Thursday, 13 June 2013

Smiley's People ... and some sorting out

When I was child my mother always had the radio on during the day, and I grew up listening to the BBC Home Service (now Radio 4). It was and is what the BBC call a speech-based service (i.e. most of its content is the spoken word) and even now I prefer to work with a background of people's voices rather than music.

Today I decided to spend some time taking the figures that came with my recently acquired Eagle Games (WAR! AGE OF IMPERIALISM and THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR) off the sprues they came on and then to sort them into small storage boxes. (The storage boxes were called 'embellishment boxes' by Hobbycraft but are actually clear plastic business card boxes that are made by Weston Boxes.)


It so happens that a couple of days ago I bought a number of CD recordings of radio dramas. The plays had originally been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and the first I chose to listen to today – whilst I was working – was the dramatisation of John le CarrĂ©'s SMILEY'S PEOPLE.


The cast includes Simon Russell Beale (George Smiley), Anna Chancellor (Lady Ann Smiley), Lindsay Duncan (Maria Ostrakova), Maggie Steed (Connie Sachs), Alex Jennings (Sir Oliver Lacon), and Kenneth Cranham (Inspector Mendel).

Cutting the figures off their sprues and sorting them into boxes took some time, but because I had the recording of the radio drama playing in the background it seemed to pass very quickly. As a result I now have all my figures stored very neatly and tidily in small boxes that fit nicely into the original boxes the games came in.



A good afternoon's work ... even if I do say so myself!

14 comments:

  1. I too grew up with Radio 4 and have rediscovered it through the magic of the In Our Time podcast by Melvyn Bragg. It is a wonderful, wonderful service. A light unto the nations.

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  2. Conrad Kinch,

    I think that Radio 4 is by far and away the best radio service in the UK.

    I still tend to say that I when I have the radio on that I am actually 'listening the wireless'.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. Conrad Kinch,

    I totally agree!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. Time well spent.

    I'm quite fond of audio books for long drives and CBC mostly talk shows while I paint or do reno's. Music when I play.

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  5. Ross Mac,

    I needed to do something with the figures in order to be able to use them, and the time became available this afternoon ... so I got on with it.

    I also like audiobooks as well as radio dramas. I assume that CBC is also a public broadcaster that has similar aims and objectives to the BBC, and that their output is also similar.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. I'm a 6Music & 4Extra man myself but I do agree that voice radio is a boon companion.

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  7. Radio 4 is the best! (except when Cricket is on 5 extra as I don't miss crucial moments to the shipping forecast) I wake up to it and go to sleep to it....as a small boy in the 1970's I used to listen to the comedy shows and afternoon plays painting Airfix figures in an Anderson air raid shelter in the garden at home

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  8. Weston also sell an A4 box that neatly holds 17 of the the business card boxes - actually they'll sell you an A4 box filled with 17 card boxes. Very neat, I've got hudreds of the things.

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  9. The Dancing Cake Tin,

    I also listen to Classic FM ... but that is usually when I am driving and either I don't have a CD loaded in the car CD player or Radio 4 is transmitting a programme that does not interest me.

    Other than that, I am rather restricted by the age (and wavebands covered) of the radio I have in my wargames/toy room. I know that I should buy a better one ... but the one that I have still works, and I am loath to replace it.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. Fraxinus,

    Listening to TMS whilst painting figures is very close to my idea of heaven! Unfortunately my current radio does not pick up 5 Extra, so I have to live with the Shipping Forecasts.

    The BBC is rightly known for the excellence of its radio comedy (although there is and was quite a lot of bad in amongst the good!) and its dramas, and for a generation of us it probably was our main medium of daytime entertainment.

    Nostalgia! It ain't as good as it used to be!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. Xaltotun of Python,

    I have quite a lot of Weston Boxes A4 and A5 boxes (I use them to hold various terrain items) as well as the ones I have bought from the Really Useful Box company.

    For yesterday's task I bought two of the A4 boxes filled with 17 business card boxes from Hobbycraft (who called the business card boxes 'embellishment boxes'), and I hope to buy some more if and when I go back. The business card boxes are a very useful size for things like playing cards, dice etc., and they fit rather well inside the A4 Really Useful Boxes ... better - in fact - than the ones supplied by Really Useful Boxes for that task!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. Radio is a forgotten medium these days and I am glad the UK still has strong radio presence. For free downloads of out-of-copyright antique radio shows check out these sites: http://www.otr.net/ and http://archive.org/details/oldtimeradio http://www.oldradioworld.com/ . As a sidenote these are generally American radio broadcast shows, most of which were not copywritten when they were new as they were considered consumable and used only once. It is only luck that any survived over the decades. Later some hobbyists copied them to cassette tape in the 1970s and sold them as their property, claiming to hold copyright after years of being public domain and having nothing whatsoever in the original production. The courts struck that posture down as once something is public domain, it remains such.

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  13. CoastConFan,

    Radio is still quite strong in the UK ... at the moment. I think that this may be due to the strong influence that the BBC has had on the development of radio services across the country. It still has a representation in both national and local radio services and has to compete with commercial radio stations ... to the benefit of both.

    Thanks for the link to the recorded radio programmes. I hope to pay the websites a visit in the near future.

    I was interested to read about the lack of copyright on early American radio programmes. It is the opposite of what I would have expected, but I can see the reasoning behind the original thinking on the matter.

    All the best,

    Bob

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