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From David's Desk

09 February 2005

link to 3ZB QSL Card 1948

3ZB listener confirmation card from North Beach transmitter site, 1948 (Cleve Costello Collection)

New Zealand's radio heritage sites in danger.
But you can help turn these threats into opportunity!

The ease with which radio heritage can be destroyed overnight recently became painfully obvious.

A spectacular fire in central Christchurch destroyed the Cashel Chambers block, home for many decades to the Canterbury Farmer's department store. In the early 1930's, this housed the studios of 3ZC, one of the first radio stations in the city, and owned by the Canterbury Farmer's Co-operative Association.
Link to image of 3ZC  letter, 1933

3ZC letter from Cashel Street studios, 1933 (Eric Shackle Collection)

3ZC manager William Shackle was known to young Christchurch school children as 'Uncle Bill'. The tearooms in the store were often used for children's parties, and young local talent would line up in front of the big old microphone to recite poems, sing songs and tell stories.

I heard from Uncle Bill's now 81 years old daughter the other day. She was sad to hear of the loss. It closed another chapter in her life.

link to image of Grace Green stamp

Grace Green features on New Zealand 'Emerging Years' postage stamp issue, 1994 (Radio Heritage Foundation)

Even as the old 3ZC studio building burned to the ground, the original transmitter building and stand by studios for 3ZB at North Beach also come under threat of potential demolition by the Christchurch City Council as part of its management review of the area.

Ironically, popular Christchurch radio personality Grace Green broadcast from this very site when the original 3ZB studios in the central city were destroyed by fire soon after the station began operations in 1937.

Together with the Christchurch City Council, we're looking at options to protect and restore the original 3ZB building instead of seeing it demolished. You can contribute time, materials and funds to take advantage of this opportunity to keep the building and find a contemporary use that celebrates radio heritage in the city. Will you help? Please contact us today.

link to photo of 3ZB Building

3ZB original transmitter and stand-by studio building, North Beach, 2005 (Christchurch City Council)

On February 22, again together with the Christchurch City Council, we're holding a meeting to bring together people and interest groups concerned about the threat to local radio heritage sites. Similar meetings will be considered for other areas in both New Zealand and Australia to raise awareness of the issue.

Radio heritage sites across the Pacific are largely unrecorded, unprotected, and in need of your help today. By financially supporting our on-going advocacy work, getting involved and 'adopting' a place of special interest in your own location, you can make a difference.

Please start today, because fires and bulldozers can destroy yesterday's radio heritage tomorrow! You can make an on-line donation now, or contact us .

Happy 80th Birthday Radio 2UE Sydney

January 26 2005 saw Australia's oldest commercial radio station celebrate 80 years of broadcasting to the residents of Sydney.
link to image of 2UE ad 1952

2UE advertisement for 'technical tops' in 1952 (Cleve Costello Collection)

When it started in 1925, it was owned by the Electric Utilities Supply and had the call sign 2EU, later changed to the now familiar 2UE.

The oldest sports service on Australian radio began on 2UE, with coverage of horse and greyhound racing, and the station later played host to popular New Zealand radio personality Colin Scrimgeour whose earlier broadcasts from 1ZB Auckland were jammed by the New Zealand government.

link to 1933 2UE confirmation card

2UE listener confirmation card issued in April 1933 (Eric Shackle Collection)

Radio 2UE currently broadcasts 24/7 on the AM frequency of 954 kHz and still entertains and informs a new generation of Sydneysiders.

Interested in Sydney radio? Can you volunteer a few hours a week to bring the stories of these stations into our on-line archive? Simply send us an email today to find out how you can help keep decades of Sydney radio 'on the air', listen to the 'old' jingles again, and enjoy a wide collection of adverts, car stickers and other memorabilia, as well as true Sydney radio stories.

Australian Volunteers Save Radio Heritage

Two groups of extraordinary Australians have started ambitious projects to save some of the Australian radio heritage long neglected by government agencies.

link to image of Radio Listeners Annual of Australia 1946

Radio Listeners Annual of Australia 1946-1947 (Ray Crawford Collection)

The Australian Old Time Radio Group in Brisbane are collecting all the popular radio serials which were broadcast on commercial radio, and plan to bring these to the attention of a new generation by arranging state and national competitions for the best performances of some old favorites.

In the 1920's and 1930's, many newspapers and other publishers produced magazines for radio listeners. These were the 'TV Guides' and soap opera 'fanzines' of their day. They included lots of information about radio broadcasts, personalities, and much more. Volunteers are researching these magazines and how they influenced both radio listeners and the early radio industry.

link to image of 3DB Melbourne and 3LK Lubeck logo

3DB Melbourne and 3LK Lubeck logo 1970 (David Ricquish Collection)

In Sydney, the Australian Radio DX Club has begun saving images of old radio memorabilia such as listener confirmation cards onto CD in case the originals are lost or destroyed.

They're also scanning the contents of 30,000 pages of a popular radio listeners magazine published since the 1930's so that old stories, old technical information and much more can be easily accessed.

Both groups depend on volunteers, and are two of our growing number of Australian radio heritage partners. Contact them directly via the links on Radio Heritage Partners page and please support their efforts.

The images, articles, and material being saved by these dedicated groups will also be accessible through our on-line archives project in the coming months.

Breakfast DJ Plays Big Role in Saving Radio Heritage

When American giant Clear Channel network's local Classic Hits network decided to close down 1ZW Radio Waitomo in New Zealand, it was the end of an era for commercial local radio in the small rural community located near the world famous Waitomo glow-worm caves.
Luckily, breakfast DJ Adam Claydon found the time to bundle up car stickers, logos and other items of radio memorabilia from the station and present them to the Radio Heritage Foundation for safekeeping.

link to image of Handover of 1ZW Memorabilia

1ZW Radio Waitomo breakfast DJ Adam Claydon (L) symbolically hands over station memorabilia to Radio Heritage Foundation's David Ricquish (R) outside the studios in Te Kuiti. Where's the screwdriver!

The station was eventually taken over by a volunteer group and is now back on the air. Without Adam's intervention however, much of the 1ZW heritage would have been lost forever, now it's available for inclusion in our on-line archive project and 1ZW will, instead, 'live on forever'.

You too can play a big role at your radio station, by becoming a radio heritage 'champion', claiming your free membership of the Radio Heritage Foundation and making sure station memorabilia is saved.

We couldn't get Adam to unscrew his station sign for us, but we'll send you a free screwdriver if you're willing to send us one of yours!


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