Archive Pioneers | Saviours of sound at the BBC

Foyles Literary Luncheon | The BBC Recorded Programmes Department

Lynton Fletcher shows off the BBC Sound Library to a literary audience.

CHANNEL | Other

RECORDED | 30 September 1941

DURATION | 36 minutes 43 seconds

RECORDED

1941

Synopsis

In this recording of the proceedings at a Foyles Literary Luncheon, guest of honour Lynton Fletcher, who ran the BBC Recorded Programmes Department, exhibits some of the items preserved for posterity. After an introduction from Chairman Philip Guedalla, Fletcher reveals some of the highlights of the burgeoning BBC collection, including recordings of former Prime Minister William Gladstone, George Bernard Shaw and a talking budgie called Beauty Metcalf. As a finale, Fletcher plays his own dramatised futuristic vision of a sound archive in 2041.

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

Did you know?

Lynton Fletcher was the inventor of the parallel tracking arm, a device that allowed a gramophone needle to be accurately suspended over a particular word or phrase on a recorded disc. The use of this tool was an essential technique in the days before magnetic recording tape existed and banks of four or five gramophones were often used to 'jump cut' between discs when playing-in effects, music or pre-recorded inserts to live broadcasts.

Contributors

Contributor
Phillip Guedalla
Contributor
William Ewart Gladstone
Referenced

Associated subjects

More like this...

Lynton Fletcher.

Foyles Literary Luncheon | The BBC Recorded Programmes Department

RECORDED 1941
37 MINUTES

Lynton Fletcher shows off the BBC Sound Library to a literary audience.

Lynton Fletcher.

You Have Been Listening to a Recording | Part 3

BROADCAST 1942
17 MINUTES

Lynton Fletcher and Marie Slocombe on the BBC's growing collection of historic recordings.

Marie Slocombe, BBC Archives 1937 to 1972.

Marie Slocombe | Sound Archives Librarian 1937-1972

RECORDED 1986
72 MINUTES

In conversation with the first BBC Sound Archive librarian.

A BBC sound engineer.

Arthur Phillips | BBC Memories 1929-1974

RECORDED 1987
61 MINUTES

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

Marie Slocombe.

Archive Hour | Marie Slocombe and the BBC Sound Archive

BROADCAST 2007
57 MINUTES

The story of the temp who started the BBC Sound Archive.

Ludwig Koch.

Ludwig Koch and the Music of Nature

BROADCAST 2009
28 MINUTES

How a boyhood hobby led to pioneering recordings of the natural world.

Galleries

Archive Pioneer Aline Carter.

The Making of the BBC Sound Archives

Creating, making and archiving sounds in the 1930s and 40s.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.