Monday, 8 October 2012

KACT Volunteers Go On A Magical Mystery Tour During Beatles Commemorative Broadcast

Above: Volunteers Alan Smith and Janet Walker with BBC Radio Wiltshire presenter Graham Seaman

Devizes-based volunteers Alan Smith and Janet Walker gamely took part in a special outside broadcast by BBC Radio Wiltshire to commemorate 50 years since the first Beatles single was released, on Friday (5th October).

Alan and Janet spoke to presenter Graham Seaman about the work of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust (KACT) in its 50th anniversary year, and their particular roles inside the organisation for the two-hour Lunchtime show, which was broadcast from a ‘pirate ship’ moored at Devizes Wharf for the day.

The programme commemorated the release of the Fab Four’s first single Love me Do, on 5th October 1962, and also contained a number of interviews with people from the Devizes area, as well as boat owner and KACT member Suzanne Hayes, who turned her vessel over to the radio station for the duration of the broadcast, and decorated it for the occasion.

The programme also provided the opportunity for Alan, who works on the Trust’s trip boat Kenavon Venture and who has also helped refurbish the Wharf building, to relate a couple of entertaining encounters with members of the Beatles when working as a pilot, as well as from earlier in his life in London.

Janet, who volunteers in the Trust shop on the Wharf, says, “It was a completely nerve-wracking experience, but also very enjoyable to meet the presenter, who was brilliant at putting us at our ease. It was fascinating to see how much work goes into making an outside broadcast programme. I distinctly remember listening to the latest tunes on pirate radio as a teenager, which of course is how the Beatles first got noticed, so it was a great trip down memory lane in that respect as well.

“It was also a very good opportunity to point out the fantastic role that our volunteers play in championing the waterway, and also how the Devizes building is integral to the local community and economy.”

The full programme can be heard until 11th October here:

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