Archive Pioneers | Saviours of sound at the BBC

Arthur Phillips | BBC Memories 1929-1974

From page boy to chief producer over 45 years at the BBC.

CHANNEL | Other

RECORDED | 18 March 1987

DURATION | 60 minutes 48 seconds

RECORDED

1987

Synopsis

Former Chief Producer Arthur Phillips talks with John Lane about working his way up the ranks at the BBC. When Phillips joined the BBC as a page boy straight from school in 1929, his duties included fetching supper for announcers and hailing taxis for celebrities. However, when he moved to the Recorded Programmes Department, he became one of the first people to preserve radio shows for the archive using the BBC's earliest recording machine, the Blattnerphone. Phillips also remembers the Engineering Department's eccentric archive pioneer Lynton Fletcher and his innovative dedication to improving recording techniques.

This interview was recorded for the BBC Sound Archive's own departmental history and has never before been broadcast in full.

Did you know?

While on a mission to record various railway noises for the Sound Effects Library, Arthur Phillips found the best way to capture the quintessential rattle of the train on the tracks at high speed was to dangle the microphone down through the open lavatory pan to the vehicle's undercarriage, much to the consternation of the other passengers.

Contributors

John Lane
Reporter
Arthur Phillips
Contributor

Associated subjects

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