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 and, Whoa!, this statement by the author:
articles are scanned and OCRed from old editions of The Wireless
"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."
See all the available
The Wireless World articles.
Misgivings at Savoy Hill.
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 general public.
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.
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
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 end.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.