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Banburyshire Family History

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go back to the last page you were on Memories of the 40s : Appointment with Fear


"Appointment with Fear" was enjoyed sitting cross-legged under the dinner table, safely curtained behind its heavy damask tablecloth. Even the name, Valentine Dyall, can still produce a chill. His deep and considered intonation spun dramatic mental images causing Ringlets to snuggle close, thumb in mouth and eyes closed.

Meals were timed to coincide with Jean Metcalfe and "Forces Favourites"; musical requests from Kuala Lumpa, Valletta, and BFPO just about everywhere. "Worker's Playtime" supplied variety and humour (..coming today from a cardboard box factory in Peterborough), and was a proving ground for almost every comedian of the next forty years.

Comedy was comfortable and reassuring. Entertainers like Wilfred Pickles and Ted Ray did not make fun of people - they laughed with people and not at them - and were loved for it. On the other hand, Percy Edwards was always a dog.

"Music While you Work" was broadcast to entertain factory workers, and presaged music currently played to encourage egg production in battery houses. Considering its audience the music needed to be carefully selected - many complaints ensued when "Deep in the Heart of Texas" was accompanied throughout the Nation by hammering on workbenches.

Listening to this programme encouraged a mental picture of musicians strolling up and down factory gangways playing their instruments to bemused but appreciative machine operators. Year's later, personal experience of machine shops proved the impracticality of hearing anything further away than three feet.

The importance of clear and unambiguous technical drawings very quickly became obvious. Radio communication was non-existent, and verbal communication too often resembled a game of Chinese Whispers. Any bowler-hatted members of management becoming disorientated on the shopfloor were paged by an overhead system of coloured lights and lead to safety by supervision.

Oh well.

Contributed by Smokey