BBC RADIO TEESSIDE - A LITTLE HISTORY
PLEASE NOTE: This is purely a personal page by Stan Laundon and NOT the website for BBC Tees. You can get in touch with them directly on their own site by clicking on that link.
BBC Radio Teesside started life on New Year's Eve, 1970. This little painting was brought into reception by a young listener which, eventually, found its way into one of my scrapbooks.
Advertisements for the new radio station appeared in all local newspapers.
A series of articles which appeared in the Radio Times in the 1970s. If you click on each image, you can view the page in a larger size. The first photograph - a Radio Times article dated August 27th, 1970 with Radio Teesside Station Manager, Allan Shaw talking about Middlesbrough being 'his kind of town'. The second - a Radio Times feature, December 17/24th 1970 just before BBC Radio Teesside officially went on the air and, the third photograph here, shows the programme schedule for the first day's broadcasting - December 31st, 1970 from 6.00pm until 1.00am and then closing down until 7.00am on New Year's Day, 1971 when Graeme Aldous presented the early morning news.
The faces behind the voices - "It might not be the most beautiful picture of the year," so the story said, "but you can't take photographs of voices - and it's voices not faces that count. "These are some of the broadcasters, engineers, technical assistants and secretaries who work together as a team to bring you the sound of BBC Radio Cleveland." The photograph, taken on the roof of the Cleveland Centre in Middlesbrough, in 1974, when BBC Radio Teesside changed its name to BBC Radio Cleveland. The good looking staff members on the photograph are, left to right on the back row, Keith Moxom, Norman Goddard, Ian Hindmarsh, Ernie Brown, Ken Boar, Stan Laundon, George Lambelle, Eric Sumner, Ian Judson, Margaret Heseltine and Tony Baynes. Jim Brady is on the extreme left of the next row with Parkin Raine, Peter Hedley, Mike Hollingworth, Liz Horsfield, Pam Smith, Barbara Littler, Sandi Marshall, Ruth France, Trisha Wharton, Vanessa Gittings, John Watson and Graeme Aldous. Station Manager Allan Shaw is right at the front. In 2007 BBC Radio Cleveland changed its name to BBC Tees. This photograph, which we believe was taken by the Evening Gazette, did not appear in the newspaper - but a similar one did which you can see in the right hand column.
Mike Hollingworth with the BBC Radio Cleveland radio car near the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough. Mike did several outside broadcasts for the radio station.
Nellie Layburn - BBC Radio Teesside's first cleaner. We all believe that Nellie deserves a special place on this site. She kept us all going in the mornings and was a wonderful, kind, caring lady. I was very fond of her.
BBC Staff on a visit to ICI Wilton. They are, left to right, Ian Hindmarsh, Colin O'Keeffe, Jenny Colley, Juliette Greathead, Jim Latham, Dave Williams, Stan Laundon, Derek Hobson, Graeme Aldous and Joy Mason.
Graeme Aldous, on the roof top at Broadcasting House in Middlesbrough, was with BBC Radio Teesside from the very beginning and produced and presented various programmes over the years including "Polished Brass." Graeme has retired from radio and lives on the North York Moors.
Another relic of Linthorpe Road bites the dust! When Graeme Aldous worked at BBC Radio Teesside/Cleveland he was renowned for being a keen recycler, even before it was fashionable. He would frequently rescue old scripts from the bin so he could write on the other side. So when, in 1974, the move was made from Linthorpe Road to the new Broadcasting House, there were many items destined for the skip which were ‘liberated’ to Graeme’s smallholding in East Cleveland for a new lease of life. One was the old reception desk, which for 30-odd years has had a second career as a utility room cupboard. But in the early summer of 2014 it developed little holes (and a lot of sawdust) at one end — the dreaded beetle had struck! In a 17th Century farmhouse with wooden beams, it was too risky to let it stay. It was chainsaw time.
“It broke my heart to saw it up” said Graeme. “It was beautifully made, and built like a brick netty. Most of the thick wood panels were in perfect condition — it would have outlasted me. But other bits were crumbling into woodworm dust, so there was no choice really.” And Graeme assures us that it isn’t all going to the tip — the Radio Cleveland name board is going to be recycled onto his studio wall.
Peter Cook, in the centre, during his time producing sport at BBC Radio Teesside in the 1970's. Allan Jones the manager of Darlington Football Club is seen with the Hartlepool manager, Len Ashurst.
The Radio Teesside girls - secretaries, receptionists and broadcasters - Linda Tutin, Barbara Littler, Juliette Greathead, Sabina Taylor, Noreen Moss and a name required please.
Another gathering of glamourous girls which was featured in a BBC Radio Cleveland magazine in 1980. It shows Doreen Hogbin, Barbara Everitt, Lisa Gorman, Jenny Harrison, Jenny Lindsay and Mary Hughes.
Two photographs of the broadcasting studio and operating desk when BBC Radio Cleveland moved into its new, purpose built, studios and offices on the Newport Triangle in Middlesbrough. By clicking on the images above you can view them in a larger size - and how times have changed as you can clearly see ash trays in the photographs!
The launching of BBC Radio Cleveland’s studios in Hartlepool Civic Centre took place during 1976. After the inaugural ceremony, the station manager, Hal Bethell (seated) signed the Visitors’ Book in the Mayor’s parlour. Looking on with the Mayor of Hartlepool are staff members of the radio station and they are left to right Allene Norris, Ian Hindmarsh, Stan Laundon, Ken Boar, John Diggles, Tony Baynes, the Mayor of Hartlepool Councillor J.Herbert and Jim Brady BBC Radio Cleveland's assistant manager.
Behind the scenes at a BBC Children in Need night about 1984 - the faces who took your calls are Mary Hughes, Lisa Gorman, Jenny Lindsay, Elaine Baker, Doreen Hogbin, Eileen Ross (partly hidden) and Keith Proud.
A general view of the Radio Cleveland newsroom with news editor, Peter Dodson on the extreme left, secretary Eileen Ross in the centre with news producer Keith Morton on the right.
Tony Baynes with the BBC Radio Cleveland radio car in April 1976 at the launch, on Teesside, of the Vauxhall Chevette GL one of the first “super-mini” or compact cars.
Ann Davies was kind enough to send us this old BBC Radio Cleveland magazine from December, 1978. The caption speaks for itself.
BBC Radio Cleveland magazine Spring, 1982.
Another BBC Radio Cleveland magazine - this time from the Summer of 1982 when the station manager was Bryan Harris. In an article inside Bryan talks about "The shape of things to come" as we prepare to leave Linthorpe Road and move to a new purpose built building known as the Newport Triangle. Cover photograph courtesy of Cleveland County Council.
A publicity leaflet when BBC Radio Cleveland switched wavelengths from 194 to 1548 on the medium wave band. Phil White is with Colin Bunyan and Caroline Salt.
This photograph was taken at Teesside International Airport underneath Concorde in 1986. We had to get special permission to get so close to the aircraft and walk out onto the runway. The picture shows Karen Partridge, Stewart McFarlane, Phil White, Stan Laundon, Ann Davies, Colin Bunyan, Keith Proud and Caroline Salt.
For nearly nine years of Radio Cleveland’s first decade an inimitable and very personal kind of programme was broadcast every weekday. Over those years it featured some of the area’s most intriguing characters, it spotlighted their foibles, their eccentricities, their loves and their hatreds. And it did it all by the most simple of all broadcasting techniques, the straightforward chat. Doing the chatting was Diana Lamb. A very individual lady, of often strong comment and conviction, herself a little of the eccentric, with a background which included such diverse activities as dairy farming, charring and writing, and two marriages. Diana for all the self-assurance of her conversations, was nevertheless a basically shy person and she took a lot of convincing to take on the daily programme. But in the series she interviewed hundreds, discovered fascinating people and made a host of friends. She retired in 1978 and in 1979 she left to go and live in a cottage in a little Devonshire village to concentrate on writing and her first book, a novel but closely based on her experience in running a herd of dairy cattle and titled “The Bull in the Bowler Hat”, was published in 1980.
At the BBC Radio Cleveland stand at a Teesside Air Show with Mike Hollingworth, listener Pauline Ashton, Pauline Mitchell and Lisa Gorman.
From the Graeme Aldous collection - the front cover of a BBC Radio Cleveland Magazine, from the summer of 1987, with presenters Phil White, Stan Laundon, Ann Davies, Colin Bunyan and Keith Proud. The photograph was taken at Wynyard Hall just outside of Billingham. The Rolls Royce Silver Shadow was supplied by J.Howe of the Dog and Gun, Potto.
BBC Radio Cleveland girls Pam Wykeman, Elaine Finch, Mary Hughes, Doreen Hogbin and Lisa Gorman stage a disco dancing display in the Cleveland Centre in Middlesbrough for the BBC Children in Need appeal. This came from a BBC Radio Cleveland magazine which was published in 1987.
This photograph, by Ernie Brown, dates to August 1979 and was taken at a BBC Radio Cleveland Sports Day, which was sponsored by a well-known cigarette manufacturer. It shows Barbara Jones, Keith Morton, Stan Laundon, Frank Birks, Barbara Everitt, Mark Waddington, Marion Birks, Nick Clarke and Chris Hodder.
This is another from the archives and I have no idea of the year in question. It could well have been taken at a Redcar Steel Gala or Teesside Show. It was titled 'Football Crazy' and shows, in football strips, Dave Picken, Stan Laundon, Mark Page and Jim Wilson. The referee is Pat Partridge.
George Lambelle with Middlesbrough Big Band. The leader, Derek Bridge, is in the centre right behind George and third from the left is a trumpet player called John. We don't recall his second name, but he went on to play with the Three Degrees Band.
Another early photograph of George Lambelle which was taken near Eston and not too far away from ICI Wilton which you can see in the background. Photograph © Ernie Brown.
We have no idea what this year was but Keith Harrison, on the extreme right, is seen here interviewing pop singer Heinz and his band of musicians.
Two more photographs from the archives with Keith Harrison and Mike Hollingworth on the left (no date on this I'm afraid) and Keith with Stan Laundon taken on April 19th, 1977.
An outside broadcast taking place at The Billingham International Folklore Festival with Stewart McFarlane and Keith Harrison.
Colin Bunyan, Stan Laundon and Stewart McFarlane handing out publicity stickers at Hartlepool Show, August 1980. Photograph by Ernie Brown.
The BBC Radio Cleveland radio car proudly celebrating the radio station's 10th year on the air in 1980 with Middlesbrough also enjoying 150 years of being a town and borough within its own right the same year.
Colin Bunyan and Stan Laundon with BBC Radio Cleveland fans Pat and Sue at the British Steel Gala at Redcar Racecourse.
Colin Bunyan keeping fit in Studio 2, Linthorpe Road. He says: "Who would believe that keep fit on the radio could be so popular? "We used to record a week's worth in one session."
David Peel interviewing a horse in the early 1980s for the breakfast show which was presented at this time by Tony Baynes. David had just spent the day with a Yorkshire Vet.
Actor Peter Adamson, who played the part of Len Fairclough in "Coronation Street," on a visit to the BBC studios. This must be about 1980 because of the Candy Tyrrell Team F1 tee-shirt I am wearing.
This photograph with Station Manager, John Watson on the right, is from the time we had David Stewart, a 16-year-old schoolboy who is in the centre above, as our horse racing tipster. On this occasion a listener backed two of his tips - Grease Paint and Hallo Dandy in the 1984 Grand National which were first and second respectively. Grease Paint came in at 13/1 with Hallo Dandy the 9/1 favourite. We’re not sure how much the lady won but well done to her.
A former page three glamour girl, Linda Lusardi, with Steve Hunneysett taken in 1985.
Sports Producer John Allard with the radio car outside the gates of Ayresome Park - the former home of Middlesbrough Football Club. The stadium closed in 1995.
Mike Hollingworth presenting an outside broadcast for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, in Hartlepool Marina. Some years later - in the 1990's - listeners to the radio station raised enough money, through donations, to buy an inshore lifeboat for the Hartlepool station - called, coincidentally, BBC Radio Cleveland. You can see a photograph of the vessel in action just below. She remained at the lifeboat station until March 21st, 2015 when she was replaced by a new £214,000 Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat called "Solihull."
The RNLI Atlantic 75 class inshore lifeboat B766 "BBC Radio Cleveland" was placed at the Hartlepool station in 2000 and was paid for by the listeners of BBC Radio Cleveland. Photograph © Stan Laundon.
At an outside broadcast in the Cleveland Centre in Middlesbrough. Station Engineer, Ken Boar, is on the extreme left with Graeme Aldous, in the background, giving a salute of appreciation to my music - I hope! The person directly behind me could well be news producer, Chris Hodder or even Ken Daly?
An outside broadcast in the Cleveland Centre with Cliff Ledger and the Country Boys. Mervyn Dempsey on lead guitar, Cliff on rhythm and vocals with Shay Brogan on bass and vocals.
BBC Radio Cleveland broadcasters Tony Baynes and Stan Laundon at a function organised by Sedgefield District Council.
Stan Laundon and Tony Baynes at Sedgefield District Council.
The "Saturday Show" team in 1986 with, left to right, Stewart McFarlane, a programme guest, a young man who worked as a 'runner' for the show and name to follow, Producer Caroline Salt, Programme Assistant Steve Hunneysett, Leslie Ann Musgrave - who was voted Miss Great Britain in 1986 - another 'runnner' called Mark, surname to follow, with Programme Assistant and soon to be presenter of “Sixties Souvenir” in the nineties, David Wiseman, on the right.
This was taken in September, 1986 - and shows the BBC building on the Newport Triangle. If my memory serves me well, that clock never worked properly when it had the sun on it!
Inside the new building on the Newport Triangle. It really didn't take too long before the place was cluttered. That's Mike Wadding on the telephone - making out he's working for the benefit of the photographer!
If this room could talk what a tale it would tell......
Forty years on and the old building is still there. For those who might remember, this is where the original studios used to be in Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough. The Cleveland Centre roof top car park can just be seen through the windows. Photograph Stan Laundon © December, 2010.
Colin Bunyan, Stan Laundon and George Lambelle return to the room on Linthorpe Road in December, 2010, where it all started forty years ago. Photograph © John Foster.
Graeme Aldous, Stan Laundon and George Lambelle were invited to BBC Tees on the last day of January 2011 to co-present the final thirty minutes of the Breakfast Show with John Foster. All three were also asked to present one-off programmes they produced, and presented, in the past - "Polished Brass" with Graeme, "All That Jazz" with George and "Country Time" with Stan. In my case it was a pleasant experience - but I am still searching for the turntables!
Former BBC Radio Teesside/Cleveland staff still make the occasional visit to the BBC Tees studios as guests on John Foster's show. Paddy MacDee, on the left, spoke about his many years in the radio business and Allene Norris, a former journalist with the Teesdale Mercury, Evening Gazette and Northern Echo, spoke about her 20-plus years as a reporter at BBC Cleveland as well as discussing her new book "Distant Echoes" which is for sale in aid of charity.
John Foster and I go back a long time. He's now a popular presenter on BBC Tees and helped me during the days I worked on sport.
The old building, with its wonderful architecture, still stands proud in Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough and I am sure it holds happy memories for many.
Thanks to Graeme Aldous, Tony Baynes, Ernie Brown, Colin Bunyan, Peter Cook, Ann Davies, John Foster, Steve Hunneysett, Robert Lamb, George Lambelle, Mary McCourt, Larry Ottaway, David Peel, Graham Welford and Andy Whysall for additional photographs on this page.
This page is dedicated to the memory of Hal Bethell, Marion Birks, Ken Boar, Alastair Brownlee, Robin Cradock, Dave Eastwood, Bryan Harris, Doreen Hogbin, Bill Hunter, Ian Judson, Diana Lamb, Keith Morton, Alastair Pirrie, Allan Shaw, Harold Shepherdson, Brian Smart, Eric Sumner, Mark Turnbull and John Watson.
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