The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Madeleine Newland - Cassette Tape Recordings Queen

Looking Back/Project Methodology

Methodology 2016

When I first visited Maddy in 2016, I found that she had a large collection comprising:

- Boxes of cassette tapes
- Bundles of scripts
- A list of scripts as they were recorded, and
- A list of care homes and the tapes they received
- A binder of memorabilia including newspaper articles about her fund-raising

The collection revealed a bigger story with Maddy recording broadcasts for Radio Link from the Informary in Lymington (later Lymington Hospital Radio) and running a Monday Morning Tape Service where cassette tapes were delivered to 10-15 care homes each week.

I introduced Maddy to local historian, Nick Saunders, who wrote up Maddy’s life story for the New Milton Mail/Barton Bugle:

Nick was not able to find a home for Maddy’s collection, so I selected 6 tapes and their scripts which might make an exhibit if the opportunity occurred:

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)

 

Neil Eccles at the Talking Newspaper re-recorded the tapes onto CD and memory stick and scanned the 6 scripts onto memory stick.

I made a number of visits to see Maddy to hear her story.

I took her collection home. The biggest job was to list the scripts & tapes:

List of Scripts and Tapes

At that stage, I wanted a list that showed:

- a list of scripts with issue numnbers
- when they were writtem
- the dates when the scripts were recorded or re-recorded
- in which boxes the tapes were stored

The list provided the following information:

- scripts 1-133 were broadcast on Lymington Hospital Radio from 27.1.1986 - 18.12.1988
- All of the tapes and some of the scripts had not survived
- 73 were re-recorded for the Monday Morning Tape Service
- Recordings for the Monday Morning Tape Service started on 2 January 1989

I skimmed through Maddy’s record books and scripts and compiled a brief analysis.

Analysis of Maddy's Collection

I also did a summary of the content of the 6 tapes:

Content of 6 Tapes

I compiled an overall report with attachments in February 2017:

Maddy's Story

This included a particular reference to tapes sent to Solent Mead care home, as an example:

Solent Mead Care Home

As items became available, I kept them safe in a binder awaiting developments.

Nick Saunders article was published:

Article on New Milton Mail/Barton Bugle

and Tony Clark of the Talking Newspaper and Hospital Radio gave Maddy a guided tour of the recording studio at Lymington Hospital.

Maddy enjoyed the attention!

* * * * *

Project Revisited October 2021

I came across the 6 cassette tapes and dormant research binder and decided to revisit the project to see if I could find them a home.

Milton Heritage Society

I contacted Nick Saunders again about the Milton Heritage Society. They are to have a presence at the old station master’s house at New Milton Station. The premises will be known as No 1 New Milton.

I asked him if we might have an exhibit there but there will not be the space. My research binder could be held there though.

This gave me the impetus to start turning my research material into a presentation binder.

Maddy’s Story

I decided to tell Maddy’s story in my website.

I still had the report that I compiled in February 2017 but I needed to add some photos.

I visited Maddy again. She still had her collection intact and I was able to obtain a range of photos which I added.

Adding Examples of Maddy’s Tapes

It is enjoyable to listen to the tapes which is what it is all about. As well as the social history, it is lovely to hear the music of yesteryear.

I looked into if and how extracts from the tapes could be made available online.

At present I do not have the facility to embed sound in my website. Broadcasting whole tapes might have copyright issues.

One possibility is to record the scripts without the music. I approached the Talking Newspaper to see if they would be interested in recording one or two for me and putting the recordings in their website.

Publicity

It was all well and good, telling Maddy’s story in websites but no one would know it was there!

The opportunities for publicity are limited. The best bet is to have a photo taken of Maddy when the research binder is lodged with the Milton Heritage Society. Then articles could be submitted to the local paper (the New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times) and monthly magazine the New Milton Mail/Barton Bugle. No guarantees of publication though!

After that the binder will be available at the Heritage Society and on my website.

Conclusion

I sent Maddy a copy of the account of my re-visit and an article about New Forest Hospital Radio (previously Lymington Hospital Radio). It was published in the local paper on October 2021 and  mentions the early days at Lymington Infirmary:

Once again she appreciated what I had done.

Colin Bower
17 November 2021

List of Articles in Project

Maddy's Story

 
Made with CityDesk