Steve Pendlebury reviews Bill Smith's Memoirs.

There is more to Old Televison Collecting than hoarding the sets and boxes upon boxes of trade magazines and books. Have you ever wondered what it was really like to be in 'The Trade' in days of old?

I always did, and I can listen to the recollections of those who lived through those great times, and enjoy the tales they always tell, over and over again. This very endearing little book now has permanent residence on my bedside table, and with good reason!
Bill has written a series of articles, The Bill Smith Chronicles, which appeared in Radiophile and 405 Alive. Now they have appeared in book form as Bill looks back over decades of experience in the Radio and then TV trade.

Like many youngsters born in the 1920s, Bill had a fascination with radio from an early age. He recalls, very fondly, Crystal sets and of course the heavy Lead Acid Accumulator and Grid Bias Batteries.

Bill's early days and first jobs are described in loving detail. Everybody in the Radio and TV trade can tell tales about Characters and sets, Bill is no exception. In a way this book, which is an excellent read, is tricky to review because if I start go into any detail, then it may spoil the story and the last thing I want to do is accidentally steal Bill's thunder! There's some wonderful tales and anecdotes to keep you smiling.

Bill also reveals a lot of himself in here and its nice to see that someone can write their memoirs in such an affectionate and entertaining way. When you read this, its as if he's there telling you these tales in person, over a pint! The embelisments add to the overall effect as we are treated to period radio advertisments and some very evocative photos of sets from the time. The as yet unpublished continuation will, I'm sure be every bit as good and I look foward to this as well!

For a good non technical read at bedtime, which we all need!, I heartily reccommend this book to you.

To order THE BILL SMITH CHRONICLES: Contact Bill Smith by clicking here.

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