For many years there has been an active loose-knit group of OTR enthusiasts researching and seeking out recordings of programmes produced by such as Michael Mason, Charles Chilton, Charles Parker, A.L.Lloyd, Ewan MacColl, and Philip Donnellan (to name but a few).
They produced epic films and series of musical docudramas, many focusing upon contemporary social mores and social deprivation.
However the powers that be in the BBC hierarchy did not approve of the content of many of their programmes. And if they reluctantly did the programmes were only ever aired once (as evidenced in Genome).
Philip Donnellan was particularly worried that after an airing his programmes would be wiped, so he made extra sure to take a copy home at the end of the day. Indeed many of our discoveries and rescues of lost or forgotten programmes have been because producers took stuff home with them.
This is not apocryphal; one now-retired member of the BBC Archives reported: that when he was told to wipe a whole series of I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again he took the tapes home instead.
However the older staff have become increasingly friendly towards those like the OTR fraternity in helping to rescue and preserve recordings of the above named producers. They realise that their works will never be aired again due to woke and PC attitudes of the younger know-it-all-but-know-nothing generation. After all if these younger staff want to produce programmes about female orgasms, sex cults, or comedy which only consists of profanities, then there's no room for quality programmes such as 'The Long March of Everyman,' 'The British Seafarer,' or such as Charles Parkers' 'Radio Ballads.'
So the Archivists are being very helpful to us.
And now the great fear is that there'll be a cull of non-woke / non-PC programmes from the Archives. These programmes are too non-PC ever to be aired again, so why make room for them in the dusty archives? Better to simply junk the masters. Alf Garnett will never be aired again, ditto 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum.'
The BBC is well practiced in wiping and junking recordings - it has been doing it for years. And folk and jazz has been at the for-front - such programme are routinely wiped even now.
But God help us if the young 'wokes' ever get hold of the Archives.
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