogram and listen to it at our hearts content. I was mesmerised by the fact that we could hear other peoples voices, and listen to music. I am a music lover and I attribute this to my mum and dad and the radio.
As a Saturday night treat, my mum would let me stay up and listen to Saturday Night Theatre, a radio play which usually lasted for about one and a half hours, I loved Saturday nights. I would have had my bath and curl up on the settee with a blanket, more often than not I would fall asleep before the play ended, but this didnt matter to me.
I loved the comedy on the radio too, I think my favourite was Tommy Handley in ITMA (Its That Man Again), I used to roll about laughing, and can remember how sad I felt when in 1946 I heard that he had died.
There was a great choice of programmes on the wireless, Life with the Lyons, a type of situation comedy, with husband and wife team, Bibi Daniels and Ben Lyon, their two children also took part.
Ted Ray in Rays a Laugh, was a good one, especially, when he used to complain about that ginger tom, next door. Richard Murdoch and Kenneth Horne were also good in Much Binding in the Marsh.
There was one particular programme which I liked, yet it used to scare me stiff, and that was Valentine Dyal, aka The Man in Black, he had a very deep scary voice and told mystery stories. Mum wasnt too keen upon me listening to Valentine, knowing how impressionable I was.
There were childrens programmes, too, Uncle Mac with Childrens Hour and the best of all was Just William, by Richmal Crompton. I could never understand why this went out at eight oclock in the evening. I had to plead with my mum to allow me to stay up to listen to, Williams, Gingers and *Violet Elizabeths adventures. (Whilst mum was liberal on a Saturday), Just William was broadcast on a Monday evening.
I did get a lot of pleasure from reading the books, but it wasnt quite the same as listening to the wireless.
The above isn't quite the same as our radiogram, but similar
*Violet Elizabeth was that obnoxious spoiled child who used to lisp.