In memory of Tony Trebble

This is a rather self indulgent post,  In 1973 I joined the BBC Sound Archives and ran their Recorded Sound Effects Library!  Tony Trebble was my boss, a very good boss as well!

I was surfing on a posting recommended on Facebook, and found this priceless picture of my old inspirational boss Tony Trebble!  Also in the picture is Helen Fry (Head of Sound Archive Production unit) Laurence Stapeley (Head of Recording Services. John Ebdon (Broadcaster and also in charge of the Planetarium in London)  The chap on the extreme right will remain nameless as I cannot remember his name!

http://andywalmsley.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/keeping-track.html

Keeping Track

Oh for a few hours – make that weeks – rummaging through the BBC’s Sound Archives. Talk about a kid in a sweetshop. The archive has long since moved from the fifth floor of Broadcasting House, as mentioned in an article below, and is now stored in climate controlled vaults in Perivale.

For many years on a Monday morning, in a gap between Today and the 9 o’clock news, Radio 4 used to feature a series of programme, more often than not presented by the late John Ebdon, that plundered the archive for unusual and quirky nuggets. In a similar vein this sound clip comes from a short series that aired in 1980 called Keeping Track on “the art, science and business of sound recording.”

Here, the presenter, Peter Clayton, talks to Tony Trebble, at the time the BBC’s Sound Archive Librarian, and asks him to select some of his favourites pieces from the collection.
I was reminded of this programme when I recently read about the death, in April last year, of Tony Trebble. There’s an obituary for Tony, written by Glynne Price, in the February 2016 issue of the BBC’s Prospero and also on the Noticeboard for former BBC staff. Part of it reads:

“The first half of his BBC service was in library services, film and radio, when his reliability and discretion led to him being entrusted with the confidential recording for posterity of the career experiences of eminent BBC hierarchs. Moving on to Television Personnel eventually he settled effectively as a one-man Secretariat to successive Controllers and as such was ideally well-suited. Affably trustworthy he was able to deploy his own orderly-mindedness and the precise love of language that he so much admired in others particularly in navigating the treacherous waters which separated management and unions. His irrepressible capacity to find humour in most human dilemmas never succumbed to the many incipient idiocies of bureaucracy. He was a dependable source of honest counsel for anyone shrewd enough to seek it”.

Back in 1975 Tony was interviewed for the Radio Times by Alexander Frater. Here’s an extract from that article:

“Trebble, a spare, bespectacled , fit-looking man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of things past, has overall charge of more than 63,000 recordings which cover, quite simply, everything. There are current affairs, the voices of the famous and descriptions of great occasions.
There is a huge section devoted exclusively to the last war. There is music of every type, from assorted versions of Messiah to a Greek lady playing a ‘jumping dance’ on the bagpipes. There is even a section dealing entirely with rotten singers and terrible performances. There is also drama, dialects, social history, special effects and a unique collection of 5,000 bird, animal and insect noises.
Sound Archives was born in the 1930s, when it was called the Permanent Library. As well as collecting recordings from the past, they started carefully recording, for the benefit of future generations, the present as well. The 1931 Derby commentary was the first they made and today they file away, for posterity, the best 600 hours from each year’s broadcasting.
Sound Archives consists of a small suite of rooms on the fifth floor of Broadcasting House, fitted with shelves and stacked with records. Trebble refers to it as his pantry. ‘The records are simply ingredients which are used for mixing into new programmes. We get about 50 requests a day for material which producers want to incorporate into their current projects’.

I asked him what recording appealed to him most. ‘A woman in 1941,’ he said, without hesitation. ‘She had a loud upper-class voice and she said “First we have to win the war. Then we’ve got to reconstruct the world. Quite a task, really.” I still think of her in awe.’
Sound Archives intend to continue recording people like that as long as they can. And as Tony Trebble says, ‘When the Millennium comes and the Last Trump, we shall record that too’.”

That mention of “600 hours” each year pales into comparison with the current acquisition rate of 6,000 per month.

Finally, before I leave the subject of the archive here’s a fascinating Guardian Tech Weekly podcast from 2011 recorded just before the BBC moved from Windmill Road to Perivale:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/blog/audio/2010/aug/18/bbc-archive-roly-keating-windmill-road

Posted by Andy Walmsley at 10:30 No comments:

Click here to hear the progamme that went out on the radio, including Tony’s voice which to me is running a bit slow!  At times he sounds more like John Ebdon to me.  Tony will be having a chuckle from the grave over this posting I am sure!

http://embeds.audioboom.com/boos/4629898-keeping-track/embed/v4?eid=AQAAAFR_S1eKpUYA

Fact or Fiction?

This has appeared in the Daily Mail, it seems incredible that Matthew Bannister is still at the BBC after a pay off. Last time I posted a BBC Story, the BBC retracted the story about being able to track people on wi fi watching iPlayer without a licence!  Please make you own mind up about this.

Radio One boss handed £200,000 golden goodbye still works for the BBC 13 years on

  • Former Radio 1 boss Matthew Bannister is still on corporation’s payroll
  • He received a £200,000 golden goodbye when he left the job in 2000
  • But he was rehired by BBC two years later as Radio 5 Live presenter
  • Broadcaster has re-employed 233 redundant staff in the past decade

The BBC handed one of its top executives a £200,000 golden goodbye – then rehired him two years later.

Former Radio 1 boss Matthew Bannister – once nicknamed ‘the fat controller’ by DJ Chris Evans – is still on the corporation’s payroll more than a decade after he pocketed the huge severance sum.

Details of his extraordinary payoff can be revealed by the Daily Mail as it emerged the BBC re-employed 233 staff it made redundant in the past decade, including another executive given £365,000 as he left.

Row: Matthew Bannister, right, fell out spectacularly with Chris Evans, left, over the DJ's working hours

Row: Matthew Bannister, right, fell out spectacularly with Chris Evans, left, over the DJ’s working hours

It heaps further pressure on the broadcaster’s top brass to explain why millions of pounds of the licence fee has been handed to departing staff, including £25million to 150 senior employees.

Wonderful Radio London

Garry Stevens has started off another Internet Station.  It is called Wonderful Radio London and is playing good music, at the moment mainly back to back.

He has started of a website that explains everything.  It appears to have a Chinese Station director?  The site asks you to send him an email in his language?  Pull the other one?   http://www.266.vze.com/

Radio Newsbeat

Waffler

I use Yahoo Groups for some of my radio information, and it has been running incredibly slowly, and almost useless for at least a month now. The past few evenings it has perked up.  A case of a company changing their programming on their site, and it not working well!

Good to see the news below about the excellent Radio Mi Amigo RSL. What is good, is the way that these programmes are available on the internet as well.  Although it must be great to have a local radio station that plays good music, it is even better if it receives a larger audience.  Pity that the BBC do not employ more of the “old school of presenters” on Radio 2.  We have to rely on our local radio stations to hear established offshore celebrities on air now!

It appears that Radio Sovereign (Internet version) is going to have Roy Masters on from 7pm to 9pm.  He evidently is 88 now. You may remember his shows on Radio Caroline in the 80s!   That no doubt will lose a lot of listeners to this station!

The people behind the Miamigo rsl from Harwich have put up a new test stream
www.radiosix.com:8000/miamigo.mp3 

If you are in Friesland, you will be able to hear the station 24/7 on 747khz.new frequency has been added to complement with the existing overnight service on DAB+ and 1602khz.but is this good move by them & will we in the uk get a good signal at night on this new frequency.

http://www.radioseagull.com/news.html

News selected from the Radio Today Site

Launch date set for BBC Radio Cymru Mwy
Posted by Radio Today Staff

Launch date set for BBC Radio Cymru Mwy

A 15 week DAB pop-up station by BBC Radio Cymru will launch on Monday 19th September 2016 in Wales.

BBC Radio Cymru Mwy is part of a series of digital innovations from the national Welsh-language radio station as it approaches its 40th birthday. With the emphasis on more music and easy listening, the temporary service will broadcast every weekday morning culminating on 2 January 2017, 40 years to the eve of BBC Radio Cymru’s first broadcast on 3 January 1977.

For technical reasons, the additional DAB provision is limited to South East Wales.

For the first time in its history, BBC Radio Cymru will offer a choice of listening with a lively breakfast show on BBC Radio Cymru Mwy. The daily news programme, Post Cyntaf followed by the Aled Hughes Programme will continue on BBC Radio Cymru. The pop-up’s schedule will continue until midday, with an option to experiment occasionally with lunch-time programmes.

BBC Radio Cymru Mwy will be available throughout Wales on BBC Radio Cymru’s website, the BBC iPlayer Radio app and on DAB radio in South East Wales. BBC Radio Cymru’s timetable will remain the same on FM and on DAB.

Betsan Powys, BBC Radio Cymru’s Editor says: “The name BBC Radio Cymru Mwy says it all – more music, laughter and more choice for BBC Radio Cymru listeners.

“As we prepare to celebrate BBC Radio Cymru’s landmark 40th birthday in 2017, it’s imperative that we continue to develop and innovate. The pop-up station is an opportunity for us to take advantage of new technology, but more importantly it gives listeners greater choice and the chance to listen to BBC Radio Cymru on new platforms. All this while listeners can continue to listen to the output they enjoy on BBC Radio Cymru in exactly the same way as they do now.”

1Xtra Live to hold next event in Liverpool
Posted by Radio Today Staff

1Xtra Live to hold next event in Liverpool

BBC Radio 1Xtra’s annual flagship event 1Xtra Live is taking place in Liverpool this year, on Saturday 8th October.

1Xtra Live is held in a different location each year, with a line-up of urban music. In 2015, the likes of Tinie Tempah, Miguel, Stormzy and Natalie La Rose performed in Leeds.

Now in its ninth year, 1Xtra Live will bring acts to Echo Arena Liverpool for the station’s biggest night of the year.

A.Dot, BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ says: “This year has been a big year for urban music and with a crowd like Liverpool, 1Xtra Live is set to be one of the biggest nights of the year.”

Ben Cooper, Controller, Radio 1 and 1Xtra says: “The energy and excitement of ten thousand fans, the hottest UK artists and the biggest international acts, will make 1Xtra Live one of the best gigs of the year. We know there is a massive appetite for new music in Liverpool so we knew we had to bring our biggest event to the city.”

Radio Mi Amigo completes offshore celebration
Posted by

Radio Mi Amigo completes offshore celebration

Radio Mi Amigo, based on the light vessel LV18 on Harwich Quay, has celebrated over 50 years of offshore radio with a nine day broadcast.

The station attracted 35 DJs and presenters from Scotland, Ireland and England, including Roger ‘Twiggy’ Day, Tony Prince, Alan ‘Neddy’ Turner, John Ross-Barnard and Emperor Rosko. The schedule also included Enda Caldwell, Sally Moon, Stephanie Hirst and Programme Director Tony Currie.

This tribute to the offshore pirate radio stations celebrated the likes of Radio Caroline, Radio London and several others that appeared off the coast of Harwich in the 1960s.

The annual event is a fundraiser for the Pharos Trust charity, which owns and maintains the ship.

This year, the station could be heard on FM in the Harwich area, on the internet and on shortwave. It claimed to attract an audience of 20,000 for the mix of music, interviews, news, chat and surprise guests – including sixties stars Sylvan, Clare Mills and Katch22.

BBC Essex presenter and Harwich resident, Liana Bridges went out and about during the sea festival to interview the master of HMS Pickle and local business folk. Guest newsreaders were Sybil Fennell (Classic FM), and Charles Nove (BBC). Every opportunity was taken to promote the Harwich area, which has recently been awarded assisted area status, in terms of business and tourism regeneration.

Tony Currie told RadioToday: “It’s been a roller coaster of a fortnight. We’ve had laughter (lots), tears (a good few), exhilaration, frustration, thrills and fears. Throughout it all, we’ve kept out promise to bring the very best radio that we believe we can deliver to the community in Harwich and beyond.”

Station Manager and LV18 Trustee, Tony O’Neil, added, “We are delighted with this year’s broadcast which has attracted many visitors to the town to meet the DJ’s. This would not have been possible without the support of local business advertisers and the input of 60 people, including broadcast professionals and local volunteers, who were in involved in the project, each giving their time and expertise free of charge to help enable this exciting annual event.”

Paul Turvey, Radio Mi Amigo Public Relations manager said: “We were delighted to hear from listeners throughout the broadcast, many of whom were in the Tendring area. We are also grateful to the many businesses that sponsored Radio Mi Amigo, their support enabled the broadcast to be a success.”

Radio Mi Amigo will be continuing as a radio stream via its website.

Roger 'Twiggy' Day

Roger ‘Twiggy’ Day

John Ross-Barnard in the studio

John Ross-Barnard in the studio

L-R: Scott Ross, Norah Barnes, Chris Baird, Tony Currie, Sylvan, Dave Rogers, Enda Caldwell & Alan Turner"

L-R: Scott Ross, Norah Barnes, Chris Baird, Tony Currie, Sylvan, Dave Rogers, Enda Caldwell & Alan Turner”

Weekend schedule changes at BBC Radio 5 live
Posted by Radio Today Staff

Weekend schedule changes at BBC Radio 5 live

 Changes ahead of the new football season on 5 live include new presenting roles for Jermaine Jenas and Jason Mohammad.

Jermaine Jenas presents The Friday Football Social alongside Darren Fletcher, previewing all fixtures and talking points ahead of the weekend of football. The first instalment kicks off on Friday 26 August. Darren takes over from Dan Walker who has moved to BBC Breakfast.

On Saturdays, BBC Radio Wales mid morning presenter and Final Score TV presenter Jason Mohammad will hotfoot it to the 606 chair alongside Robbie Savage whilst Ian Wright and Kelly Cates will be at the helm to present the Sunday edition.

In addition to live commentary, 5 live Sport continues during the week with Mark Chapman, Eleanor Oldroyd, Mark Pougatch and Kelly Cates alongside Caroline Barker and George Riley.

Football correspondent, John Murray leads the Radio 5 live team with commentary from Alan Green and Ian Dennis alongside pundits Danny Mills, Robbie Savage, Mark Lawrenson, Martin Keown, Kevin Kilbane, John Hartson, Pat Nevin, Steve Claridge, Danny Murphy, Jermaine Jenas, Chris Waddle, Chris Sutton and Jimmy Armfield.

talkSPORT signs more international rights deals
Posted by Radio Today Staff

talkSPORT signs more international rights deals

talkSPORT has secured a number of new international rights deals that extend the broadcaster’s existing Premier League offering across China, Mexico, Bahrain and Nigeria.

As global audio partner of the Premier League, talkSPORT controls an exclusive package of international audio rights until 2019, allowing the station to broadcast official live commentary of all 380 Premier League matches in any language to listeners around the world, outside of the UK and Republic of Ireland.

This partnership has meant that talkSPORT has been able to work with their current Australian partner EON Sports Radio to take the Premier League into China, where the games will be broadcast in Mandarin.

talkSPORT has also secured a new digital rights deal with the Mexican website Sopitas.com which, for the first time, will give listeners in Mexico access to all games in their native Spanish language. Founded in 2005 by Francisco Alanis, Sopitas.com has become a destination for a young and influential audience, reaching more than 7million people each month. This digital rights deal is a first for talkSPORT in Mexico, and the first time that residents of the country will have access to live audio of the Premier League since the 2013/14 season.

talkSPORT has also forged a relationship with new sports radio brand, Sport Radio Arabia, which will offer live Premier League commentary in Bahrain for the first time. Sport Radio Arabia will be broadcasting two Premier League games in Arabic each week, with three in English across a multi-platform offering which allows listening on the radio, online and via the Sport Radio Arabia app.

Finally, talkSPORT has also introduced a new broadcast partner in Nigeria, Megalectrics, which has launched a new sport and news focused radio station, Lagos Talks 91.3FM, for which the Premier League will play a key role.

Jimmy Buckland, Director of International for talkSPORT, said: “Football is adored by millions all around the globe and we are delighted that we can continue to extend talkSPORT’s coverage of live PL across China, Nigeria, Mexico and Bahrain through our international broadcast partners.

“Our international offering continues to grow rapidly and our relationship with the Premier League has already been successfully extended to 2019, so we look forward to increasing our global footprint and reaching many more passionate football fans across the forthcoming seasons.”

Jazz FM goes presenter-free late at night
Posted by Roy Martin

Jazz FM goes presenter-free late at night

A new schedule at Jazz FM sees Helen Mayhew move on from Dinner Jazz and Clare Anderson’s Late Lounge come to an end.

Clare will continue to be heard on the station though, as she takes over as station voice, whilst Helen moves to other shows. She’ll host True Brit each Thursday at 6pm, whilst also creating a new Friday night programme – Late Night Jazz.

Dinner Jazz will be hosted by Mark Walker from today, whilst 10pm till 6am weekdays will be non-stop Jazz, Soul and Blues.

Elsewhere, The Sarah Ward Collection will air each Sunday at 7pm whilst Funky Sensation returns with John Osborne Saturdays at 6pm.

Also, the station is promoting new talent with Ruth Fisher presenting The Performance Series on Monday nights at 6pm in addition to her Full Circle programme and Radio Academy 30-Under-30 recipient, Chris Gilvear moves from overnights to the weekend breakfast slot.

Content Director Nick Pitts said: “Our new schedule gives our audience more of what they want. It’s great to be able to give Helen and Sarah the opportunity to freely select the greatest music from their substantial collections with their new programmes, whilst promoting new presenting talent, which can only help build on our recent RAJAR success. Having Helen, Chris and Jez spearheading our specialist output, we have weekend late nights that really are appointments to listen”

He continued “I’ve been wanting Funky Sensation permanently back on air for some time and we have big plans for it. Every time the brand gets an outing – either on air or at a live party night – it gets a phenomenal response, and having John with his club night heritage at the helm gives the programme real credibility”.

Key 103 under fire for letting Chelsea go
Posted by i

Key 103 under fire for letting Chelsea go

The departure of Chelsea Norris from Key 103’s breakfast show is causing a stir with listeners and media in Manchester.

The Manchester Evening News has published numerous articles on her sudden exit, forcing owners Bauer Media to issue a statement confirming that Key 103 is not renewing Chelsea’s contract.

It has been reported that Chelsea took the decision to leave almost immediately, rather than wait till the end of her contract next year. She has been at the station for 11 years and recently returned from maternity leave.

The statement from Bauer says: “Key 103 decided not to renew Chelsea’s contract beyond its expiry date. The station told her of its decision in a timely and transparent manner and honoured the contract in full.

“Chelsea was not told to leave within weeks of her return from her maternity leave. Nor was her departure in any way connected to her maternity leave and Chelsea left at a date of her choice. She was not let go with immediate effect. The station continues to wish Chelsea every future success.”

Chelsea has received hundreds of good will messages from listeners via social media, but has not made any comment on the situation since her emotional last show. Chelsea told listeners on July 26th: “I’ve worked for Key 103 on the breakfast show for 11 years and I’ve got to say it’s been amazing. Been to and seen some great places and met some inspirational people along the way. However sometimes change is necessary and I wanted to tell you that I’m leaving – and Thursday will be my last show.

“I want to thank everyone here at Castle Quay – and for listening and sharing your lives with me all these years. I will miss talking to you but on the plus side I get to see Minnie more and do other bits.”

Chelsea moved to Key 103 to join co-host Mike Toolan in 2005 after 4 years at Century, where she’d been a newsreader for both Tony Horne and Darren Proctor. Key 103 has continuously lost listeners for the last two years, dropping from 660,000 weekly reach in Q1, 2014 to 342,000 in Q2, 2016.

The best of Hidden High Wycombe

I went to High Wycombe recently, and was surprised to see all this lovely scenery.  I thought initially that we were near to Wycombe Park, but we cannot have been because you will see the Mausoleum there in the distance.

Here is a slide show of the area I visited!

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Red Sands Fort

An article from the Daily Mail this time.  I have always been fascinated by fortresses off the coast!

From this article which is reproduced in full below http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3731706/The-crumbling-giants-seas-Eerie-images-abandoned-coastal-forts-built-70-years-ago-protect-London-Second-World-War.html

The crumbling giants of the seas: Eerie images of the abandoned coastal forts built 70 years ago to protect London during the Second World War

  • Red Sands Sea Forts were built in Thames Estuary in 1943, seven miles off coast of Whitstable, Kent
  • Maunsell gun towers were constructed to help gunners shoot down opposition aircrafts 
  • Huge metal structures have been abandoned since they were decommissioned in 1956 

These haunting photographs have captured the ruins of the sea forts designed to protect London against Nazi attacks during World War II.

The Red Sands Sea Forts were built in the Thames Estuary in 1943 and still tower above the waves just seven miles off the coast of Whitstable, in Kent.

The huge metal Maunsell gun towers, which were constructed to help gunners shoot down opposition aircrafts, have been abandoned since they were decommissioned in 1956.

Haunting photographs show the abandoned sea forts designed to protect London against Nazi attacks during World War II 

Haunting photographs show the abandoned sea forts designed to protect London against Nazi attacks during World War II

The huge metal Maunsell gun towers were built in the Thames Estuary in 1943, seven miles off the coast of Whitstable, in Kent 

The huge metal Maunsell gun towers were built in the Thames Estuary in 1943, seven miles off the coast of Whitstable, in Kent

The forts, constructed to help gunners shoot down opposition aircrafts, have been abandoned since they were decommissioned in 1956 

The forts, constructed to help gunners shoot down opposition aircrafts, have been abandoned since they were decommissioned in 1956

Polish photographer, Marzena Grabczynska Lorenc, took the pictures of the battered gun towers.

She said: ‘It’s hard to imagine how it felt to be stationed there during WWII and spend months inside of the forts surrounded by water.

‘When I saw them, those huge towers were standing alone in the ocean all abandoned and forgotten.

‘I have always been drawn to these kind of places, where mystery and history goes hand in hand. These forts have been left to rot since their decommission.’

Three sets of Maunsell Forts were built in the Estuary - the Nore forts off the coast of Sheerness, which have now been demolished, and the Red Sands and Shivering Sands forts further out

Polish photographer, Marzena Grabczynska Lorenc, took the eerie pictures of the battered gun towers

She described the Maunsell forts as an 'important part of history' and said their 'incredible design' should be preserved

She described the Maunsell forts as an ‘important part of history’ and said their ‘incredible design’ should be preserved

Each fort became home to 265 men during the Second World War, from both the army and the navy

‘They were built to defend London against German planes – they are an important part of history and their incredible design should be preserved,’ she said.

‘Where else can you see massive bunkers standing on long legs in the middle of the ocean looking like invaders from a work of science-fiction?

‘Now, they are just empty, rusty, and there’s a really eerie feeling.’

 The Thames Estuary forts were assembled after the main London Blitz and they jointly shot down 22 enemy aircraft, 30 V1 flying bombs, and also accounted for a U-boat

 The Thames Estuary forts were assembled after the main London Blitz and they jointly shot down 22 enemy aircraft, 30 V1 flying bombs, and also accounted for a U-boat

Charity Project Redsands to protect the future of the forts

It was created to help stabilise and renovate the forts with the hope of using them in the future

Charity Project Redsands was created to help stabilise and renovate the forts with the hope of using them in the future

Last year, retired businessman David Marriot Cooper unveiled plans to convert the forts into a luxury hotel complex

Last year, retired businessman David Marriot Cooper unveiled plans to convert the forts into a luxury hotel complex

THAMES ESTUARY SEA FORTS 

The giant fortresses, named after their designer Guy Maunsell, were constructed to protect the UK from aerial or naval attacks from Nazi Germany.

Three sets of Maunsell Forts were built in the Estuary to this design – the Nore forts off the coast of Sheerness, which have now been demolished, and the Red Sands and Shivering Sands forts, further out.

These bastions were assembled after the main London Blitz and they jointly shot down 22 enemy aircraft, 30 V1 flying bombs, and also accounted for a U-boat – undoubtedly saving hundreds of lives.

The seven towers of Red Sands were placed approximately six miles off Minster, Isle of Sheppey, over the period July 23 to September 3, 1943 and each fort became home to 265 men, from both the army and the navy.

A few years ago, Project Redsands was created to help stabilise and renovate the forts with the hope of using them in the future.

In 2015, retired businessman David Marriot Cooper unveiled plans to convert the forts into a luxury hotel complex after being approached by the charity.

He has written to authorities about the idea but is still looking for a hotel developer to fund the project.

Ms Marzena said she faced great difficulty when exploring the inside of the towers, with some of the less stable ones rocking due to high winds.

The 51-year-old said: ‘Standing inside the fort, you can feel it slightly moving with stronger winds.

‘My husband and I met with a captain and we boarded the X-Pilot boat as we were greeted with a sunrise and the abandoned sea giants.

‘We were only able to go inside the safest one. Inside, the forts are almost empty and the rusty walls are stripped bare – I would not want to be there during a big storm.’

He has written to authorities about the idea but is still looking for a hotel developer to fund the project 

Ms Marzena said she faced great difficulty when exploring the inside of the towers

She said some of the less stable ones rocking due to high winds

Ms Marzena said she faced great difficulty when exploring the inside of the towers, with some of the less stable ones rocking due to high winds

 The giant fortresses are named after their designer Guy Maunsell and were constructed to protect the UK against aerial and naval attack 

She said the huge forts are almost completely empty on the inside and the rusty walls are stripped bare

Pictured is the handle of the door to one of the sea Maunsell forts

She said the huge forts are almost completely empty on the inside and the rusty walls are stripped bare. Pictured is the handle of the door to one of the sea Maunsell forts

An article in the Telegraph regarding using your pc or phone to view tv

Since publishing this post the BBC has said on Twitter

 

https://i2.wp.com/pbs.twimg.com/media/CpRLp20WcAAqy08.jpg

 

This is a bit worrying – what will it do for the BBC’s reputation? I must point out that I do pay the licence fee!

I have reproduced the article below

BBC to deploy detection vans to snoop on internet users

BBC
The BBC is to launch a new generation of detection vans to identify viewers illicitly watching its programmes online Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images

Patrick Foster

6 August 2016 • 8:24am

The BBC is to spy on internet users in their homes by deploying a new generation of Wi-Fi detection vans to identify those illicitly watching its programmes online.

The Telegraph can disclose that from next month, the BBC vans will fan out across the country capturing information from private Wi-Fi networks in homes to “sniff out” those who have not paid the licence fee.

The corporation has been given legal dispensation to use the new technology, which is typically only available to crime-fighting agencies, to enforce the new requirement that people watching BBC programmes via the iPlayer must have a TV licence.
“Detection vans can identify viewing on a non-TV device in the same way that they can detect viewing on a television set”Sir Amyas Morse, National Audit Office

The disclosure will lead to fears about invasion of privacy and follows years of concern over the heavy-handed approach of the BBC towards those suspected of not paying the licence fee. However, the BBC insists that its inspectors will not be able to spy on other internet browsing habits of viewers.

The existence of the new strategy emerged in a report carried out by the National Audit Office (NAO).

It shows that TV Licensing, the corporation’s licence-fee collection arm, has developed techniques to track those watching television on laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

The disclosure of the controversial new snooping technique will lay to rest the persistent claims that detector vans are no more than an urban myth designed to intimidate the public into paying the licence fee.
The history of the BBC licence fee by numbers Play! 01:34

Sir Amyas Morse, the comptroller and auditor general of the NAO, writes in the report: “Detection vans can identify viewing on a non-TV device in the same way that they can detect viewing on a television set.

“BBC staff were able to demonstrate this to my staff in controlled conditions sufficient for us to be confident that they could detect viewing on a range of non-TV devices.”

Currently, anyone who watches or records live programming – online or on television – needs to buy a £145.50 licence. But from September 1, those who use the iPlayer only for catch-up viewing will also need to pay the fee, after the BBC successfully lobbied the Government to change the law.

Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, the corporation is entitled to carry out surveillance of suspected licence-fee dodgers.

The BBC confirmed that its newly developed detection techniques had been authorised under the legislation.

While the corporation would not disclose how the new technology works, the report states that the BBC has ruled out combing its own records of computers that have logged into the iPlayer website to hunt down non-paying viewers.

Sir Amyas writes in the document: “The BBC rightly acknowledges that this would be an inappropriate invasion of privacy.”

Instead, electrical engineering experts said that the most likely explanation for how the BBC would carry out its surveillance was a technique known as “packet sniffing”, which involves watching traffic passing over a wireless internet network without hacking into the connection or breaking its encryption.

Researchers at University College London disclosed that they had used a laptop running freely available software to identify Skype internet phone calls passing over encrypted Wi-Fi, without needing to crack the network password.
The BBC – by numbers Play! 01:09

Dr Miguel Rio, a computer network expert who helped to oversee the doctoral thesis, said that licence-fee inspectors could sit outside a property and view encrypted “packets” of data – such as their size and the frequency with which they are emitted over the network – travelling over a home Wi-Fi network.

This would allow them to establish if devices at homes without television licences were indeed accessing BBC programmes online.
“We’ve caught people watching on a range of devices, but don’t give details of detection as we would not want to reveal information helpful to evaders”TV Licensing

Dr Rio said: “They actually don’t need to decrypt traffic, because they can already see the packets. They have control over the iPlayer, so they could ensure that it sends packets at a specific size, and match them up. They could also use directional antennae to ensure they are viewing the Wi-Fi operating within your property.”

Privacy campaigners described the developments as “creepy and worrying”.

A spokesman for Privacy International, the human rights watchdog, said: “While TV Licensing have long been able to examine the electromagnetic spectrum to watch for and investigate incorrect usage of their services, the revelation that they are potentially developing technology to monitor home Wi-Fi networks is startlingly invasive.”

A spokesman for TV Licensing said: “We’ve caught people watching on a range of devices, but don’t give details of detection as we would not want to reveal information helpful to evaders.

“Our use of detection is regularly inspected by independent regulators.”

The broadcaster included the NAO report in a list of documents that it claimed to have published alongside its annual report last month, but never distributed the review or uploaded it to its website. It has now been placed online by the public spending watchdog.

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