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15 October 2014
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Radio star by Pamela Holden (nee Allen)icon for Recommended story

by Stockport Libraries

Contributed by 
Stockport Libraries
People in story: 
Pamela Allen, Kenneth Allen
Location of story: 
BBC in London
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
02 June 2004

Pamela Allen and her dog Peggy at about the time the broadcast was made.

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Elizabeth Perez of Stockport Libraries on behalf of Pamela Holden and has been added to the site with her permission. She fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

In 1939 I was aged five years, living in Peterborough with my Mother, Father and older brother Ken, he is fifteen years older than me.

Ken joined up as soon as possible. His trade was a joiner. He was sent to the Middle East very soon after and spent the rest of the war there.

I remember him sending photographs home of him making an altar for the church, and also a bar for the Officers' Mess, from bully beef cases. These photos then appeared in the local press.

Early in the 40s, Mother, myself and Ken's girlfriend Doris, all went to London (this was my first visit) to broadcast messages to the lads in Egypt. This was at the Oxford Street Studios. Violet Carson was the pianist, and Freddie Grisewood the interviewer. During the rehearsals, I kept lisping over one of my words, which was "Scottie Dog". I was asking my brother Ken to bring me one, why I don't know. I was sitting on Freddie Grisewood's knee, and I kept making the same mistake time and time again, so he suggested I left that sentence out. during the broadcast, Mother went first with her message, then doris, then little me. I started and went straight through, word perfect, so I had got my message through, I wanted this scottie dog. I remember everyone clapping. When we received a letter from Ken later, he said all his pals in the billet, cheered and banged on oil drums.

Afterwards we had to sleep over in shelters at the BBC. This as I remember was in the underground under the BBC. A room full of bunk beds, me, being the youngest and smallest person there, had to go on the top bunk. It was so hot and sticky with low ceilings, I couldn't sleep. even today, i remember the heat and smell, but it was so exciting to me, so young and sending a message to my Big Brother abroad.

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