Daventry calling



Nauticold'n trainit


Actyup in spotlighty

Starrystage'n screel

Sitting cumftibold


In 1940, Stanley successfully applied for a job at the BBC working on transmitters as a 'key thumper'. The Second World War was now underway and the Corporation desperately needed Morse operators across the country so he went off to do his bit at the Borough Hill transmitting station in Daventry.


He had, by this time, married his wife Frances who he had met at Plessey and the couple, along with their nine month old daughter Marion, moved up to nearby Long Buckby in Northamptonshire, which was to remain his home for the rest of his life.


In 1944 he signed up with the BBC's War Reporting Unit, initially roaming the country to record 'on the spot' features on the impact of the war at home. In October that year he was assigned to the US Third Army Press Camp, moving across northern Europe and taking briefings from one particularly notorious American commander along the way:

General Patton's bright and brotherly briefings were well attended. [His] ad libbing would have done justice to any humorous gathering. Serious as the situation was, with Germans advancing on the Eiffel front, the General threw some remarkable answers to the correspondents' questions...

"Do you think that there are many more Tiger tanks in the area?" one lady asked him.

"Not unless the present ones are reproductive tanks, ma'am," he answered. Another question about the de-nazifying of prisoners to use them for counter espionage seemed to annoy him somewhat and he came back: "Trying to do that would be like trying to fertilize a forty acre field with a fart."

Stanley was later teamed up with the British Eighth Army in Italy and followed the Allied advance up through the country and finally into Austria just as the war was coming to an end. Shortly after that, along with other regular army units, he was summoned back home.


When he returned to the UK he joined the newly formed Mobile Recording Unit as an outside broadcast engineer covering a range of events for the Beeb including the 1946 Paris Peace Conference and the 1947 Royal Tour of South Africa. Over the following four years he was based in Birmingham working on local news transmissions for BBC Midlands. During his time there he also worked on radio staples like 'Down Your Way', 'Around and About' and 'Farm Visit' with veteran broadcasters such as Richard Dimbleby and Wynford Vaughan Thomas.


Another of his collaborators was F R Buckley who was partly instrumental in engineering the next phase of our Stan's career.