Bits and Pieces By Gran of 1ZB Auckland

Nancy M Donne, better known to thousands of 1ZB listeners as ‘Gran’ – The ZB Radio Personality – released a book in the late 1930’s to bring together her homespun hints, recipes, thoughts about life and other ‘bits and pieces’ drawn from her Scots heritage.

© ‘Bits and Pieces by “Gran” ZB Personality’ by Nancy M Donne

In the foreword to this wonderful little radio heritage gem, Mary Dreaver writes:

‘I remember the time when “Gran” used to sing Scottish songs over the air to many interested listeners, and appeals came in many letters from ‘folk frae hame’ for a real Scottish session. Sixteen miles from Auckland, at Station 1ZM Manurewa, ”Gran” established her famous Scottish Radio Club and began her talks with the auld folks, talks which have endeared her for all time to New Zealand listeners, old and young. Over the air she described her Radio Club as “a real Scottish yin = naething tae pay”

“Gran” has been heard over many radio stations in the last few years, and the folk in Dunedin and Wellington particularly still write to “Gran” at 1ZB Auckland, to revive happy memories. The commercial stations are exceedingly popular today, and they are advertising “Our Isle in the Pacific” to the world. “Gran” is greatly regarded and loved by the staff and ‘listeners-in’ for her cheeriness and commonsense.’

© ‘Bits and Pieces by “Gran” ZB Personality’ by Nancy M Donne

As well as meeting the early personalities of 1ZB Auckland, enjoy our ‘Top 10 Tips’ culled from ‘Gran’s’ years of experience.

Top 10 Tips from ‘Gran’

  1. If you want to be slim, eat salads.
  2. Why Call it a Blazer?
    Nearly every boy and girl wears a blazer now. Have you ever wondered how the jacket got its name? It came from the sea. At one time, the captain of each [British] naval ship dressed the crew as he thought best. The men on HMS Blazer were given bright blue and white striped jerseys by their skipper, and these jerseys were christened blazers from the name of the ship on which they were worn. From the jersey, the name passed to jackets of the same pattern made in material of plain blue or other colour. Thus the name blazer.
  3. Worth learning: “That the best things in life are not those than can be bought with money”
  4. Here is a good mixture for waterproofing a tent:
    Mix ½ lb of sugar of lead and ½ lb powdered alum in a bucket of water.
    Pour off into a tin bath and immerse tent thoroughly for twenty-four hours. Throw over the clothes-line to dry, without wringing. This makes a splendid job.
  5. Eucalyptus oil will remove grease stains from any kind of material.
  6. Dripping taps are very annoying aren’t they?
    Try turning the tap on to its fullest extent and then placing a few drops of lubricating oil around the base of the handle and turn the tap off. This will often save the trouble of fixing a new washer.
  7. For bad coffee stains on linen, cover the material with a mixture of glycerine and the yolk of one egg. Then wash out very carefully with warm water.
  8. To remove hot plate marks from a polished table, first rub the mark thoroughly with linseed oil. Then with a soft rag which has been dipped in spirits of camphor go over the place lightly. Repeat the operation until the marks of the plates disappear.
  9. Banana Cake Recipe:
    ¼ lb butter, 1 ½ cups flour, 1 small cup sugar, 2 or 3 bananas mashed, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1 egg, 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda, 3 tablespoons milk.
    Cream butter and sugar, add egg beaten well, add milk, then bananas, lastly flour sifted together with cream of tartar and baking soda. Bake one hour.
  10. Reliable Pudding Recipe:
    2 tablespoons butter, 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 small teaspoon baking soda, 2 tablespoons jam.
    Beat butter, sugar and jam [any jam] well together, add flour, dissolve soda in ¾ cup milk, add to mixture, beat well, put in greased basin and steam 1 ½ to 2 hours. Serve with sauce.

Ciamer taj su’ duibh.

John Gordon
Production Manager
Miss Stella Boucher
Receptionist and Reserve Announcer
Peter Hutt
Fred Baird
Copy Supervisor
Des Locke
Arthur Collyns
Lou Paul
Dorothy Wood
Radio Personality
AmberTips Tea Ad

© ‘Bits and Pieces by “Gran” ZB Personality’ by Nancy M Donne, Dawson Printing Co Ltd, 96-98 Vincent Street, Auckland C.1

Kindly donated by Sharron French. Radio Heritage Foundation Collection.

Celebrating 70 years of ZB Radio in New Zealand 1936-2006.

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