[BBC: 1920s female broadcasters discuss their work.] Typed articles by seven women, including 'Wireless Aunties' or 'Organisers of Children's Hour' from BBC stations at Aberdeen ('Auntie Win'), Plymouth, Birmingham, Liverpool.

Author: 
[BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), 1920s female broadcasters] Emma Dorothea Barcroft; Cecil E. M. Dixon; M. M. Hummerston; Muriel A. Levy; Winifred M. Manners; L. D. Rhodes
Publication details: 
Undated, but from the 1920s. [BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation).] From BBC stations at Aberdeen, Birmingham, Liverpool, Plymouth.
£450.00
SKU: 22496

A fascinating collection of articles - with added relevance at a time when the position of women in the BBC is much-debated - in which 1920s women broadcasters with at BBC provincial stations (including Aberdeen, BIrmingham, Liverpool, Plymouth) discuss their careers. One Seven original typescripts, totalling 20pp, 4to. In good condition, lightly aged and creased, with occasional chipping to edges. The writing is thoughtful and often enlightening. One of the women states that she joined the BBC 'in the early days of 1924, when it was being felt more attention should be paid to women and children, who form a very large proportion of listeners'; and another stresses that as a broadcaster she in a 'serious institution doing responsible work - work with far-reaching results, and it requires responsible persons to conduct the work, particularly in that portion of the programme devoted to children'. The seven articles are as follows: ONE, '"Auntie Elsie". | 5 P.Y. Plymouth.', 'Broadcasting', 2pp; TWO, Miss D. Barcroft [E. Dorothea Barcroft] ('Organiser Women's and Children's Hour, Birmingham'), 'Broadcasting as a Career for Women', 3pp; THREE, Miss Cecil E. M. Dixon, untitled (but with 'Music B'casting' in another hand at head), 4pp; FOUR, M. M. Hummerston, 'Broadcasting work as a career for women', 2pp; FIVE, 'Muriel A. Levy. 6LV' ('Organizer of the Childrens Corner at the Liverpool Station of the B.B.C.'), 'Broadcasting', 4pp; SIX, Winifred M. Manners, B.A., Graduate in Honours French of Manchester University ('Organiser of the Women's and Children's sections of the programme of the Aberdeen Station, known to listeners as "Auntie Win"'), 'Broadcasting. Remarks on the nature of my work', 3pp; SEVEN, Miss L. D. Rhodes, 'A Wireless Auntie', 2pp. Presumably responding to an appeal (from a magazine or for an in-house BBC survey?), each woman takes a different approach in discussing the subject, some with a lightness of tone, others emphasizing their serious dedication to their career, and with varying degrees of autobiography. As an indication of the general tone, the opening passage of each article follows. 'Aunt Elsie': 'For the benefit of women who are interested in broadcasting as a profession I would like to point out the necessity of possessing a quick and ready wit in case of emergencies which often arises [sic] when one for instance, is broadcasting in the "Children's Hour".' Miss D. Barcroft: 'It is doubtful whether the role created by a "Wireless Auntie" can in its present stage of development be considered a career, but there is every indication of its becoming one in the near future.' Miss Cecil E. M. Dixon: 'I feel rather diffident about writing concerning my career, as I may say it is the result more of chance than design. I had no intention of becoming a professional musician until misfortune forced me to earn my living, and consequently I had to begin my studies at an age when most people are contemplating their debut.' Miss M. M. Hummerston: 'I will not dilate upon the difficulties of the woman broadcaster (the dreadful silence which follows one's impassioned phrases being my chief bugbear) but rather set out some of the essential qualifications for this new and enthralling career.' Muriel A. Levy: 'Among the many joys Life holds, Fate decrees that some of the greatest are those which are waiting "round the Corner", and unless this corner is turned, one remains in ignorance of their power to change one's Destiny.' Winifred M. Manners: 'I joined the British Broadcasting Company in the early days of 1924, when it was being felt more attention should be paid to women and children, who form a very large proportion of listeners.' Miss L. D. Rhodes: 'I suppose there are hundreds of girls who have longed to become a "wireless Auntie", but I am afraid the number who have given serious thought to the qualifications which go to make a successful "Auntie" is quite small. [...] There is no novelty about broadcasting now. It is a serious institution doing responsible work - work with far-reaching results, and it requires responsible persons to conduct the work, particularly in that portion of the programme devoted to children.' Regarding one of the contributors, 'Dora Barcroft', one account states that in January 1924 Emma Dorothea Barcroft (1886-1958) 'joined the BBC in Birmingham where she became Organiser of Women's and Children's programmes for BBC Midlands. She was responsible for an hour and a half of radio entertainment six days a week. Dora directed women's programmes on the BBC for three years, from 1924 until 1927. Woman's Hour - actually a thirty-minute programme - was aimed at providing relaxation for tired housewives. Dora used to rush round the local department stores gathering as much information as she could about the latest trends in furnishing and general household information. From 1924 until 1935 Dora worked on children's radio as 'Aunty Dorothy'. She also composed and directed the signature tune, "Arsinoe".'