|Title ID||3539||Collection ID||273|
|Title||BBC Radio Brighton|
|Date||[1967 - 1968?]|
|Keywords||Broadcasting Building Construction Buildings Cars Communities Weather|
|Copyright & Access||Copyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details|
An amateur film which charts the early days of BBC Radio Brighton. The film includes scenes of the offices being converted, the station manager touring the region, and recordings on location. The station's first transmission officially began on the 14th February 1968, though it made unscheduled broadcasts in December 1967 to cover local severe snowstorms.
The film opens with a brief history of world communications using graphics, cartoon drawings and photographs. reference is made to the Government Report on local broadcasting (December 1966) recommending eight local radio stations being set up on an experimental basis, including Brighton. Station manager Robert Gunnell arrives at the newly acquired building in Brighton on Church Street in October 1967. Builders, decorators and engineers start work on its conversion, building offices and studios in the previously unoccupied rooms. Meanwhile the film offers images of the locations which will be served by the new station, including the Brighton seafront, the River Adur forming the Western boundary and the cliffs of Peacehaven forming the Eastern boundary. Other locations include Hollingbury, Southwick, Saltdean, Rottingdean, Hove, and the harbour and airfield at Shoreham-by-Sea.
Robert Gunnell establishes a temporary office for himself and his secretary before touring the region, giving presentations to members of the local community. Community association meetings are held at Southwick, Shoreham, Saltdean and Peacehaven. A scene shows a TV and Radio shop front in Hove and the interior of the shop where a salesman sells a portable radio to a customer. Back at the station's offices on the 3rd floor, electronics are installed and control panels wired. The station engineer Ted Castle is filmed driving the outside broadcast car to Whitehawk Hill and raising its eighty foot mast once stationary. Future outside broadcasts are described including reports on football matches, sailing events, angling, gardening and the weather.
On December 8th 1967 the city was hit by heavy snow and the radio made an unscheduled early first appearance with 8 x 20 minute news broadcasts. The film shows some of the poor weather conditions including cars in deep snow. The first outside recording takes place however in the belfry of St Peter's Church in Brighton where engineers work to capture the sounds produced by the bell ringers. The film ends with footage of BBC Radio Brighton presenters at work in the new studio, giving the station's first official broadcast on Wednesday 14th February 1968. In the studio, the clock is shown ticking down to 6.15pm; the station goes on air. Final scenes show the broadcasters, and their microphones.