The stuff that doesn't fit into my main blog Random Radio Jottings

Friday, April 18, 2014


There’s at least two generations who on hearing the words “Crackerjack” will instinctively shout back “Crackerjack!”  (Witness the response to Ed Stewart on Pointless Celebrities the other week.) And that Crackerjack pencil must surely be one of the most iconic pieces of stationery alongside the Blankety Blank cheque book and pen.

BBC TV’s Crackerjack ran from 1955 to 1984 and is recalled in this Radio 4 programme from the series Trumpton Riots Again titled It’s Friday, It’s Five O’Clock and It’s …

The title comes from the opening announcement to the show during its late 60s/1970s heyday and has led to the popular misconception that Crackerjack was always on a Friday and always aired at 4.55 p.m.  In fact for the first ten years under Eamonn Andrews stewardship it ran on either Wednesday or Thursdays and only moved to Fridays when Leslie Crowther took over in 1964. It was 16 December 1966 before we first get to both that well known day and time.  By the time it came to an end in 1984 it had shifted to 5.15 p.m.

This programme is presented by Jenny Hanley (of Magpie fame) and includes contributions from Michael Aspel, Ed Stewart, Don Maclean and Bernie Clifton. It was first broadcast on 26 December 1997.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Birth of a County

It was not the most popular county in England. Formed today 1 April in 1974, Humberside County Council had a lifespan of just 22 years.

This is part of the leaflet that dropped thought the letterboxes of the county just before Humberside and the new nine district councils came into existence.

My local government career started at Boothferry Borough Council in Goole but I eventually got to work at County Hall in Beverley, though by then it was as an employee of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Humberside persists though, in the names of the police service, the airport and, of course, the BBC local radio station.