Residents in a Surrey care home have been reminiscing about their earliest memories of radio to mark World Radio Day – with a 95-year-old able to recite Churchill’s famous speeches, while a 90-year-old vividly recalls the death of George V and the abdication of Edward VIII.
In the early days of broadcasting, radio was the timeliest source of news, as well as providing a new and exciting form of entertainment. For World Radio Day, 13th February, a UNESCO backed awareness day, residents of the Huntington & Langham Estate in Hindhead, Surrey, recalled their earliest experiences of it.
Both Bronwyn Barton, 95, and Eileen Wilmott, 90, remember the death of George V, which occurred on 20th of January 1936, being announced on the radio, followed by the abdication of Edward VIII later in the same year. On the death of George V, Eileen recalled: “I remember my father gathering us all to the radio to listen to it, because the King was failing fast.”
Of the abdication crisis, which occurred in December 1936, Bronwyn said: “I do remember when he abdicated, yes. It was not a very happy time, people were down in the dumps, as you say; despondent.”
Charlie Hoare, Director of the Huntington & Langham Estate, commenting on Bronwyn and Eileen’s memories of the radio, said: “One of the beauties of a care home is that it provides such a wonderful font of memories to dip into. It was clear that both Eileen and Bronwyn relished reminiscing about times gone by, providing them with a lovely opportunity to talk about the things they remembered and enjoyed.”
He continued: “On top of this, the additional benefit is that understanding the past really helps younger generations. We need to capture these memories whilst we can if we’re to learn anything from history. At Huntington & Langham we encourage the people who live here to open up about their life experiences, something that helps us all of us to learn and grow, while boosting their own wellbeing in the process.”
A video can be found here: https://vimeo.com/390740236/09604e71d3