JAGS Visits 2LO, circa 1925
After the Class of 2005 returned for their ten year reunion, we looked at life at JAGS nearly 100 years ago. After the jump, read a JAGS girl's recollection of her trip to 2LO in 1925.
A game of bridge being broadcast on the radio from 2LO!
A JAGS Girl Recalled Her Visit to 2LO, circa 1925, for the JAGS MAG:
I expect there are many people in London, and even England, who would like to have a peep inside that magic building, 2LO. I am one of the lucky people who can say they have been there. One Friday evening a friend and I waited nervously in the wide corridor outside that marvellous room, the studio, at 2LO while the news bulletin was being sent out. Then Mr Palmer, “Uncle Rex”, came out and took us into the studio.
The very first thing I noticed was the silence. I thought, “I must not speak loudly or every word I say will be broadcast.” Then I looked round to see where was the wonderful instrument that enabled the whole world to hear music from London. The room was long and lofty, and draped very artistically in blue and gold fabric; there were plenty of chairs and couches, and altogether it looked just like an ordinary drawing room. In the middle of the room I saw a wooden box, covered with blue gauze-to protect it from the moisture as we afterwards learned- resting on four wooden legs. It was the microphone, attached by wires to a switch in the middle of the floor. These wires lead down to the control room and enable operators there to hear if the programme is being properly broadcast. The microphone was on wheels; Uncle Rex wheeled it across to the side of the grand piano. Auntie Sophie seated herself at the piano-and the programme began.
We were afterwards taken to see the control room. I have never seen such a collection of nuts, bolts and screws before. There were four men seated at different instruments. One man was listening in to see if the programme was being sent out properly from the station. If by any chance there had been a break-down, this man would have been able to detect it. Another man was telephoning to the different broadcasting stations of the British Isles to find out if 2LO’s programme was being clearly received at those stations. A third man was making sure that everything was in good condition, and that nothing needed cleaning.
An extremely technical explanation was given to us. The only thing that I understood was that everything broadcast from 2LO had first to pass through the power station at Marconi House before we receive it. Judging by the puzzled faces of some of the other visitors who had arrived, I was not the only unenlightened one. Then we found the programme had ended, and two or three minutes later I found myself on the cold, wet pavement once more, after having spent a most interesting evening at 2LO.
JAGS Girl, Upper V, 1925.