Terry Nutkin on Radio 4 today

There was an interesting Programme on Radio 4 this morning, part of a series. Caught it whilst having a shower, great place to listen, whilst drying afterwards! Interesting to hear Terry talking about his time with Gavin Maxell, and the Otters in the book the Ring of Bright Water. Particularly moving was the time one of the otters got into the house, became scared and bit right through his boot, and then later bit his fingers, and had to have them amputated. Not the happiest of posts but I will paste in the BBC comprehensive synopsis of the programme:

When Terry Nutkins was 13 he moved from London to the isolated West Highlands to live and work with writer Gavin Maxwell, whose most famous book is Ring of Bright Water. Forty years after Maxwell’s death, Terry tells in detail, and for the first time, of the years he spent at Sandaig. The romantic setting of Camusfearna (as Sandaig was called in the book) has become almost mythical since Ring of Bright Water was written – it is now a place of pilgrimage for people who love the otters, the landscape and the wildlife it describes. But, according to Terry, the purity of this little white cottage in pristine surroundings was sullied after Maxwell made his money from the book – the cottage was extended, pools were constructed for the otters and Maxwell himself became a reluctant celebrity, under constant pressure to live up to the reputation he had established for himself. Maxwell, a homosexual, entered into an unhappy marriage, the otters began a series of savage attacks and a fire devastated Sandaig House. Terry speaks to Maxwell’s former wife, Lavinia Hankinson, to naturalist and writer Sir John Lister Kaye, who knew Maxwell shortly before his death, and to Maxwell’s biographer, Douglas Botting.

If you would like to listen to this programme in the next 7 days it is available on bbc iplayer on this page http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00n5tfj

Atlantic Oldies 2NG – worth a listen

Rather than putting out a long list of recommended stations I will be doing short features on stations I have listened to on wi fi (also available on the internet)

2NG comes from Washington and has a high proportion of back to back oldies which are very good. The jingles are 60s style and very slick. They also carry news.


Their current program schedule, is as follows

Atlantic Oldies 2NG plays Great Oldies from the late 50’s through to the mid 80’s twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. During the week we take great pleasure in presenting various excellent shows.

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat


9 am Retro Chart Countdown with Richard Todd
11am The Rick Ainley Show
12 pm The Teatime Special with Bill Rollins
2 pm The Mike Landecker Show


3 pm Saving the Seventies with Mike Walker
8 pm Retro Chart Countdown with Richard Todd
10 pm The Mike Landecker Show


12 pm The Teatime Special with Bill Rollins
2 pm The Rick Ainley Show
3 pm Rare 60’s Flashback with Roger Davies
8 pm Takin’ Ya Back 60’s with Kurt David
9 pm Takin’ Ya Back 70’s with Kurt David
10 pm Takin’ Ya Back 80’s with Kurt David


2 pm The Mike Landecker Show
3 pm Takin’ Ya Back 60’s with Kurt David
8 pm Rare 60’s Flashback with Roger Davies
9 pm Saving the Seventies with Mike Walker


12 pm Retro Chart Countdown with Richard Todd
3 pm Takin’ Ya Back 70’s with Kurt David
8 pm The Teatime Special with Bill Rollins
10 pm The Rick Ainley Show


3 pm Takin’ Ya Back 80’s with Kurt David


9 am Takin’ Ya Back 60’s with Kurt David
10am Takin’ Ya Back 70’s with Kurt David
11 pm Takin’ Ya Back 80’s with Kurt David
12 pm Rare 60’s Flashback with Roger Davies
2 pm Saving the Seventies with Mike Walker

Boris Johnson – daylight robbery

I object to the increase of bus fares by 20p when school children and youngsters get free travel. Also to the raising of the underground fares. Boris Johnson clearly is much better off than the people he serves in London. The congestion charge is ridiculous as well. When will people who make these increases realise that real people do not get the ridiculous salaries that they do. I would love to see Boris trying to travel in the clapped out buses on the H11 and H13 bus routes. They have put on “newer” buses which I believe have done service over some years in Richmond.

Below is a summary of the changes to come in in January 2010. Tell Boris enough is enough!

You can contact the Mayor as follows:

By email: mayor@london.gov.uk

Postal Address:

Boris Johnson
Mayor of London
Greater London Authority
City Hall
The Queen’s Walk
More London
London SE1 2AA

Telephone: 020 7983 4100
Minicom: 020 7983 4458
Fax: 020 7983 4057

The changes include an increase in the Zone 1 Underground fare, when paid by Oyster smartcard, from £1.60 to £1.80. The congestion charge will increase by £2 to £10, although a decision on abolishing the controversial western congestion charging zone has been deferred until the spring. Road passengers face sharper increases than those on the Underground: the cost of a bus or tram journey, again paid for by smartcard, will rise 20% from £1.00 to £1.20. Cash fares on all modes are often considerably higher, and the £4 fare for a single Underground journey involving six zones will rise from £4 to £4.50. Most other cash fares and Travelcard prices will be unchanged.

The watchdog London TravelWatch said the rises were unacceptable. LTW Chair Sharon Grant said: ‘We are particularly appalled at the 20% rise in single bus fares, and the rise of a single Oyster trip in zone 1. It appears that infrequent, irregular users, such as part-time workers, will be disproportionately punished. It is these people who may well decide not to use public transport, not travel at all, or use their car instead.’

The British DX Club

I have belonged to this radio club since the early 1980s, and it has been an invaluable source of information. It has brought me in touch with like minded people who enjoy dx and radio listening.
They have a monthly A5 magazine called “Communication” this is produced regularly and on time by a group of members who are devoted to the club and the hobby of radio. It contains features about radio stations. It has a technical section. There are logs of radio stations received on SW, FM and LW. The logs are made by members and I find them invaluable, as the World Radio TV Handbook and other books only update annually. One of my favourite features is the Web Watch section, crammed with links to radio related sites supplied by the club members. This is written by Chrissy Brand, who also edits the Communication magazine. I know the first time I sent off a batch of logs to the magazine and saw them published alongside others, it made me feel that my hobby of radio was not a lone pursuit. Many times on their email service on Yahoo I have posed a query and it has been reliably answered, sometimes by more than one member.

Finally I also belong to their Audio Circle. I get it by download as an MP3, but you can receive it on CDR or audiocassette at present. This contains spoken intros to member’s radio “catches”, and musings about aspects of radio. Once again there is a monthly edition, and contributions are welcomed on MP3, cassette or CDR for the forthcoming programmes.

I hope this has whetted your appetite, and if you do not know about this club I suggest that you become a member today.

Their website gives the latest contact information, and normally as sample copy of Communication to read. Say Keith the Wireless Waffler recommended you join!

Rabbit Fostering 2009

My wife and I enjoy assisting the RSPCA with looking after rabbits. Sadly many people neglect these lovely vulnerable animals. It is good to give them some love and care.

Here are our current rabbits Benjamin and Mog. Benjamin is a cute male Old English Rabbit who is very friendly but sheds a lot of fur, and his previous owner apparently became allergic to this. Mog is a black Alaskan and very long bodied, a peaceful lady but does bite, I think it must be affectionate as it does not draw blood

Before Benjamin and Mog we had Tallulah and Bugsy. Tallulah was the Old English and extremely affectionate. The male Bugsy was very small lop rabbit and not as confident but tame. These two rabbits were only with us for 12 days before they were adopted by new owners.

Before that we had a large lop rabbit called Smithy, who was very affectionate and easy to handle, but was large to carry – almost the size of a cat.

At the start of the year we had two male rabbits Bill and Ben, they were brothers from a whole family Brown we looked after. The entire family is shown below the picture of the grown up brothers, who tended to fight each other in the huch. The coupling of a neutered male and female seems to be more successful overall in pairing up rabbits.


Saturday Live BBC Radio 4

Fi Glover was on air this morning with her usual range of interviews. I found the interview with a lighthouse keeper most interesting. He revealed that they did sewing and other activities when not tending the lamp. Fi queried why they did activities normally associated with ladies. The retired lighthouse keeper explained that the watch on a lighthouse was 24 hours and often colleagues would be sleeping. That meant that you could not have a noisy hobby. He also revealed on a land base lighthouse he built a wooden Victorian rocking horse for his children. Pictured above is Beach Head lighthouse taken by me in 2008. I have a great passion for lighthouses so expect more postings on these magnificent coastal structures in the future. If you fancy a good read get hold of “Travels with my Radio” by Fi Glover ISBN 009188274-5 published by Random House

Keith Skues new book Pop Went the Pirates II

I bought the first edition some time ago and read it from cover to cover, and thought that it was a good record of all things offshore. It is only when I picked up the enlarged second edition I began to appreciate that the offshore world was far from over. It has been commemorated in fine style more than once, and hopefully it will continue for many decades to come. As Keith unfortunately logs in a new section of the book many offshore broadcasters have passed away. He also includes a section detailing what people are doing now, which is very informative and well researched.

It works on many fronts for me. As a book to sit and read from cover to cover. Admittedly over a period of several weeks, for in Keith Skues own words it is a massive tome. It is also works as a picture record of the offshore days if you flip through it casually. Do not do this of course until after having read all the text or you will miss out on so much information. There are also stickers and pictures of other offshore memorabilia included in the book, some sadly that I no longer have in my personal collection.

It is printed on shiny art paper and has an expensive feel to it, and should stand its time as a reference work. I suggest that you fill in a request for the book in your local library as well, to ensure that as many copies as possible enter the public domain for reference. It has a splendid index, which as anyone knows aids research. So many times I am asked by friends and website visitors questions about offshore radio. I always check at least three offshore books I have, but then double check it in Keith Skues book. Thankfully Keith has updated it this year. Sadly other excellent works have never come out in a second edition. One I have in mind is Paul Donovan’s Radio Companion, which covers BBC programmes.

The book does a splendid job in chronically offshore radio from its inception to now. There is splendid information on the many excellent restricted service broadcasts that have been made to commemorate offshore radio. All lavishly illustrated with clear black and white pictures. Overall I am chuffed that at last I now have something in common with offshore broadcasters, but only greying hair sadly! They have stood the test of time well though and many can prove that they are still great radio voices. I noted that on page 147 there is a picture of the Caroline crew rescued when the Mi Amigo ran aground. There is a picture of Norman St John with a hat and and mackintosh on. On page 631 Norman St John appears on Pirate BBC Essex in a similar hat. This must have been one of his trademarks, but to my knowledge not used as a nickname offshore.

On Page 599 there is a picture of Swinging Radio England’s Ron O Quinn, John Ross Barnard and Rick Randall. John Ross Barnard incidentally was my head of department for a small period of time at the BBC!

The Marine Offences Bill is reproduced in the Book, as well as the Broadcasting Act of 1990. It puts the whole offshore business into perspective. So much has been achieved against all odds, very little harm done. British Broadcasting has expanded thanks to audience demand created by these pioneer commercial radio stations.

We are fortunate that a real “insider” not only a broadcaster but manager of radio stations, has taken the trouble to sit down and write this excellent book.

In conclusion a great book, the “Asa Briggs” of watery radio It should be in every public library in the land and sit on anorak’s bookshelves forever.

I tried to get a copy of this book from Amazon and Book Depository but they never seemed to get the book in supply. I ordered direct with Keith Skues, as indeed you can, Please click on the link below to go direct to Keith Skues ordering service. You will get the book for sure here and it will be well packed, and arrive quickly post strikes willing. Say the Wireless Waffler recommended you buy a copy http://www.popwentthepirates.co.uk/

A new concept

Hello and welcome to this the first posting from Keith the web master of Wireless Waffle – I decided that running a website was taking up too much time, but wanted to maintain some sort of web presence. I am indebted to Google for making this possible.

This will be a slightly different style of operation and extend far further than my previous coverage of radio news and features. It will not be as comprehensive as my website, or carry radio news as such.

I hope you will enjoy reading it, and will give feedback good or bad

Thank you