2HD reopened under New Management, the shares in the Company having been purchased by the Australian Labour Party, and the Trades and Labour Council after the station had been out of operation for four years. The re-opening took place on January 15, 1945.
Since that date the new 2HD has gained many friends in Newcastle, the Coal Fields District, and in other widely scattered parts of Australia. The friendly personal style of presentation, together with the first rate programmes provided by both national and local sponsors, has struck a responsive note among a listening public where other Stations are not readily heard owing to atmospheric conditions and locality.
2HD gives a continuous service of seventeen hours a day, seven days a week, from six a.m., until 11 p.m. (and to midnight on Saturday) which is claimed to be longer than that of any other commercial station outside of Sydney, and even more broadcast hours than some of the Sydney Stations. A wide variety of entertainment is provided with many Audience Shows, and Sporting Broadcasts, including the Races, Boxing, and Sporting Previews. The station is situated at Sandgate, seven miles out of Newcastle. A front view of the Studio and Office Block is seen above, while to the right is the Transmitter House, beside which you see in the distance, the 214 foot vertical mast. It is located in tidal swamps, which give it extra powerful signal strength.
The happy relationship between 2HD and the listener, finds expression in Community Concerts which are held every week, and through which the listening public is able to see as well as hear the radio personalities who entertain them over the air. These Community Concerts are a very popular feature, especially in winter. Above is the audience at a weekly concert held at the Newcastle City Hall.
Other outside activities are the Match of the Day football broadcast, Boxing from the Newcastle Stadium Saturday Nights, a weekly kiddies show, and other events as they occur. Whenever and wherever there is something of general interest 2HD is there with the microphone.
Friendly relations with the listening audiences often bears fruit; here you see a section of the staff devouring paw-paws and mangoes sent by Mrs. Vale, of Alpha, Queensland. From left to right are Stuart Dibley, Ruva Shea, Norah Watson, Michael O’Regan, Twinkle, and Jim Story.
Two old comrades in broadcasting were re-united when Phil Furley joined the staff of 2HD recently. He and Jim Story were the complete announcing staff at 2WG, Wagga, in the good old days of radio about 1935, and after spending most of the intervening time on other stations, they fulfil a long felt wish in working together on 2HD.
In those days the now powerful 2WG was operating on only 100 watts. Phil and Jim sold the advertising, wrote the copy and did the announcing. So alike were their voices that telephone rings to find out who was on the air to settle wagers were a daily occurrence. Since the 2WG days Jim Storey has opened and managed 2BS Bathurst and also ran 4MB in Queensland for some years. He opened 2HD after his discharge from the services in January, 1945.
Below: Phil Furley is seen with the adjudicator in the “Good Neighbour’s” programmes, which he compered for broadcast over 35 Macquarie Network stations conducted from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The intervening years have been filled in by Phil at 2CA, Canberra and 3AW, Melbourne where he recommenced broadcasting on his discharge from the R.A.A.F.
The 2HD Kiddies’ Club has grown phenomenally, and Twinkle, who is seen here, has assisted in its development from the first member to the present total of over 7,000. Heard also in straight announcing and as accompanist for concerts and artists. She was for many years a teacher of pianoforte and singing. Twinkle closed her studio to join the staff at 2HD.
Bobby Baeck who is seen here, had several years’ experience with 3KZ and 2MG before joining the staff of 2HD. He is heard on the air in several special presentations, but confines most of his activity to copy and script writing. Many a well-presented musical programme is due to his work behind the scenes.
The policy of “one of the family” friendliness extends to all members of the 2HD staff. At left is Stuart Dibley, who entertains every night, Monday-Friday, and was formerly a popular personality with Stations 2KO, 2SM, and 2WL. He, like most other staff members, had his broadcasting career interrupted by war service.
At right is Michael O’Regan, bright personality of the early morning hours and Community Concerts, who developed his Irish tenor voice at 4AY and 4LG.
On the left is George Hall in happy mood, whose cheery afternoon programme, “Radio Matinee,” and Saturday night dance programme and sporting broadcasts are popular with everybody. George Hall’s previous microphone experience was principally as a vocalist, and his special programmes with a background of five delightful female vocalists is cornparable to the best overseas recorded presentations.
A feature of the 2HD staff is that it numbers no fewer than four vocalists who are heard in live shows; Twinkle’s soprano voice has also been featured on the A,B.C. and local concert platforms. George Hall had many years’ dance band experience, and while overseas with the R.A.A.F. he gained much valuable knowledge. His Dick Todd type voice is appreciated whenever it is heard. Michael O’Regan’s Irish tenor has been heard in many sessions since he came to Newcastle, and has always proved very popular. Jack Daley type of songs which are his speciality, appeal to N.S.W. audiences as they do the people of his home State, Queensland. The fourth vocalist is Bobby Baeck who has been heard on only a few occasions, but shows great promise as a singer of the Frank Sinatra type.
2HD Newcastle, Broadcast Year Book and Radio Listeners’ Annual of Australia 1946-47.
Editor: C C Faulkner.
© Ray Crawford Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.
Digital version of text, images and layout © Radio Heritage Foundation 2011.
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I’m embarrassed to be here. I’m waiting for the state radio sponsor to arrive. He’s late. Please just ask me to go away. I’m cheap.