In recent times the first 19 ILR stations have been/will be celebrating their 40th birthdays. To this end Radio City were 40 years old on 21st October 2014, there were two celebrations held on the 24th October 2014, the second was the evening function and the first was Radio City At 40-The First Dayers. It was held at a restaurant in Stanley street only a couple of doors away from the original Stanley street studios. I received a very courteous (and totally unexpected) invitation to join the first dayers for their lunch from Bill Bingham.
As I walked up Stanley street I was nervous and had a degree of trepidation, this of course was uneccessary, as soon as I walked into the restaurant I was greeted by Dave Lincoln. One guest that was missing was the first presenter to present a programme on the 21st October 1974 .... Arthur Murphy, luckily Bill Bingham had managed to record a telephone message from Arthur which was played out during the lunch.
Speeches were made by Gillian Reynolds, Ken Medlock and Terry Smith. The master of ceremonies was Bill Bingham and during our time in the restaurant Radio City nostalgia was played out over the P.A. system. Guests had been invited to bring along any memorabilia they had in their possession, Roy Saatchi from the newsroom brought copies of the Radio City newspaper which was distributed just in advance of the start date, one of the jingles played during the lunch was the "Give me a C give me an I give me a big TY" and Roy informed me that it was voiced by presenter John Hedges. Michael Green had brought along various scripts from programmes that he had either produced or presented, Mike also took all of the photgraphs during the lunch.
I met Radio City producer, Robert Cooper, it was Robert who voiced the great Easton express jingle as the station announcer and together with Clive Burrows, City's music producer all three including Phil Easton created the jingle. Whilst at the lunch I was sitting opposite Edd Leetham, Radio City engineer and he handed me a CD, this was a studio copy of the programme that had been made to celebrate Radio City's first birthday, I couldn't believe it, this was a studio quality version of the programme, so a very big thank you to Edd for giving me that programme. Once lunch was finished everyone made their way to the entrance to Radio City's former studios building in Stanley street for some group photographs. A great time was had by all and many City folklore stories were told. Once the photographs were taken everyone then started to prepare themselves for the evening function.
Just as I was writing this I received an e-mail from Radio City engineer Dave Hellier, he informed me that he had audio of the first half hour of broadcast on the 21st October 1974, Dave has sent it to me and it is included on this page, so a big thank you to Dave Hellier.
The Radio City At 40-The First Dayers lunch was a tremendous success and was well attended, so congratulations to all and to a great radio station which has certainly offered me great listening pleasure and a wealth of great music to add to my own music collection.
Many thanks to Bill Bingham for compiling and supplying the audio to me, Michael Green for all of the photos from the lunch, and to Dave Hellier for the first day audio.
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All 'First Dayers' photos courtesy of Michael Green
Here is some audio from the day:
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