Tim’s Blog


January 2017


So here I am one year on from that first blog and not a lot has changed in the Blackmore world. Not that is, apart from the momentous vote on June 23rd last year. We were in France that week and I tweeted that seeing the Normandy landing beaches was a strong reminder of what happens when European nations fail to hang together. I remain very disappointed that so many British voters failed to realise that the very real problems we face as a nation owe very little to our membership or otherwise of the EU and will not be solved by our leaving. No doubt the government will do its best to resolve the mess into which they’ve led us but it leaves me a sadder European than I was before. Among other things I cannot see how the Border between Northern Ireland and Ireland itself can be resolved. Both countries have said they do not want to see the return of a formal border but how else can the much vaunted control of immigration be achieved ? Without a hard border, any EU citizen can fly to Dublin, travel across the open border to Northern Ireland and thence enjoy unimpeded access to the mainland of the UK - what am I missing? If  border control posts are re introduced it’s hard to see how the current patterns of life for citizens of either country can be safely maintained. The next few years will deliver much that  demands our attention.


Cheltenham continues to provide a wealth of activity with the many Festivals, the Everyman Theatre and music performances across a range of venues. I’m writing this while staying with friends in Portugal and later in the year we’ll be visiting several of the Baltic Cities. I’ve started to accept invitations to speak to various groups including U3A, Rotary, Probus and the WI and mostly I try to offer a glimpse at the development of UK radio with an emphasis on its contribution to popular culture with a few laughs along the way. I try to stay in touch with the industry through regular lunches with a range of former colleagues and that’s an activity only constrained by the disappointingly slow train service between Cheltenham and London.


Last year’s sacking of Tony Blackburn by the BBC was for me an appallingly low point in the BBC’s performance record and still remains unexplained - one cannot help but see it as a clumsy attempt to deflect attention from past management failures. The Corporation has a track record of seeing popular music in a lesser light than other areas of its output and I conclude they saw the inevitable damage to Tony’s reputation as acceptable collateral. As 2017 advances I’ll be hoping they find ways to compensate him for this gross error of judgement.


With the completion of Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States, we must now prepare for what may well be a meaner, less tolerant and a self satisfied America. If Trump’s campaign statements had any honesty within them it will be a bad time to be a woman, a Muslim, a Mexican or an intellectual, let alone one of those ghastly “liberals”. The jury is very definitely out.


January 2016


To be honest I never before thought of creating a blog, but since I think I’ve now retired, I wanted to put my career on record, if only  for the benefit of those lonely people who spend their days surfing the web for lack of anything else to do. Maybe there are other Tim Blackmores out there who’ll have come across this as they search for references to their own names. Anyway, after 54 years of professional activity Margaret and I have now chosen to live in Cheltenham where hardly a week goes by without some Festival or concert or other enjoyable event taking up our time. The town also has a terrific range of eating places, and since moving here twelve months ago we’ve tried more than 20 of them .... several of them, more than once.


I wondered how my radio listening might change now I no longer needed to know what was being broadcast and the answer is that apart from Radios 4 and  2, I hardly listen to anything. Radio 4 continues to delight and inform with an astoundingly broad range of programming. Almost every slot delivers food for thought whether through straightforward statements of fact, or the provision of intelligent and informative discussion. Serendipity is the greatest source of joy - coming across an item or a programme to which one might never have chosen to listen, but which nonetheless enriches the day. Radio 2 gives me access to an unrivalled team of musical experts and surely the very best mix of musics from any station in the world - and I love ‘Popmaster’. Of course there are some Radio 2 presenters whose appeal fails to engage me at all, but happily with more than 60,000 music tracks in my personal collection, I can always find something else to satisfy my musical needs whenever they’re on the air.


Some days I miss my links with the Radio Industry. After so many years chairing meetings, organising events or producing shows in one medium or another I suppose it’s only natural, but the opportunity for more self indulgence than has ever been possible before, does bring its own compensations. Last year we went to China, Germany, Madeira, Holland and France and soon we’ll be back in Madeira and then the USA with trips later in the year to Geneva, Guernsey and France. I subscribe to ‘The Economist’, ‘Private Eye’ and ‘The Week’ and still love to browse the shelves in our local bookshop for something I don’t yet know about. New challenges continue to be important and my discovery of video editing has proved thoroughly rewarding - the family may sometimes be uncertain about my making them watch the results, but I’m loving the production process.


Our children have seen a year of change with both families’ eldest offspring leaving home to begin their new lives at University. Joanna and Simon, with their spouses  are now both running nurseries. Simon and Michele’s helps young plants to grow whilst Joanna and Steve’s helps the growth of young children. Looked at from this perspective, life is good, so at the start of this new year, I raise my glass to even more of the same.