Manage episode 296477553 series 2919372
Nottingham-born A.J. Alan (real name: Leslie Harrison Lambert) was a performing magician, radio ham, volunteer coastguard radio operator, and naval intelligence officer who, at the start of World War II was part of the vital military intelligence effort at Bletchley Park. Prior to the war, he was telling stories on BBC radio and became one of the most popular broadcasting personalities of the time. These stories - light, but often strange and sometimes spooky - were later to be anthologised in ghost story collections such as the Fontana series curated by Robert Aickman, although they were meant to be performed and delivered in the rambling, conversational style Alan had made his own. He died in 1941.
Archive radio of A.J. Alan is now hard to find, but you can hear some gramophone recordings on the Stars of the Wireless site here: https://rfwilmut.net/wireless/alan.html
I have tried to recreate the feel of one of those vintage broadcasts with this reading of what is possibly A.J. Alan's most traditional "ghost" story, "The Diver". This special episode is intended as a tribute from one Nottingham "radio ham" to another!
You can read more about A.J. Alan in this informative essay: https://tychy.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/premonitory-tales-from-dickens-signalman-to-the-radio-broadcasts-of-a-j-alan-66/
More great horror stories are on their way...
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