Walking pictures on the radio

BBC Radio 4 (or rather an independent production company) have recorded a piece on Walking Pictures and the exhibition at Sewerby. It was an interesting experience as I’ve only ever done studio slots in the past, whereas producer Joanna Pinnock wanted to bring in plenty of ambient sound on this one. So where you would normally fight shy of creaking Georgian floorboards and people chatting in the next room, these were seized on. Martin Ellis, curator at Birmingham Museum, did the actual interview, and we chatted about the images and walking pictures in general.
Happily I’ve tracked down Mike Barnard, who worked for Snaps in the late sixties. He is now living back in Bridlington and was able to come up and join in. So after the location recording in Sewerby we trekked down to the promenade where Mike used to take the shots, and he was interviewed against the sound of seagulls and a choppy sea. We then went for a fish and chip dinner in town. Well it is Bridlington!
Joanna’s next task was to edit her two hours or so of digital recording down to a rough ten minutes, which went off to the programme makers for final editing. Making History is not live, but is produced as the series goes along, so it retains some immediacy.
As far as we know (things can change), the piece will slot into the last programme of the current series, aired May 31st, 2011, at 3.00pm in the afternoon on BBC Radio 4.

This is a link to the Making History page on the BBC website which gives a link to the iPlayer version if you want to hear it after the broadcast time.

Martin Ellis, Joanna Pinnock, Mike Barnard on location for BBC Radio 4 making history

Joanna said later she wanted to ask Mike to do a walking picture type shot of us all, but didn't like to ask! Instead here's a less dynamic shot by myself, which shows (l-r) Martin, Joanna and Mike during the recording.


3 responses

  1. Chris

    It’s always good to have a surprise when listening to the wireless. I’m a BBC radio producer [retired/ freelance] who has Radio 4 on most days in the kitchen as ambient sound, and today [31 May] I caught the tail end of Making History just by chance. Now I live in Ireland, but early years were in East Yorkshire. The piece on Snaps in Bridlington took me back 40+ years to when I worked in the shop selling some of the very photos Mike Barnard would have snapped on the pier [1964 – 65]. Mr Brigham was a gent, always very smartly dressed and of a different age and style to the casually turned out holidaymakers from the West Riding who were his bread and butter. My job was to clinch the deal and actually sell the snaps to the punters. They came in to my ‘stall’ toward the back of the shop, the keen customers were there before the photos came down from the darkroom! I always had a quick look through the snaps to see if there were any good looking girls in them. Adolescent hopes conjured up dates and romances with any girls who might come in and pay their half-crown to the boy behind the counter. Hopes, though, were all they were. For the number of snaps we sold, most sales were made on the day or the day after, many more were left in the box uncollected.
    In the days before Polaroids or photo booths, when cameras were anything but instant, people were attracted by the fleeting second of ‘fame’ offered by a seaside pier photographer. The snap offered a permanent souvenir of the holiday that was both personal and special. The quick turn-round between snap and developed photo [Ready at 4 o’clock] was another attraction. But the job of seaside walking pictures snapper has gone the way of the lamplighter. I was aware then that this was a hangover from the interwar years, and had the feeling that the demand for these walking pictures wouldn’t last. I took 6/6d [32.5p] of my wages and spent the money on a ticket to see the Rolling Stones at the Spa Royal Hall. Changing times.

    May 31, 2011 at 9:25 pm

  2. Martin

    Hi I’ve found a sunbeam Margate card in the family photos. C1926

    June 18, 2011 at 12:23 am

    • simon robinson

      Any chance of a scan for the site?

      June 30, 2011 at 9:03 am

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