These articles are scanned and OCRed from old
editions of The Wireless World
As the old saying goes, "The more things change, the more things stay the same." Incredibly,
back in 1931 people were complaining about shrinking office cubicle sizes. To wit: "At
'Broadcasting House' rooms measuring 8ft. x 6ft. are being coveted by the many people
who will be condemned to labour in cubicles 7ft. x 5ft. The Civil Engineer himself, who
helped to design and erect the building, works in a compartment in which, as the American
said, 'You couldn't cuss a cat without getting hair on your teeth.'" ...and whoa!, dig
this statement by the author regarding the demise of "local oscillators" in the UK (noisy
regenerative Rx LO interference*): "Steps might be taken to ensure the survival
of a few specimens, perhaps by the founding of a national reservation similar to those
which accommodate the Red Indians in America. The few remaining squealers and their squaws
could then re-radiate to their hearts' content."
* Thanks to RF Cafe visitor Tim D. C. for the info: "Regarding the recent
Broadcast Brevities from March 1932, where in it says 'regarding the demise of 'local
oscillators' in the UK,' it's a reference to regenerative receivers when they spill
over into oscillation and interfere with neighboring sets. This was common in the
early days and the article was implying that the regens of old were slowly being
replaced by newer technologies."
Misgivings at Savoy Hill.
THE B.B.C. staff must fight their own battles," remarked a genial listener to whom
I had said that nearly everybody in Savoy Hill is dreading the day of removal to Broadcasting
House. He added that staff discomforts, although regrettable, do not really concern the
Poor Accommodation at " B.H."
Most readers will probably agree that he is wrong. A discontented staff is not likely
to be efficient, and inefficiency on the staff side is bound, sooner or later, to affect
the programmes and, consequently, listeners' enjoyment.
So that, looking at the question from a purely selfish angle, I am sorry to find that
the grumbles are growing. at Savoy Hill over the pitiful shortage of accommodation in
the new building.
On Board the Lugger.
Months ago, when people were making jocular allusions to the ship-like appearance
of Broadcasting House, it was hinted that space would be at a premium, and now that the
stage has been reached when rooms are being allocated to the various departments, it
is becoming only too evident that the ship idea has been carried through to the bitter
At "Broadcasting House" rooms measuring 8ft. x 6ft. are being coveted by the many
people who will be condemned to labour in cubicles 7ft. x 5ft.
The Civil Engineer himself, who helped to design and erect the building, works in
a compartment in which, as the American said, "You couldn't cuss a cat without getting
hair on your teeth."
To put it candidly, the B.B-.C. have made a mistake in attempting to cram into Broadcasting
House all those extra departments which were formerly "farmed out" in various odd buildings
ill the neighbourhood of the Strand. The next move, I suppose, will be the demolition
of the houses adjoining the new building to provide for the construction of annexes.
Plenty of Echo.
It is at least comforting to know that there has been no cheeseparing in regard to
studio space. Indeed, the size of most of the studios is such that very little use will
he made of the auxiliary echo rooms. In most cases the engineers have found it necessary
to introduce damping to cut down resonance effects, and Mr. Ashbridge promises that the
general effect of transmission from the new studios will show a great improvement over
those from Savoy Hill.
The change-over begins on March 15th with the first broadcast of Henry Hall and the
B.B. C. Dance Orchestra from Studio SA, and thereafter the new studios will come into
use one by one.
There is material here for a good guessing game if the B.B.C. could be persuaded to
tell us at the end of each programme whether the studio used was new or old.
Henry Hall Explains.
R. HENRY HALL, the new B.B.C. dance band conductor, made a statement last Friday which
should reassure those who feared that his programmes would be of a very restricted kind,
" A lot of fuss has been made," he said, "over a chance remark of mine last January that
I favoured 'sweet' music. It appears to have been interpreted as meaning that I intended
to exclude other forms of dance music such as ultra-syncopated 'hot' jazz and the Vaudeville
A Varied Repertoire.
"This is quite wrong," explained Mr. Hall. "While my mandate is to provide dance music,
listeners will probably find that there is no form of music played in the past by dance
orchestras that the B.B.C. band will exclude from its repertoire."
Talking of dance bands, many readers have reproved me more or less gently for daring
to assert a fortnight ago that Henry Hall's would be the first dance band to include
an oboe, Apparently oboes have been pressed into service since 1923 or thereabouts, and
I must apologise to all concerned.
And one reader suggests that the artiste whom I mentioned would feel far more flattered
if referred to as a vocalist rather than as a singer. I had no idea that dance vocalists
were so modest.
A Gangster and Others.
STILL determined to make our flesh creep (and I am glad of it) the B.B.C. will begin
in May a Saturday night series of talks, under the general title of "Hazard," in which
notable adventurers will give us first-hand descriptions of their experiences. The subject
seems as promising as "Escapes," which provided such an engrossing collection of true
yarns a few months ago.
The contributors will be famous sailors, soldiers, flying men, an Arctic explorer,
and, also, if it can be arranged, a real gangster. I assume he will be on the retired
England v. Scotland Rugger.
RUNNING commentary on the England v. Scotland Rugby International match will be given
by Captain H. B. T. Wakelam on March 19th, and relayed from Twickenham.
Where are the Oscillators?
ONLY 6,910 letters of complaint regarding local oscillation reached the B.B.C. during
1931, as compared with 7,023 in 1930.
This is not a big drop, but it is significant of the fact that oscillators are a slowly
dying race. I hold no brief for the squealers, but there is always something sad in the
decline of a popular movement. Steps might be taken to ensure the survival of a few specimens,
perhaps by the founding of a national reservation similar to those which accommodate
the Red Indians in America. The few remaining squealers and their squaws could then re-radiate
to their hearts' content.
Posted December 18, 2018 (original 4/18/2011)