My second Guest Blog comes from Val Leyland, sometimes seen on the Trent and also a member of the East of England Singers (Is there no end to our talent?)
One of my earliest memories (apart from having my stomach pumped after I’d eaten some of my Dad’s hay fever tablets – well they did look like green Smarties) is of the ‘Ding-de-ding, ding-de-dong, dong’ tune introducing the children’s radio programme Listen with Mother, which used to precede Woman’s Hour. Quarter to two was the first time I learned to tell.
With no TV or other home entertainment, the soothing voice of Daphne Oxenford intoning ‘Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin’ was my window onto a wider world. I was interested to find that her later acting career included being in the original cast of Coronation Street and a role in Dr Who with David Tennant; she died last December, aged 93.
Another memory of Listen with Mother is the theme tune, Gabriel Fauré’s Berceuse from his Dolly Suite. This must have been the first ‘classical’ music I got to know. Little did I realise what a significant and valued part music of all kinds would play during my life.
The programme ended in 1982 because of falling audiences. There are now no children’s programmes on Radio 4, though children can listen to CBeebies radio. In this increasingly visual age I wonder how many children regularly use their ears alone? I’m glad I was born in gentler times. Have a nostalgic listen!
Many thanks to Val for her trip down memory lane. (For some of us!) Do let me know if you’d like to write a guest blog – anything radio related and in about 300 words.