Monday 23 November 2009

RADIO WEBSITES NOVEMBER 2009, published in Radio User, PWP

Published in Radio User, PWP

Ears to the world

Radio Prague has changed its website design:  

Editor-in-Chief Gerald Schubert says: “It’s quite a new, modern design and part of Czech Radio’s corporate identity…We have a lot of readers on our website, we will still present everything in text as well, but we have a new feature for listeners on the website, and that’s our own embedded player which means that listeners don’t need to have software on their computer. They don’t have to wait until a new window opens; they can just click on the player on our website and directly listen to the stories. We have about 800,000 unique visits a month in all our six language versions, and when it comes to opened articles it’s almost 1,500,000.”  

November of course sees the 20th anniversary of the sweeping changes in eastern Europe, A feature at Radio Prague’s website on how Radio Prague was two decades ago is at:

With the changes to their website it’s even easier to catch up with favourite programmes one by one. For instance Mailbox and Soundczech (learning Czech), Magazine and Letter From Prague. All neatly marked around the site.

Experienced DXer Bob Padula in Melbourne, Australia continues to make the Australian DX Report audio news magazine available. Recent editions include propagation research, features, news and information about shortwave broadcasting, propagation, solar activity, monitoring notes, new schedules, extracts from schedules and schedule updates.  

You can download, listen to or save the episodes as an mp3 file on your computer, set up a Podcast, and even receive or save it on your mobile phone or other portable internet-enabled digital device.

There is an online minute audio tour of the magnificent Bush House in London. Jonathan Glancey describes the entrance as "a holy of holies" where 1920s wooden banisters, marble floors and light fittings remain. As someone who worked there many moons ago I understand the awe he feels:

If hearing the tour inspires you to delve further, the BBC World Service Flickr website has plenty of photographs. They are in categories such as documentary, Outlook, sport, news, outside broadcast, such as the summer coverage of the Indian election when BBC WS covered the country in their special train:  

An article I myself wrote on Bush House for an American journal some years ago can be found here at:  

Retro archives
Smashing Magazine is an online-only publication with the rather cumbersome strapline of:

“We smash you with the information that will make your life easier, really.” It strays somewhat from my usual territory of radio websites, but has some overlap. It contains a wide range of articles and downloads on photography, posters, music, downloads, graphics and layout. It covers modern and retro with interesting consumer adverts from all over: 1940s Oldmobile cars to 1970s Swedish wallpaper and television. It’s a great read and has so much to offer visually:

BBC 1’s then futuristic science programme from the 1960s to the 1990s, Tomorrow’s World, now has an official BBC archive: 

The first programme from 1965 is on there plus others that will be of interest. The home computer terminal or what passed for one in 1967 is fascinating. Trevor Bayliss’ clockwork radio in 1994 is another good episode. The episode featuring a cordless mobile phone from 1979 was posted by Trevor on the Radio User email group “The 1979 Tomorrow’s World video about an early mobile phone - actually an Amateur Radio 2 metre FM handheld for 140 and 153 MHz - is a good one.”

The programme’s jazzy and familiar sounding theme tune was by John Dankworth. YouTube has examples. Try Stratworth 78 with plenty of vintage themes at:  

You can also hear the theme tune, and music like it by similar artistes at the ever reliable Last FM. Just type in the name of a band or musician:'s+World+Theme  

Atlantic 252 was a much loved Longwave station broadcasting from Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s. It was heard all over the UK. There is a detailed official tribute site at:  

“We're piecing together the history and memories of the UK's most influential national radio station. This is the only place you'll find the anecdotes direct from the DJ's that spun the records right through to the listeners who won the prizes. Everyone is welcome to contribute and we look forward to receiving your memories and contributions.”

The picturesque town of Trim, County Meath was home to Atlantic 252. Frank Courtney's site features some superb photos of the town including the River Boyne and Trim Castle where Braveheart was filmed:

There was an unofficial Atlantic 252 Day in Trim in September. Details of at:  
A Myspace page too at:  

Will we remember them?
When Remembrance Day comes around the Merchant Navy does not have as high a profile as the military men and women who died in World War II. An excellent archive contains names of masters, mates, engineers, skippers and mates of fishing boats, going back a couple of hundred years, is at:

The British Merchant Navy forum has plenty of interesting photos of cargo ships, engine rooms and potted histories. Primarily a reunited type website, there is plenty there for the casual observer too:  

The gripping real-life story of a Merchant Navy radio officer’s exploits and experiences during World War II is at the evocatively titled website “Through salt sprayed eyes”: 

Robert Welsh’s graphic account of when he was a Radio Officer in the Merchant Navy and involved in the Battle of the Atlantic. “The cold hand of death haunted as the U Boats sank their ships, and as fierce storms or the power of a typhoon were encountered.” Other memorials can be read about at:  

There is an understated and very tasteful war monument to the 42,000 merchant seamen and fishing fleets that died in World War II. It is in Trinity Square gardens, Tower Hill, alongside the Tower of London and, perhaps fittingly, by the river Thames. Weather beaten heroic statues line a remembrance garden naming all those who died and their ships. Most touching is the amount of young who perished, denoted a by a ‘”Master” before their name.

Men from as far afield as the Baltics and Hong Kong are remembered there. A photo website is at The Cemetery, Graveyards, Memorials and War Graves Pages, specifically:

More details and indeed, better photographs are at the poignant website:  

It is worth stopping there for a few minutes quiet reflection.

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