The Simpson Ferrograph
Alan Dein presents the story behind a set of audio recordings from the 1950s discovered on reel-to-reel tapes bought from a London charity shop in 2013.
Early in 2013 record producer Dan Carey bought a vintage tape machine at a charity shop in Streatham, South London. The Ferrograph recorder came with a box of 7-inch tapes containing an audio documentation of the previous owner's social life as a young man in the 1950s at a time when reel to reel tape recorders were state of the art audio technology. Among the recordings was a poetry reading event featuring an unusual selection of texts, from obscure comic verse to sections from the King James Bible and a Ministry of Transport pedestrian advice leaflet. Alan Dein goes in search of the recordist Barrie Simpson and surviving members of his circle, in this evocative and poignant story of suburban life and the Baptist church in South London over half a century ago.