Dawn Chorus – Pete Simpkin

Dawn Chorus PS

It’s at this time of year that International Dawn Chorus Day is marked and on the first Sunday in May 1984 to mark the start of the scheme Radio WM broadcast the first transmission of the Dawn Chorus live from Earlswood Lakes near Solihull, starting at 4 am with stereo mics in the woods and Local Naturalists Alan Richards and Brian George together with me providing a running commentary from my tent (seen on the right of picture) in which we had slept overnight! Engineer Dan Cooke manned the Radio car(left hand vehicle in the picture) and Jay Patel held the fort at the studio. The birds awoke very late that morning so several discs had to be played together with pre-recorded early morning ribaldry from all the members of WM staff. When we finished at arond 6.30 my Wife Pat arrived with very welcome hot bacon sandwiches and coffee. Dan made an On site stereo recording (Radio Cars were mono at the time) and I edited a pull together recorded repeat in stereo for the following Bank Holiday Monday. an unforgettable experience which I think has never been attempted since!

Pete Simpkin

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