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Folklore: The Big Wood Tales - BFBS

GUEST,CJB 29 Aug 14 - 04:02 AM
GUEST,CJB 12 Mar 15 - 09:56 AM
GUEST 13 Mar 15 - 06:20 AM
Leadfingers 13 Mar 15 - 07:45 AM
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Subject: Folklore: The Big Wood Tales - BFBS
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 04:02 AM

The recently rediscovered The Big Wood Tales sounds fascinating:

JP writes "I received many requests for help to find these great Uncle Bill stories that first aired on BFBS during the 60s and lived on on BFBS during the following years. A big thanks to BFBS's own Richard Astbury who kindly helped us with the search and got hold of a copy for our BFBS Radio Archive. So the entire series is there for all the fans listed below. Enjoy this trip down Memory Lane! :)"

Peter McDonagh (PMcD) from BFBS (He of BFBS Angora) - wrote on his Facebook page the following note after seeing that the Big Wood Tales are on the BFBS Radio Archive website here:

Juergen Boernig, BFBS's archivist in Germany, in conjunction with Richard "Asters" Astbury, MBE, has located and placed in the public domain the tales written and performed in the 60s and 70s by Uncle Bill - William Charles Boyden-Mitchell, possessor of the only airtime voice which made Brian Sewell sound common.

I was lucky enough to see at first hand the impact of these stories on HM Forces when I flew out for a Directorial BFBS visit to Hohne. This was the home of the 9th/12th Lancers and their Scimitar Tanks. Their Officers' Mess was an ex-Nazi mansion in the deepest woodland. One lunchtime, with Station Manager Steve Britton, we were driven in convoy on Scimitars to this Wolfschanze, and, standing on the steps of the Mess, I was told by the CO how his officers used to rush back from exercise to undergo a daily weekday ritual with Uncle Bill on BFBS.

As Bill started his Big Wood story for the day on the radio (they lasted about 11 minutes each), every officer would pull the cork from an individual 75cl bottle of duty-free scotch, and see how many inches of scotch he could glug while Uncle Bill's story ran. The prizewinner, who had drinks bought for him for the whole evening, was the officer who consumed the most scotch.

The outright winner was a renegade ex Rhodesian Forces Special Forces officer who managed a whole bottle. Sadly, he didn't last too long....

If the Soviets had known this was their opposition during the Cold War, they would have fucked off back to Russia many years before they actually did!

We salute Uncle Bill for his selfless contribution to the Cold War, and the Triumph of the West!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Big Wood Tales - BFBS
Date: 12 Mar 15 - 09:56 AM

More Tales have been discovered:

And now it is time for some more stories as told by Uncle Bill:

038 - Mr Owl and the Bishop's ring
039 - Aunt Daisy's Potted Plant
040 - The old windmill
041 - The water cress adventure
042 - The secret of the castle library
043 - Badger's motorbike and sidecar
044 - Mr Osprey's magic
045 - A game of golf
046 - The bells of St. Francis
047 - Rumpus at Big Wood Primary School
048 - Greenfly
050 - The Highwaymen
051 - Bramble Pie
052 - The Ten Tennis Balls
053 - The North Bay Branch Line
054 - Operation Thatch Cover
056 - Mr. Owl and the Fire-Fighting Exercise
057 - The Luxury Cruise
058 - The Silver Jubilee Visit
059 - Owl's bi-plane Hetty - incomplete
060 - The Jam Runners - incomplete
061 - The trip to the sea
062 - The long weekend

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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Big Wood Tales - BFBS
Date: 13 Mar 15 - 06:20 AM

Also I received a written story narrated by Keith Kelly from the United Kingdom:


Great idea for a trip down memory lane!

I was in Iserlohn with the Royal Engineers during the 70s and there was an occasion when the Regiment had an open day, basically to show the wives and Kids what the blokes actually did at work.

There was a sort of mini fairground, rides on armoured vehicles etc etc AND a beer tent, run by the Corporals Mess. BFBS, before the event, showed great interest and promised to send someone along.

Uncle Bill arrived, quite early in the day, accompanied by the BFBS Outside Broadcast Unit, and they set up their gear next to the beer tent. Throughout the day various events were covered, live, on the radio. Bill seemed to be spending a lot of time in the beer tent, not forgetting the rather boozy lunch in the Sgts Mess!

The time arrived for Bill to do his stuff and a hush fell over the sports fields as we listened to him, broadcasting to the entire Free World LIVE! At the end Bill did what Bill always did and said "Goodnight Children, Everywhere". Spontaneous applause erupted from the gathered throng outside the trailer and Bill, not realising he was still ON AIR said, in a very loud, slurred voice,

"That will shut the little fuckers up for another night"

How I, and many around me, didn't suffer a heart attack at that very moment I will never know.

Very Funny!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Big Wood Tales - BFBS
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Mar 15 - 07:45 AM

Despite 14 years in uniform , I never did a lot of listening to BFBS - Too busy playing music and doing Station Redefision stuff , though after Aden Forces Broadcasting Association closed I was one of the AFBA people who stayed on as BFBS took over our studio for the last few weeks before we all came home in 1967 . Big Wood Tales certainly looks worth a further listen !

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