"Now, listen carefully children. Listen with mother. If you are sitting comfortably, then we'll begin!
'Listen with Mother' was the very first radio broadcast that I can remember. It was a school broadcast which we would listen to as infants before coming home for the day.
The school service radio was a morning educational treat and used to be switched on to teach us songs that reminded us that we were British and proud of it; songs like 'Heart of Oak are our ships' and 'Scarborough Fair' and 'Green Sleeves', etc. etc.
Then, when we arrived home for the day and tea time approached, we would always have 'Mrs Dale's Diary' playing in the background. If it was too wet to play out after tea, we would listen to 'The Archers' before getting ready for bed. We had no homework during those days as the teachers were obviously good enough at their jobs to teach the children all that had to be learnt during an average six-hour day.We knew that we were growing up if our parents allowed us to listen to 'Dick Barton, Special Agent' before going to bed.
But the programme that told me I was really growing up in my parent's eyes was when I was allowed to listen to the scary tales of 'The Black Museum.' These were stories told by Orson Welles and although many people think that they were a product of the BBC, they were actually produced and syndicated commercially by Towers throughout the English speaking world.They always started in the same way:
'This is Orson Welles speaking from London.'
(Sound of Big Ben chimes)
'The Black Museum is a repository of death. Here in the grim structure on the Thames which houses Scotland Yard is a warehouse of homicide where everyday objects such as a woman's shoe, a tiny white box, a quilted robe, .....are all touched by murder.'
The year was 1951 and although only 9 years old, being the eldest of seven children my mother allowed me to listen after the others had gone to bed. At the end of the transmission, I would then run up stairs, jump into bed and try not to dream about the scary story I'd just listened to. I invariably failed and would get stabbed or meet another type of grizzly end in my sleep. Those were the days!" William Forde: June 7th, 2013.