Image credit: Dr Margaretta Jolly browses the collection. © Connected Histories of the BBC
The project’s first public event was held at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford on Saturday 7th October 2017 and celebrated fifty years of BBC Radio 1,2,3 and 4
On 30 September 1967, as the Summer of Love reached its climax, the old Home Service, Light Programme and Third were put to rest – and dear old Auntie nervously embraced pop. At exactly 7am on that Saturday morning, Tony Blackburn took to the air, welcomed everyone to “the exciting new sound of Radio 1”, and played his very first record, Flowers in the Rain. The BBC would never be the same again. Some reckoned it was the last gasp of a dying medium – that television would soon kill off radio altogether. In the half-century since, radio hasn’t just survived it’s thrived: a testimony to how important it is in our everyday lives, how much we love this taken-for-granted device.
As part of the fiftieth birthday celebrations, the BBC teamed up with the National Science and Media Museum and media historians at the University of Sussex for this one-off event. The event explored the role of radio in all our lives – the sets we had at home growing up, the technology that put our favourite voices and music on the air, the personalities who made it all happen behind-the-scenes. Guests were given the opportunity to explore the Museum’s collections, saw new archive footage from the BBC’s vaults, and heard talks by broadcasters and historians. The event also collected personal memories of radio, and recording your BBC reminiscences on film.