Old Fashioned Radio

Old Fashioned Radio

I find the world of radio a great fascination
How transmissions are made by wave propagation
And the history or this amazing technology
Spreading the world’s treasures audibly

Elsewhere I wrote of radio’s evolution
And how it brought about a virtual revolution
From Crystal sets with their in-built cat’s whiskers
To VHF and  DAB via thermionic Valves and  Transistors

But an aspect of old radios that makes me smile
Is the detail printed on the wireless dial
The wavelengths are usually Medium or Long
Rarely they show Shortwave – not very strong

To select the wavelength there’s a switch to flick
So that leads to the programmes you may want to pick
The major provision seems to be the Home Service
Which serves those whose listening intentions are serious

The Home Service also has some local opt-outs
Scotland, Midland, Northern, and Wales to try out
The Third programme is for the intellectual mind
The Light programme for the rest of us  – unrefined!

The radio dials show that signals came from far and wide
Budapest, Munich, Paris, all on the Channel’s other side
Moscow, Brussels, Oslo, and somewhere called Hilversum
Apparently a town in the Netherlands not far from Amsterdam

Other stations that spread transmissions in the ‘ether’
Dublin, Hamburg, Strasbourg, and Lille feature
Back in middle England the Droitwich name
A major Long Wave transmitter of great fame

And let’s not forget that early rebel commercial pioneer
Radio Luxembourg on 208 filled the legals with such fear
It spawned the growth of pirate offshore DJ shows
And taught modern presenters all they know!

Religion was not neglected with broadcasts from the Vatican
And no doubt the other churches featured in the plan
To use the radio to ‘inform, entertain, and educate’
Which broadcasters even today claim they emulate

So there we have it, a nostalgic backward glance
Even in those early years quite an expanse
Of those with a message to spread by the radio emitter
Today surpassed by Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp and Twitter!

Ken Fisher


see also: Radio, the Listener’s Window on the World

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