Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Radio Pancake

I just had memories come flooding back of Pancake Day 33 years ago at Radio Trent in Nottingham. 

Our librarian Jane Morrell and the engineer's secretary Alyson Brown would go into the 'Trent kitchen' about 10.30am, and start to prepare real pancakes for everyone

At that time Radio Trent had about 55 staff so this was a big job, and they'd serve from mid-day. 

It became a tradition that first pancakes went to our MD Ron Coles, and then I'd dash up after my 9-12 show to get mine! In would pile the 10 sales staff, 2 or 3 engineers, receptionists, maybe an off-duty security man, our delightful secretaries (including mine the much-loved Jean Hook and Ron's 'rock' Shelley), that day's news staff, say five, a sport's reporter, 3 or 4 from the accounts department, and the team from 'traffic' (who produced the advertising logs completely manually)

And of course, most of the dj's - Tony Lyman, John Peters, Dale Winton, Viv Evans, Steve Merike, Peter Tait, Graham Knight, Guy Morris, Pete Wagstaff, and a still young David Lloyd who had joined us in 1980. And Programme Controller Chris Hughes would dash-in for a pancake between cigarettes in the car park!

Local commercial radio was somewhat more relaxed then; no 'brands', just a great team.

I cannot recall when the Pancake tradition died-out. As dj's 'moved on' to our stations in Leicester or Derby, or joined other stations things did start to change. In came computers, so less staff were needed - people left, but I think the Pancake tradition made it into the 1990s? 

Jane & I were still in the library doing the playlist each week, but I think were too busy by then for such frivolity, as we were doing the music for the Midland's Radio eastern stations in Leicester and Derby as well as Nottingham, plus of course GEM-AM had been born in 1988. By 1994 Jane and I had been 'together' 16 years doing the playlists (a GREAT job) and joked we saw more of each other than our partners...  

I wonder how many people work on the regional service that replaced Radio Trent, and if they have their own "Jane & Alyson"? Somehow, I doubt if they need to make many pancakes...

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