The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Madeleine Newland - Cassette Tape Recordings Queen

Maddy's Story

Following visits to see Maddy in 2016, I wrote this report in 2017 and I have found it easier to work with this report rather than update it. I did though re-visit Maddy in October 2021 to get some photos for the website, including one of Maddy with her microphone

"1. Introduction

This is a project report on tapes & scripts offered by Madeleine Newland (Maddy) to a local museum.

They were recorded for Lymington Hospital for 3 years in the 1980s and care homes in the New Milton area, as part of Maddy's Monday Morning Tape Service, between mainly 1989 and 2004.

How it all started

I was alerted by Bob Lowe, one of the leading lights at the New Milton Talking Newspaper, that Madeleine Newland, one of their Registrars, had a collection of tape recordings that she wished to donate to a museum. I rang Maddy, and Nick Saunders and I made a number of visits to her bungalow in New Milton to look at her Collection. Little did we know the story that would unfold. We asked questions and took away boxes of cassette tapes, scripts, record books and newspaper cuttings and photographs for examination.

2. The Project

After an examination of Maddy's Collection, it became clear that we would not be able to find a home for the whole Collection, which was a disappointment to Maddy. The potential output from the project was:

1. A list of the tapes and scripts (Achieved)

First scripts written

2. A list of the Care Homes who received the Monday Morning Tape Service (Achieved)
3. An interview with Maddy – see 3. below
4. Some photographs copied for the New Milton Heritage Society (Achieved)
5. A selection of tapes and scripts digitised and scanned respectively (Achieved - see 4. below)

3. The Interview

Maddy had achieved a lot in her lifetime and was still active in helping others. Nick and I agreed that he would interview Maddy and pen an article in the New Milton Mail/Barton Bugle (Achieved).:

Article in New Milton Mail/Barton Bugle

Maddy was highly delighted with the article. She was a “Welcomer” at the Catholic Church in Mount Avenue and people at the church had spotted the article and wanted to chat about it with her. Lovely!

4. Tapes & Scripts for Posterity

It was agreed that I would identify say 6 tapes and scripts which had a local interest. It was found that some of the scripts were too feint to scan. I finally selected the following 6 tapes & scripts:

1. Tape 11/217 A Walk Round New Milton/Barton, recorded 2.1.1989 (script 13.4.1986/2.1.1989)
2. Tape 13/302 Lymington recorded 1 11.1994 (script 1.11.1994)
3. Tape 86/252 Dorset, recorded 2.1.1992 (script  2.1.1992)
4. Tape 82/204 Isle of Wight, recorded 10.1.1990 (script 11.10.1987/6.1.1990)
5. Tape 298 Secrets of the Forest, recorded 17.4.1994 (script 15.4.1994)
6. Tape 50/249 New Forest Quiz, recorded 15.11.1991 (script 15.11.1991)

Some notes about each recording appear in an Appendix below:

The 6 tapes

5. Quizzes

One of the features of Maddy’s recordings were her quizzes. Of the 133 tapes broadcast on Hospital Radio, 24 were quizzes. In the list of tapes distributed during the Monday Morning Tape Service, 41 were quizzes (all had been kept together in one box).

At the time of my report, Maddy still provided quizzes for New Milton’s Darby & Joan Club.

The New Forest Quiz is just one example:

Script for New Forest Quiz

6. Lymington Hospital Radio

For many years, the Talking Newspaper has had close links with the Hospital Radio in Lymington, e.g. over the years, 4 of the Talking Newspaper volunteers had been presenters on Hospital Radio.

Val Raymond a founder member of the Talking Newspaper is currently a presenter on New Forest Hospital Radio and Tony Clark, a Sound Engineer at the Talking Newspaper like Val, is currently President of New Forest Hospital Radio.

Maddy talked to me about her time at the Hospital Radio, which began 30 years ago! At that time, the service was projected as Radio Link, Lymington (as shown in the attached script):

She used to have the 6.00 – 7.30 slot on a Sunday Evening and remembers broadcasting her programmes and never seeing a soul! In those days the studio was in a separate building on the Infirmary site in Lymington. Maddy always operated from a script and used to turn up in good time with her box of records, ready for her live broadcasts.

There was a radio link to Linden House for the Blind in Lymington and Maddy remembers her husband Lou going to the care home to listen to the broadcasts with the residents.

In due course presenters were encouraged to pre-record their programmes using tapes which could be recorded at home. Through her links with the Solent Mead care home in Lymington, Maddy started to play the tapes to residents on a Wednesday evening and took her dog with her, which was very popular!.

The tapes also meant that Maddy was able to offer the Monday Morning Tape Service to other care homes.

Understandably, there is no one at the Hospital Radio that remembered Maddy but she was delighted when the owner of the Gatehouse in Becton Lane, Barton recognised Maddy from her Monday morning visits, when Maddy visited a resident there!

7. The Importance of the Recordings

Maddy undertook recordings for the Hospital Radio (3 years) and her Monday Morning Tape Service (15 years) which were important to patients in Lymington Hospital and residents in local care homes.

They also offer a snapshot of life in the New Forest area in the 1980s and 1990s.

8. The Amount of Work Involved

Each programme had to be researched (and they were well-researched!) and related music tracks (approximately 30 tracks in each tape) – and some poems- selected. Scripts were typed without a word processor and 90 minute recordings were made of short narratives followed by music. A basic tower (with a turntable, twin cassette facilities and a microphone) was used.

9. The Monday Morning Tape Service

Maddy publicised the offer of weekly cassette tape recordings and the list of care homes grew:

Article in the Daily Echo

When the Monday Morning Tape Service was introduced, the recordings for Hospital Radio had to have either a new introduction added or the tape was re-recorded.

What Maddy offered us was a unique collection. As Madeleine Hall and then Madeleine Newland, Maddy recorded and distributed tapes for 15 years. For the Monday Morning Tape Service, extraordinarily approx. 600 visits each were made to:

Ashley Arnewood (1990-2004)
Barton Lodge (1989-2001)
Churchill Court (1989-2001)
Moorland House (1989-2001)

List of care homes

Yes, the recordings are not up today’s standards but they are clever and interesting and have a charm of their own. What an effort on Maddy’s part!

I like to imagine the scene year after year, with Maddy being driven round up to 15 care homes, picking up last week’s tape and leaving a fresh one. Quite amazing!

Colin Bower
February 2017"

List of Articles in Project

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