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Jo'Burg Days: Springbok Radio

Barbara Durlacher is delighted to announce the return of Springbok Radio, a station which enriched the lives of thousands of South Africans.

Early South African broadcasting took its cue from the BBC, with much of the management based on their operating experience and structure, but as the years passed, one particular service gained enormous popularity. This was the famous Springbok Radio, and the personalities and programs of that time have gone down in history, still recalled with great fondness by listeners now old and grey.

Working from a building designed in 1935 by J.C.Cook & Cowen for I.W. Schlesinger's "African Broadcasting Company", Broadcast House became the headquarters and mainstay of radio broadcasting in South Africa. From 1937 to 1975 it was the home of the South African Broadcasting Corporation in Johannesburg and it was from here that the popular station enriched the day-to-day lives of thousands for over 36 years, creating a bond between its talented broadcasters, skilled writers and the wider audience which still endures.

Wonderful radio serials like “The Man in Black”; “Taxi”; “Snoektown Calling”; “The Swinging Door”; “From Crystal with Love”; “Call Back the Past”; “Squad Cars” and dozens of others created legions of adherents, many of whom have never forgotten the entranced hours spent listening to the stories and characters filling the airwaves.

When conscription separated a generation of young men from their families, Springbok Radio was a valuable contact and the familiar programs linked them to the folks back home. Many can remember “Forces Favourites” hosted by Esmé Euverard and cherish memories of her familiar voice and unfailing optimism and recall how her program and their favourite music helped to soften the separation. Many middle-aged folk can remember her slogan “Vasbyt” and the thousands of messages she passed on from loving families to the “Boys on the Border” fighting a war that few understood, and fewer cared about.

Now, happily, with the advance of technology and technical skills, many of the old tape-recorded programs have now been digitally re-mastered, and are going to be streamed over the internet and available world-wide. Springbok Radio is returning!

It is planned to broadcast for six hours at a time repeating this schedule 4-times a day, which will enable listeners all over the world to catch the broadcasts at a time to suit themselves. The broadcasts will start on 1st July 2008 and for those who are interested, go to www.springbokradio.co.za for further details and schedules.

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