Title ID 3539Collection ID273
TitleBBC Radio Brighton
Date[1967 - 1968?]
CollectionGreenyer Family
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionActuality/Factual
ThemeWorking Life
KeywordsBroadcasting Building Construction Buildings Cars Communities Weather
LocalBrighton Peacehaven Southwick Saltdean Rottingdean Hove Shoreham-by-Sea Hollingbury
RegionalEast Sussex West Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionJim Greenyer
DirectorJim Greenyer
ProducerJim Greenyer
MusicRobina Greenyer (Composer); John Battis (Musician); Brian Cornwall (Musician); Barry Davis (Musician); Bob Kennitt (Musician)
ParticipantsTed Castle (Station Engineer); Donald Edmonds (Chairman of Public Meetings, and Mayor of Hove); Robert Gunnell (Station Manager); Gill Montague (Station Assistant),;Fray (?) George Orchard (Second Engineer); Keith Slade (Arts Producer); David Waine (Programme Organiser)
Other creditsassisted by: Allan Horne, Sid Mitchell, Robina Greenyer, Barbara Etherton, Derek R. Etherton
FormatColour Sound
Duration26 min.
Copyright & AccessCopyright 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, empty building in Brighton on Church Street in October 1967.

The film offers images of the locations and events which will be served by the new station, including the Brighton seafront (from the West Pier) and the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. 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. 

We see the work of Carol Head, personal secretary to Robert Gunnell temporarily working from a spare room in her home as an office. She is working on the letters sent out to would-be broadcasters and the gathering of programme material.

Builders, decorators and engineers start work on its conversion, building offices and studios in the previously unoccupied rooms.

Community association meetings are held at Southwick, Shoreham, Saltdean and Peacehaven. Robert Gunnell gives general presentations to members of the local community and specialised meetings with representatives of the church and education.

The voice-over explains that BBC Radio Brighton will be transmitting on VHS 88.1 megacycle and the justifications for this format.

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 temporary offices on the 3rd floor, electronics are being installed and control panels wired in the rest of the building focusing on the first floor technical area and a smaller talk studio on the second floor. The 50 watts transmitter situated on Whitehawk Hill, directing signal along the coastal strip. Station engineer Ted Castle is filmed driving the outside broadcast car to Whitehawk Hill and raising its hydraulically operated eighteen-foot aerial 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 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 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.