5NG launch

Sep 16, 2011, 07:56 PM

The BBC's early strategy was based on a network of local stations, with Nottingham being added to the map on Tuesday September 16th, 1924.

The station broadcast from Bridlesmith Gate in the City, on 920 kHz medium wave, with its aerial dangling from a chimney on Noel Street. It launched with a live outside broadcast from the Albert Hall and the RAF band. Attendance was so high, some people were left out in the rain.

The BBC's John Reith said a few words following the music - and then came a message from the Mayor and the Sherriff. Then it was back for the late news from London.

The Nottingham Evening Post kept listeners abreast and a radio column called "Wireless Whispers" was even introduced. Reception reports came in not just from Nottm but also Loughborough. Lincoln, Leicester and Derby. Listeners listened on crystal sets; or they invested in an expensive valve set, costing as much as 7 pounds.

The station was established as a relay for 2ZY in Manchester, but there was local programming, including 'Children's Corner', which brought a host of local aunties and uncles to entertain. A Mapperley lad also made his debut on 5NG at the age of 12: Cyril Stapleton, who became a well-known violinist and bandleader.

As technology advanced, 5XX on Long Wave, eventually from Daventry, took over; and 5GB supplied a Medium Wave service to the Midlands.

National and regional radio had begun. 5NG was no longer needed as a relay station – and closed down on 31st October 1928 – after just four years.