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Sunday, 6 February 2011

LIFE BEFORE BROADBAND

During a week when BT Broadband crawled to a standstill yet again and gales and heavy salt deposits played havoc with the main power supplies, the realisation of how much the modern world now relies on the internet technology for ‘instant’ communication was more than evident. Back in the 1920’s the wireless as it was known was only becoming a feature of life. The British Broadcasting Company began radio services in 1922, becoming the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 1926, and gained control of the airwaves.

No other broadcasting organisation was actually licensed till 1973, but foreign commercial radio stations broadcast programmes in English up until World War 2, when they were all virtually silenced bar Radio Luxembourg which continued transmitting American style entertainment. In 1964 the first of around 10 offshore Pirate Radio Stations began transmitting until finally silenced by the Marine Offences Act of 1967.

The BBC attempted to win back the millions of listeners who had tuned into these ‘pirate’ radio stations by introducing Radio One. The DJ’s Tony Blackburn and the late John Peel were hired by the BBC to continue their style of broadcasting made famous by stations like Radio Caroline's 'Morning Show' and Radio London's ‘The Perfumed Garden’.

Bert Thomas (1883-1966) cartoon highlights the influence the new ‘wireless’ had on the population of the 1920’s as prominent people of the age were suddenly thrust into the homes of unsuspecting listeners.

Transcript below:

 
OLD LADY: (as a certain politician's name is announced on wireless). "Shut
that off! I won't have that man in my house."








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