Radio Manchester celebrates 40

BBC Radio Manchester is celebrating its 40th anniversary on September 10th with a look back at four decades of broadcasting.

The station is looking for people who remembers the first day on-air, and will re-broadcast the first ever two hours of the station from 6am till 8am next Friday.

The first voice on air was Alan Sykes, who now lives in Spain, and the 10am news was read by Sandra Chalmers, sister of the TV presenter Judith.

Features from that first day include an interview with the Lord Mayor of Manchester, UK and the Lord Mayor of Manchester, USA; one of the first songs played was a medley of I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts and I do like to be beside the sea; there was a feature with "Mr and Mrs Peniston" from Middleton about a ghost and an interview with the 50,000th RAF recruit.

Presenters can be heard getting merry on champagne and telegrams being received from Coronation Street's Violet Carson and comedian Eric Sykes.

Managing Editor, John Ryan, says: "It may only be 40 years ago but listening to the station on that first day is a world apart from the way we sound now. Some of the content, such as an interview with a lamp lighter, is bizarre to say the least, but at the time the team was breaking new ground – there was no other local radio in Manchester.

"We have come a long way since the days of telegrams and being able to hear people puffing on pipes live on the air. We would love to hear from people who remember that first day and their thoughts on how it felt to be a part of something so new."

[i]The station will celebrate on September 10 with a range of programming including broadcasting the first two hours as they were originally broadcast from 6-8am; inviting Sandra Chalmers back to read the 10am news and recapturing memories with an interview with Alan Sykes on Beswick At Breakfast.[/i]

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