These Foolish Things

In this extract from a programme chaired by Claude Bourdet, guests share the feelings evoked by the sound of Big Ben.

For certain contributors, especially those who had faced oppression in Nazi-occupied Europe, World War Two has given this sound new resonance. Hearing Big Ben's chimes on the radio during the war raised morale and, in later years, the sound seemed more sacred for reminding people of what they had survived.

Ginette Spanier (1904-1988) was best known as director of the Paris fashion house Pierre Balmain. Alain Bombard (1924-2005) was a French physician, biologist and politician who sailed solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1952 on a research expedition. Writer Nancy Mitford (1904-1973) took inspiration for her work from her renowned upper-class background.

↗ Originally broadcast 14 July 1958.

Archive on iPlayer