A boat trip

Salters Steamers from Benson to Abingdon

This post has appeared in full on my Henley on Thames blog – slide show are on this in full – see a residents blog on Henley on Thames in the links section on this blog.

After the downpours of rain this week, it was fantastic to find that the day we had selected to go on a cruise with Salters had turned out so well.

Salters are a reasonable company in that they do not take bookings in advance for this trip. We were told to meet the boat at Benson Marina. We got there but if we had not spoken to the man running the cafe there, we would have missed the departure of the trip. The Salters departure platform was in the park which was just by the Marina, but accessible from a different entrance via the road.

The boat that we went on was the “Reading” here are some pictures of the boat, which was manufactured in 1901 coming out of the lock at Benson. The trip had set off earlier from Wallingford.


DSCF7940History of Salters from http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/SalterBros.html

Brief Salter Brothers History (with corrections by Iain MacLeod 08/02/2008):-Salter Brothers began in 1858 as a boat-building firm. By 1876, and perhaps earlier, Henry Astrop was using the paddle steamer Isis on a weekly service from Kingston to Oxford and back. She had a boiler built in 1872 and compound diagonal engines, possibly second-hand. It is possible that when first built she was named Julia. In 1878, the Thames and Isis Steamboat Company Limited was formed to continue the service. Henry Astrop was joined by Gabriel Davis of Abingdon, and his son, also Gabriel, an engineer. Advertisements in 1879 announced that a new steamer – the Thames – was being built (by Davis) and she was issued with a certificate on 1st October that year. She was 95 feet long and 13 feet in beam, with compound engines and twin propellers. In 1880 the Isis was advertised for sale or hire and the Thames sailed on the service. The Thames and Isis SB Co was wound up in March 1883 and the summer service was advertised by Gabriel Davis on his own account. This was the last year of the service between Kingston and Oxford. Neither the Thames nor the paddle steamer Isis was ever owned by Salter’s, though John Salter was latterly the Oxford agent for the service. There seems to have been a gap in the provision of a service between Oxford and Kingston between 1884 and the start of the Salter’s service from Oxford with the Alaska in 1888. In 1886, John Salter advertised for hire from Folly Bridge a small steamer, the Isis. Confusion has arisen because of the name, but there was no similarity to Henry Astrop’s paddle steamer Isis, except in name. Salter’s launch was screw-driven, built around 1885 and fitted with an engine and boiler by Seeking’s of Gloucester. She could accommodate up to 34 passengers, 10 or 20 in comfort, and was advertised for hire up until the First World War. Salter Brothers acquired the steam launch Alaska in 1887, and started a service between Oxford and Kingston in 1888. In 1889 and 1891 they acquired two new boats for the through service, the Oxford (1) and Kingston, built by Clark of Brimscombe. Clark then built a smaller launch, the Swan, fast enough for umpiring boat races, but also fitted out for hiring to small parties. Two more boats for the through service also came from Brimscombe, the Windsor and Cliveden (1) in 1892. These were followed by the Henley and the Nuneham, after which Salter’s built their own boats. At the turn of the century, the Salter fleet consisted of the 9 boats: Alaska, Cliveden (1), Henley, Isis, Kingston, Nuneham, Oxford (1), Swan, and Windsor. In the next two years they added the Reading, Marlow and Sonning. Reading is the oldest survivor still in the Salter fleet. In 1905, Salter built the Streatley for themselves, which still exists as a steamship. Salter’s last deliveries before WW1 were the Goring in 1912 and Wargrave in 1913, both in the 2004 fleet. In 1915, Salter’s became a limited company, the Isis was sold and the Kingston and Windsor were sold for service in Mesopotamia, where they were joined by the Cliveden (1). In 1916 Salter’s acquired the Sovereign, built in 1902 for Charles Southgate of Windsor but more recently owned by George Harris of Oxford. She remained with Salter’s until 1925 when she was sold to Joseph Mears. Salter’s added another second-hand steamer to their fleet in 1919. This was the Queen of England, built in 1902 for Tom Taylor of Staines. In 1927 she was sold to Pearce of Teddington and then to Alfred Crouch. She was lost at Dunkirk. In 1922, the Oxford (2) was built, replacing the Oxford (1), and in 1923 the Hampton Court. In 1924 Salter’s added the Phoenix, later renamed Hurley. The large 103ft Mapledurham was built in 1927. The 40 ft motor launches Iffley and Leander were built in 1927 and 1931. (This was actually the third Iffley, as Salter’s had already owned two small motor launches of that name.). In 1931, Cliveden (2) revived the name last carried in 1912. In 1938 Salter’s bought the Grand Duchess, built in 1924 for Maynard of Reading. During WW2, Mapledurham and Cliveden (2) were used as medical emergency vessels in London. The Grand Duchess carried passengers for a short while in 1940 between Westminster and Tower Pier. In 1945 Salter’s acquired The Majestic and The Original River Queen (1896) from Cawston of Reading. Cawston’s Mystery may also have been transferred but was not used in service. In 1947 Salter’s took over the Queen of the Thames (3), built by J.Maynard for themselves in 1925, The Majestic and The Original River Queen (1896) from Cawston of Reading. The next addition was Mary Stuart in 1958, a traditional-looking Salter’s boat built on a hull purchased in Europe. In 1962, the Salter fleet reached a maximum of 19 boats consisting of: Cliveden (2), Goring, Grand Duchess, Hampton Court, Henley, Iffley (3), Leander, The Majestic, Mapledurham, Marlow, Mary Stuart, Nuneham, The Original River Queen, Oxford (2), Queen of the Thames (3), Reading, Sonning, Streatley and Wargrave. In 1964, three steamships remained in service, the Cliveden (2), The Majestic and Queen of the Thames (3), mainly between Windsor and Marlow.
By 1977, Grand Duchess, The Majestic, Nuneham, Queen of the Thames (3) and The Original River Queen had been sold; Henley and Marlow followed soon afterwards. Sonning left in 1982, leaving 11 boats: Cliveden (2), Goring, Hampton Court, Iffley (3), Leander, Mapledurham, Mary Stuart, Oxford (2), Reading, Streatley and Wargrave. However, there was already plans for a new boat, although Lady Ethel did not arrive until 1988. Iffley (3) went in 1986, and Leander became Iffley (4) in 1991, the fleet remaining at 11 vessels until 1995, although at this time Cliveden (2), Oxford (2), Reading and Streatley were all described as being laid up, leaving just seven operational boats. Streatley was sold in 1996, but since then the fleet has increased with Oxford (2) and Reading both all re-entering service and the small Broads-style Jean Marguerite joining in 1998. The latest fleet addition is the Maratana, obtained from Hobbs & Co in 2004. The active 2005 fleet (11 boats) was: Goring (90ft – 276 pass), Hampton Court (90ft – 199 pass), Iffley (4) (40ft – 47 pass), Jean Marguerite (44ft – 44 pass), Lady Ethel (57ft – 150 pass), Mapledurham (105ft – 345 pass), Maratana (44ft – 50 pass), Mary Stuart (69ft – 120 pass), Oxford (2) (90ft – 199 pass), Reading (85ft – 120 pass) and Wargrave (90ft – 199 pass). Cliveden (2) (105ft – 276 pass) remained laid up. The smaller Iffley (2), Jean Marguerite, Lady Ethel and Maratana are used for short trips and charter workings. The other seven boats are all of classic Edwardian steamer design (including the 1958 Mary Stuart) and between them they provide regular services along the length of the Thames between Oxford and Staines, although it would take 5 days to complete the trip, departing Oxford on a Monday. Boats are based at Oxford, Wallingford, Reading, Marlow and Windsor. Only the Oxford-Abingdon and Reading-Henley sections are daily, with other sections Wallingford-Abingdon, Wallingford-Reading, Henley-Marlow, Marlow-Windsor and Windsor-Staines running on selected weekdays only. Short trips are run from Oxford, Abingdon, Reading, Henley, Marlow and Windsor, with dedicated vessels at Oxford, Marlow and Windsor. At Abingdon, Reading and Henley, the boats fit occasional short cruises in between their longer stage trips. Five boats, generally ‘classic’ boats, are therefore required for the advertised service, plus three other boats to run advertised short trips. Of the vessels sold out of the fleet, Henley operates for Ed Langley between Westminster and Kew, Hurley still operates for Parr’s of Kingston, and Sonning operates for Green’s Passenger Launches on the Trent, in Newark. Marlow is out of use in a poor state at Peter Freebody’s yard at Hurley (Thames), and Streatley passed to Keith French at Wallingford in 2005. Nuneham remains in service, restored to steam, with French Brothers, who also owned Oxford (1), now the Gaiety (since converted to a house boat). Alaska, the historically significant pioneer of Salter’s Oxford-Kingston services, has been beautifully restored with her original steam engine, and operates charters for Thames Steamers. Salter’s also built a series of nine launches for Joseph Mears of Richmond between 1908 and 1926. The complete list is:- Viscount (1908), Connaught (1911), Royalty (1913), Hurlingham (1915), Kingwood (1915), Marchioness (1923), Queen Elizabeth (3) (1924), Abercorn (1925) and Viscountess (1926). All remain in service in 2007, except the Marchioness, which was lost in an accident in 1989, and Abercorn which suffered a major fire in 2005 whilst at her moorings. Amongst other boats built was the Endeavour My thanks to Simon Wenham of Salter Brothers, Julian Kennard, Iain MacLeod and Tony Langford for providing additional information and scans. I still have a lot of work to do on this page, and will be actively seeking more postcards and photographs. If you can help with scans or cards, please email:- simplon@simplon.co.uk

Next a slide show of the journey form Benson to Abingdon.

The river cruise to Abingdon from Benson takes 2.5 hours and is a very picturesque route. There is no commentary which I feel could have been provided.  The crew however were happy to answer questions. They told me about the Pooh sticks competition that happens on one of the bridges we passed.

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DSCF8032DSCF8033DSCF7959 - Copy (2)Winnie the Pooh story about the Pooh sticks

We start the chapter with Pooh, who is walking towards a bridge over a stream in the forest. He is trying to make up a song about fir cones, because there are lots of them lying around, but he is not having much luck finding anything that rhymes with fir cone. Just as he comes to the bridge he trips, and the fir cone he was holding falls out of his paw and lands splash in the river.

Pooh says “Bother”, and starts to go and get another fir cone, but then he decides to just lie down and watch the river for a while in a peaceful type of way, and as he is looking at the river he suddenly sees his fir cone floating away down the river – he had dropped it on one side of the bridge, and now it has emerged from the other side of the bridge.

Pooh is intrigued by this discovery, and wants to see whether it is just a one-off or whether it will happen again with a new fir cone. And so he tries it again, and it does happen again – he drops the fir cone on one side of the bridge, and then sees it come out on the other side of the bridge.

Now that he has confirmed his first discovery, Pooh decides to raise the stakes a little bit – this time he drops two fir cones into the stream at once to see which one comes out from under the bridge first. One of them does come out first, but unfortunately Pooh can’t tell which one it is, as both fir cones were the same size, so then he tries it with one big fir cone and one small one, and the big one comes out first, which is what he predicted would happen (he had also predicted that the small one would come out last, and he was right about that too, which just shows you that Poohs have more brain than they are sometimes given credit for).

Pooh continues to play his fir cone game all afternoon, and by tea-time he has made 36 correct guesses and 28 incorrect guesses, which is pretty good going I think you’ll agree.

This is rather a momentous occasion…for Pooh has just invented Poohsticks! (It becomes Poohsticks rather than Poohfircones because it turns out that sticks are easier to mark than fir cones, so you can tell whose stick is whose).

So…one day Pooh and Piglet and Rabbit and Roo are all standing on the bridge playing Poohsticks. They all drop their sticks in the water when Rabbit says “Go!”, and then run across to the other side of the bridge to see which stick is the winner. It takes ages though, because the river is only going very slowly.

Roo gets overexcited in the meantime, and keeps thinking he has spotted his stick, when he probably hasn’t. Pooh thinks he can see Piglet’s stick, which is a bit greyish, and Piglet is thrilled to hear this, and is trying to look but carefully, in case he falls in.

Pooh is watching the progress of Piglet’s stick, and it’s big, and grey, and he’s sure that it’s Piglet’s stick – but then it turns out to be Eeyore instead! Everybody cries out “Eeyore!” in surprise, and Eeyore comes fully out from under the bridge, floating in a dignified manner with his legs in the air, and turning around gently in the river’s current. Roo says that he didn’t realise that Eeyore was playing, and Eeyore says that he wasn’t.

Abingdon is a very attractive town

Abingdon-on-Thames has a strong claim to be England’s oldest town. Archaeological digs have shown that this was one of the earliest areas in which our hunter-gatherer ancestors first began to lead more settled lifestyles, attracted by the food and trading opportunities that the confluence of the River Ockwith the River Thames provided.  (full history http://www.abingdon.gov.uk/discover-abingdon/abingdon-story )

Finally a slide show of pictures taken in Abingdon during the 1.5 hour break we had before having to travel back to Benson. This time the boat was full, a coach trip form Marlborough helped fill the Reading steamer up. By the way the first pub we encountered after leaving the boat was called “The Broad Face”. This is a very unusual name for a pub, I just love the pub sign as well!

Radio Newsbeat


I live in an area where the only main choice for me on FM seems to be a strong local radio station that does not fully cover the town I live in. It is however a very professional BBC Station, called BBC Radio Berkshire. They cover Festivals in town, but the weather is not always accurate because it is for another county! The other strong station is Heart but personally I do not find this a good listen. On AM we used to get a strong feed of I can also receive BBC 3 Counties on my tuner and the London stations with the aid of an amplified aerial. Dab from the BBC and the national network is very poor. I am going to experiment with an add on aerial (crocodile clip connector and long wire!) to see if this improves the signal on portable radios.

I wonder if the new National DAB network will give better reception in my part of Oxfordshire when it launches in 2016?  Virgin Radio will be making a comeback, but not sure of the format yet, see a news story below.

Steve Penk’s Internet Radio station plays a good stream of music http://stevepenk.playoutone.com/   This will open the station up in Winamp and other players on your PC. You will also find the station listed on the Frontier Silicon Radio Portal and no doubt others if you have a wi fi radio.  Here is a posting by Steve on the Radio Today site, explaining all about this station. He is also reported to be on a wind up radio station on DAB, cannot imagine that will be very good listening all day long!   There is nothing new about this Internet station, but I have found it to be very good to listen to on and off for a month or two now, do try it.

Steve Penk: I’ve launched a music channel
Posted by Steve Pen

Lots of people are asking why I have decided to launch an Internet radio station and I thought RadioToday was a good place to explain.

My love of radio goes back to my teenage years when I would spend all my spare time listening to the radio and spending all my pocket money buying vinyl records. I remain as enthusiastic and love the radio industry as much now, in 2015, as I did when I first started as an enthusiastic and eager 16 year old.

Since selling 96.2 The Revolution in January last year I have remained unemployed.

The one single thing that originally drove me into radio was my love of music, I didn’t get into radio because I wanted to be famous or rich, I got into radio because I love music, and that love of music remains to this day. What I hear on the radio these days saddens me, the same songs programmed over and over again, day after day, week after week, month after month, time and time again.

Radio listeners aren’t fools, yet they are consistently treated like one.

Perhaps everyone who listens to the radio these days suffers from short term memory loss and therefore can’t remember what they heard yesterday, or last week, if that is the case, maybe today’s music radio is perfect for them. For me it’s boring and certainly not the reason I got into radio. When I listen to the radio I want to be surprised.

I have always spent my professional life being creative, and just because I haven’t got a job on the radio, that process doesn’t stop, you can’t just turn off your creative brain, especially if that’s what you’ve done everyday for the past 30 odd years. I am not the sort of person who can sit at home everyday watching daytime television, I have to do something, and in recent months I’ve launched a weekly Podcast, YouTube channel, and now an Internet radio station.

I’m doing the Internet radio station purely as a hobby, there is no financial gain for me, just my pure love of radio, and an attempt to offer something musically different, plus it gives me something to do everyday.

There will be no Wind Ups on this station, just a non stop 24 hour music station offering a wealth of variety and surprises along the way.

I hope my radio friends in the industry will have a listen, and perhaps one or two of them may be kind enough to give it a little plug on their radio show to help me spread the word. My internet radio station offers no threat to anyone, it’s tiny.

I love my new hobby, it gives me back my creativity and let’s me enjoy my passion for radio. It’s nothing more. Please have a listen, and share the link with your family and friends if you can.

One creative idea I want to try – I would love everyone who works on the radio (anywhere in the world) and is reading this, to record one single generic link for me, so I can add it to the radio station for a bit of fun.

Please email your link to RadioToday, who will then email those links on to me so I can add them to the Internet radio station. I hope you can help me, and thank you if you do.

Thanks everyone, best wishes, Steve Penk.

News selected by me from the Radio Today site:

Former Magic 105.4 Content Controller Liam Thompson is joining UTV as Programme Director of the new Virgin Radio.

He joins Liam Fisher, Director of National Radio and Terry Underhill, ILR Group Programme Director and will lead all aspects of the programme output both pre and post launch.

Liam was most recently at Bauer where he was responsible for overseeing Magic’s national launch on DAB. Prior to that, Liam spent seven years as Group Programme Director at Communicorp in Ireland.

Liam said: “I’m very excited to be joining the talented team at UTV Media with a brief to launch Virgin Radio next year. It’s a huge opportunity to create an iconic national radio brand and I look forward to building a team of great talent in advance of our 2016 launch.”

Scott Taunton, UTV Media Chief Operating Officer, said: “The launch of Virgin Radio is hugely exciting for us and we’re really pleased to welcome Liam Thompson on board. He has extensive experience in launching radio stations, building solid audiences and understands the potential of the Virgin Radio brand in this market.”

Virgin Radio will launch along with a number of other services by UTV in 2016 on the new national commercial radio multiplex.

Orion Media is ending its heritage of live football commentary this season on its Free Radio brand.

Sport coverage will continue on AM and FM including a new Free Radio 80s Saturday afternoon Goalzone programme with scores and comment, but commentary will not be provided due to costs and the ‘ever more varied fixture times’.

A spokesperson for Free Radio told RadioToday: “Free Radio still plans to own local sport, bringing the latest football news daily on Free Radio FM stations. On our Free Radio 80s station in Birmingham, on AM and DAB, Tom Ross will be hosting a new Saturday afternoon Goalzone programme with scores and comment; and he’ll be hosting his famous Friday evening Goalzone phone-in.

The station is to offer more sport coverage online, and has posted a message on its website about the return of coverage for the 2015/16 season.

The station adds: “We are also developing an increased range of unique digital content, from interviews to analysis, which will be distributed through our websites and on social media to equip us to deliver real depth and insight even more promptly.

“Owing to the costs and the challenge of integrating the ever more varied fixture times within our programming, we shall not be carrying live commentary this season.”

Bauer Media’s Radio City in Liverpool has also stopped local football commentary after 40 years for the upcoming season.

BBC Radio 6 Music celebrates David Byrne
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BBC Radio 6 Music celebrates David Byrne

BBC Radio 6 Music is highlighting the work of David Byrne with a series of programmes featuring the musician and songwriter.

He’ll be co-presenting with Lauren Laverne, interviewed by Gilles Peterson and, making his debut as a 6 Music presenter, he will be presenting his own radio show, a two-hour special on Sunday 23 August.

On Friday 21 August, Lauren broadcasts her show live from the Southbank Centre during the festival. She’ll be speaking to some of the acts performing and will be joined by David Byrne. Lauren Laverne says: “What a privilege to have the great David Byrne co-present my 6 Music show at the Southbank Centre. As he is curating Meltdown, who better to convey to our audience the meaning behind the line-up of talent and performances this year?”

Paul Rodgers, Head of Programmes for 6 Music, says: “It’s terrific for 6 Music to be able to celebrate the legacy and impact of such an important musical force as David Byrne. We are delighted he is making a show for 6 Music as his Playlists are fascinating. I’m sure listeners will love his appearance on the Station, either live on Sunday 23 August or by downloading via the iPlayer Radio App.”

And, making his debut as a 6 Music presenter, on Sunday 23 August (4-6pm) he will be hosting his very own show – recorded recently in his home city of New York – in which he selects his personal music choices. In the programme, called David Byrne On 6 Music, he says: “I’m curating this show for 6 Music, I’m curating Meltdown. Curating is maybe an obnoxious word, it’s overused, or we think it’s overused. But there’s a certain truth to it and the question is am I better than an algorithm or am I not? My place is to maybe give you some things you like and then some things that may surprise you and you’ve never heard before.

“But it’s a lot of fun when you do these kind of things you can introduce music and people will give you the benefit of the doubt and give it a listen which is a little bit of what’s it’s about.”

Later on Sunday 23 August, Stuart Maconie presents a Freak Zone special (8-10pm) devoted to David Byrne’s album, My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts.

Premier Christian Radio has teamed up with Durham Cathedral to become the first ever media partner for the institution.

As part of the partnership, the station will cover the main events and stories from the Cathedral, while the Cathedral will help to promote the station, including its Lifeline counselling service.

The Dean of Durham, the Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove said, “It is an exciting time for us here at Durham Cathedral. Our Open Treasure project will soon be coming to fruition: it will see our new spaces opening up in 2016 and the Treasures of St Cuthbert going back on public display. It is therefore excellent news that we have secured a radio media partner to help us promote this great project, alongside all the other wonderful work that is being done here at the Cathedral.

The Christian ethos of Premier Radio makes it a natural partner of this Cathedral as together we bear witness to the faith and hope that inspires all that we do in the name of Christ.”

Sylvia Walters, Regional Director at Premier Christian Radio said, “Premier is delighted to be working in partnership with Durham Cathedral sharing our passion to put faith at the heart of daily life and bring Christ to communities.

Both ministries have a history of innovation; spreading the timeless message of the Gospel in both traditional and new exciting ways. It is a joy to be working together.”

Radio Northampton makes a feel good fortnight
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BBC Radio Northampton is launching a feel good fortnight aiming at keeping listeners smiling over the next two weeks.

From Monday, the station will be exploring what it means to be happy, asking listeners to share what makes them happy, and creating audio from the results.

BBC Radio Northampton’s Editor, Helen Grimes, explains: “Be Happy: Feel Good Fortnight is all about mental wellbeing: trying to encourage happiness, demonstrating happiness and discussing happiness.

“Throughout the fortnight we’ll be having round table discussions which will include key local people who aim to make Northamptonshire a ‘mentally-well place’, we’ll be playing some uplifting music specially chosen by our mid-morning presenter Bernie Keith, and we’ll be encouraging our followers on social media to do one thing a day to make their lives, and those around them, happier.”

Helen says they don’t want to focus on just the mental health aspect of happiness but they also want to do more to get communities together and people out and doing things they enjoy.

“We have challenged ourselves to encourage our listeners to create a Happy Café in the county. We got this idea from Action for Happiness.

“The idea is simple; a friendly and welcoming place to meet other people with a shared interest in promoting happiness and wellbeing. It’s a place where you can express yourself and be inspired by others.

“We’re hoping that our listeners will create one of these cafes in Northamptonshire, use it and more importantly,keep it going.”

BBC Essex’s Leechy to play seven hours of soul
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BBC Essex presenter John Leech will be presenting seven hours of soul music on Bank Holiday Monday, 31st August.

He’ll be on-air from 12pm till 7pm and will be joined by a number of soul guests including Alexander O’Neal and Howard Hewett from halamar.

Speaking of the random challenge John said: “I’ve been working out in the gym to get in shape for such a long show! It’s going to be quite a task but it’s a great chance to play the best soul songs to the people of Essex.”

John is usually on-air from 4pm till 7pm each Sunday with a soul music show.

Managing Editor of BBC Essex, Lou Birt, said she’s excited about the mammoth event: “I have no doubt that John will do a fantastic job. He is an icon in the local Soul music scene and I have complete faith that we’ll keep him going for seven whole hours.

“I’ll have the team on hand to provide him with energy drinks and plenty of carbs throughout the day so he makes it to 7pm!”

Nicky Horne reduces to weekly TeamRock slot
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Nicky Horne is to be given a once a week slot instead of his current daily show in a schedule revamp at TeamRock Radio.

Nicky has been hosting the Classic Rock Evening Show since the station started two years ago, weekdays from 6pm but will be only heard each Thursday at the later start time of 9pm from September.

Last July, Nicky Horne signed for at least another two years at the station, which at the time was broadcasting nationally on DAB. Before TeamRock, Nicky was at Planet Rock for eight years and was previously at BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, Virgin, and Capital.

A new evening show with Sophie K will start next month, each weekday 7pm till 9pm.

Programme Controller JRock says: “We’ve taken the decision to streamline our evening and weekend schedule in order to provide enhanced, tailored, on-demand content for each of our core brands. Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Blues will each go down to one show a week – but don’t worry, we won’t be changing who presents them.

“Sophie K moves up to present a new evening show, with the biggest bands, hottest interviews and new music – from deathcore to pop punk, and everything in between.”

Wessex FM puts local student on early breakfast
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A 16 year old Dorset student presented early breakfast on Wessex FM last week, giving him his first break in radio.

Ben Parker, a member of Ridgeway Radio at Dorset County Hospital, got the show after impressing Programme Manager James O’Neill. He’s just completed his GCSEs at Wey Valley School in Weymouth.

Ben said, “It’s been brilliant to be on Wessex FM this week, I’ve listened to it ever since I was at primary school in Weymouth, and I can’t believe I’m now part of the team! I know it’s so hard to get into the industry so I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”

James O’Neill added, “Thanks to the UKRD commitment of providing truly local radio instead of networking, we still have the chance to give a promising local youngster the opportunity of getting on the air.

“Ben’s been hassling me to give him a break, and his persistence has paid off. He’s been sounding excellent on Early Breakfast, and I’m looking forward to working with him in the future.”

Pictorial Musings

Friday was the anniversary of the Marine Offences Bill, a sad time for anoraks. As some have said, Radio London and Caroline may now sound like some of the stations on air at present. Given that the music styles have changed. We do know however that Radio Caroline have always been at the cutting edge of new music, even on its online days now. It has only just added Caroline Flashback.

If you have time enjoy this scoped version of Pirate Radio London’s last day, that someone has made and uploaded to You Tube

Interesting collection of beers for the weekend here in a local off licence!

Lovibonds is a local brew, all the others are from all over the world.  I well remember Michael Jackson’s programme on Channel 4 years ago, which popularised bottled beer from all over the world!  It was in 1997, had a great impression on my mind obviously!  His book is available still on Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Jacksons-Beer-Companion-Gastronomy/dp/0762402016

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Some children’s books in a local collectables shop, lovely covers!

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I always remember one of my local girls when I was young used to tease me about Andy Pandy.  We had to look at this programme it was only one of few on in the 50s!  It made me very confident in later life as a result!


Isn’t it annoying to find that your cucumber has been wrapped up so tightly with plastic film. It is a blighter to remove!

Finally some carrots that have gone past their best!


Maybe they are tabby carrots?


Wallingford Castle

A few hours spent in Wallingford

This is not the first time I have visited Wallingford, which I find to be a very pretty town.

Each time I have visited I have spent time in the shops, and never been to see the Castle.

I returned today with the sole intent of visiting the Castle and its grounds.

History behind the castle from Wikipedia

Wallingford Castle was a major medieval castle situated in Wallingford in the English county of Oxfordshire (historically in Berkshire until the 1974 reorganisation), adjacent to the River Thames. Established in the 11th century as a motte-and-bailey design within an Anglo-Saxon burgh, it grew to become what historian Nicholas Brooks has described as “one of the most powerful royal castles of the 12th and 13th centuries”.[1] Held for the Empress Matilda during the civil war years of the Anarchy, it survived multiple sieges and was never taken. Over the next two centuries it became a luxurious castle, used by royalty and their immediate family. After being abandoned as a royal residence by Henry VIII, the castle fell into decline. Refortified during the English Civil War, it was eventually slighted, i.e. deliberately destroyed, after being captured by Parliamentary forces after a long siege. The site was subsequently left relatively undeveloped, and the limited remains of the castle walls and the considerable earthworks are now open to the public.

Far more information and history at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallingford_Castle

The first thing you see approaching the Castle remains from believe it or not Castle Street is this monument.


The entrance to the castle is through this gate


There is information about the Castle Gardens and remains on a noticeboard just inside the gardens.  I have put a picture of it here,  it does feature in the video below, but you may be able to glean some interesting facts from it in a still frame format.  It may be a little blurred for that but give it a try.

DSCF7805If you are interested I have posted an approximately 4 minute slide show below for you to watch.

Wallingford Castle is tucked away, well worth a visit in the dry. I did some climbing and walking on steep paths with no railings. Overall Wallingford could do with signs in town to some of its places of interest. There is a sign in Castle Street which points to the Castle and Gardens. A sign is needed near to Waitrose, and possibly in the Town Square so people are aware of the Castle’s position.

A lovely day out for me with plenty to see in lovely weather!

Ealing Broadway today

Today we were at Ealing Broadway.

There was a pop up cycling and skateboard event

I took a video of part of a cycle race

I also took several videos of the skateboarding

There were a number of stalls in the park as well

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Much to my surprise City Radio was still open.  This is a good old fashioned store that sells components and plugs, alongside electrical items,  The shop has the magical word Wireless in the stained glass window!

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The owner of the shop does a variety of repair work on Radios etc.

A lovely hot day, possibly too hot for once!

The Archers Programme is spamming me

In my hotmail account, none other than Walter Gabriel is trying to rip me off.

Please beware of all silly emails!  It is a pity that all spam is not as obviously silly as this…………..

Walter Gabriel (a.mwmwm44@aol.com) Your junk email filter is set to exclusive.
Sent: 06 August 2015 18:15:58
To:  email@hotmail.com
This message is here because your junk email filter is set to exclusive.

Good News,
I have register Your Atm Card of $6.9Million usd with registration code of ( Shipment Code awb 33xzs). please Contact with your delivery information such as,
Your Name
Your Address
Your Age