Newspaper cutting that reads 'The Week's Wireless (By a Local Listener in). The King will speak into a microphone for the first time on Wednesday next at the opening of the British Empire Exhibition. He will thus speak to the largest audience ever addressed by a monarch. His speech will be simultaneously broadcasted to all parts of the Britisih isles, and will be heard even in the furthermost parts of the Empire.'

‘The Week’s Wireless’ newspaper cutting

During 1924, this was a regular weekly column keeping readers up to date with the latest technology. As well as reporting the King’s speech, he directs readers to the current edition of the Radio Times which gives details of how the broadcast was achieved. He had also visited the Heathcoat School to discuss the potential use of radio in education with the Head Master. He ended his article by predicting that within a year there would be a special department within the Board of Education to develop this service – was he right?

The first broadcast to schools was actually transmitted in April 1924! However, it wasn’t until 1928 that the Central Council for School Broadcasting was set up. Radio programmes continued on various BBC radio stations until 2003 when all output was moved to the internet.

The Museum has a lot of artefacts related to radio, some are on display. From the 1920s this 2 valve Marconi is an early example.

A 'Marconi' radio, a brown wooden box with wires and bulbs.

Marconi Radio

The Bush Radio Company was founded in 1932 and we have examples from the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

An old style radio

1940s Bush Radio

An old style wireless radio

1950s Bush Radio

An old style radio with white plastic casing

1960s Bush Radio

As well as the Radio Times which was first published in September 1923, there were several other radio related magazines including ‘Radio Fun’ which gave away this Song Book in February 1939. The songs included the rather intriguing ‘I’m Knitting a Singlet for Cecil’!

The front cover of a copy of the 'Radio Fun Bumper Song Book. It features black and white photos of some of the era's stars and promises 'Chorus, Words and music of 20 latest hits'.

Radio Fun Bumper Fun Song

Museum Volunteer, Sue B