Attilio Fiumarella gets an exhibition of his work

The Italian photographer/researcher Attilio recently photographed Cecil Morris in the Studio 37 setting, shown below. The exhibition above is at The Barber Institute Of Fine Arts, Birmingham University (South B,ham, campus) Free admission. www.barber.org.uk 


Gus Williams remembered

Poppy Brady - The Voice (d. 4-2-14)
HUNDREDS OF people are expected to say their final farewells today (March 1) to popular Birmingham ambassador and community leader Gus Williams, who died suddenly on February 4.
A visionary, a scholar and a champion of youth education, Williams founded the charity Acafess, which supported generations of young people from its Moseley Road base.
A surveyor, who worked with Birmingham City Council for 30 years, and a Liberal Party candidate, Williams regularly walked the streets of Handsworth as he attended Parliamentary committees, or while talking with his great friend Liberal Party Leader Lord David Steele.
Williams, who was 64, divided his time between his beloved hometown of Basseterre in St Kitts where he owned the station Radio One, and spending several months of the year with his family in Birmingham.
He was staying with his sister Lorna George at her home in Perry Barr when he fell ill with stomach pains and died of kidney failure at City Hospital 24 hours later. Six months earlier he had suffered a stroke in St Kitts but had made a good recovery.
“Gus’s sudden death has been a terrible shock to us all because he still had so much to offer. It’s a waste of a great mind,” said his sister Lorna.
“He was an intellectual, but also a humble, charming man who had great charisma. He always had a smile on his face and was there for anyone in the community who needed his help,” she said.
Many tributes poured in for the popular father of four, who studied at the University of Birmingham and pioneered research into ‘hurricane-proof’ homes in the Caribbean.
Dr Denzil Douglas, the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, highlighted Williams’ many contributions to the development of the islands.
Former Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Sybil Spence, said: “Gus was a man of many talents – a real community leader who inspired others.”
Civil rights veteran Maxie Hayles, said: “Gus was a dynamic personality who was a great ambassador for black people in the city. He was very politically astute but supported the wrong party. I used to tell him that if he supported Labour he would have gone far.”
Fellow community activist Bini Brown recalled Williams’ entrepreneurial spirit from their schooldays together in Birmingham when he would go out at lunchtime to buy biscuits for a penny each then come back and sell them in the schoolyard for two pennies.
“He was always laughing and cracking jokes, but he had a great mind. He’ll be missed,” said Brown.
Desmond Jaddoo, of Birmingham Empowerment Forum, said: “Gus was instrumental in building bridges within the community following the 1985 riots in Birmingham.”


Incremental contracts: CRA response (1989)

Salim Salam reports on the recent CRA sponsored conference in Nottingham which addressed the community radio to Britain's black communities. 

The Community Radio Association welcomed the statement this month that the Government will allow the Independent Broadcasting Authority to introduce incremental radio contracts.

It has been a long wait for such an obvious stop-gap measure. Now for the first time since the ill-fated community radio experiment of 1985, there is a limited opportunity for groups of ordinary people to own, manage and run a radio station which genuinely reflects their lives and community.

Paul Brown - IBA
At the recent meeting of the CRA in Colchester, Paul Brown, Head of Programming at the IBA, said they would be looking for "new people with new ideas, doing new things in a new way".

The CRA expects the IBA to fulfil its promise. Invitations should make it clear that the IBA welcomes applications from part-time stations, frequency sharers and those which are non-profit maximising and not necessarily financed solely by advertising. A high priority must be given to introducing the first radio stations controlled by the Afro-Caribbean, Asian and smaller ethnic minorities.
New formats for presenting pop music should take a back seat to those who provide a voice for communities excluded from legal broadcasting. Community stations must be given adequate time to raise the necessary finance, and greater weight should be given to the quality of programmes than to the speed a station can go on air.

The CRA will be pressing the IBA on all these points in its advisory capacity to the IBA's Radio Division. It appears that only a limited number of licences will be available. This will provide little incentive for many unlicensed operators to come off the air. Nevertheless they will be faced with a draconian five year ban if they are caught after January the first. For the pirates it is a small carrot and a rather large stick. The CRA now intends to step up its services to aspiring non-profit community based groups. This will include advice on applications, legal constitutions and management structures, studio costs and sources of grants and low interest loans for start up capital.

£10k IBA constructed studio
The Association is also bringing forward plans to establish a charitable Community Broadcasting Trust. This will be a unique source of education, research and  information for the public on community radio matters. Interest has already been expressed from a number of charities and the CRA is actively seeking corporate business sponsors. The CRA took the first step towards discussing with the black communities of Britain its vision of the way ahead for community radio at the first national conference for black people on the subject in Nottingham on August 20.

The conference, Community Radio and its significance to black people, was organised by the Black Conference Planning Group and representatives of the Association of Musicians and Artists, Nottingham. It was held at the Marcus Garvey Centre, and attracted almost 40 Afro-Caribbean and Asian men and women from all over the country. Aiming to raise awareness of some of the key areas of community radio such as training, fund-raising, operational and management structures, and programming,the conference organisers invited prominent figures in the field to contribute to leading the debate.

On the day, the conference revealed the breadth and depth of experience in the black communities. It provided the CRA with much to think about, as well as demonstrating the amount of work we have to do as an organisation to come to grips with some of the issues concerned. Some conference organisers expressed disappointment that the gathering was not as large as hoped, but were confident that the conference was a first, not a last, step.

Dr. Muhammad Anwar
After a morning session in which the most interesting and entertaining contribution came from Cecil Morris of People's Community Radio Link (PCRL), an unlicensed station in Birmingham, the conference went into an afternoon of workshops. The morning session was informative, with Dr. Muhammad Anwar of the Commission for Racial Equality impressing upon those present the diversity of the black communities' programming needs. His research, documented in his books "Ethnic Minority Broadcasting" and "Who tunes into what?" have proved, with echoes in the 1988 Broadcasting Research Unit report "The Listener Speaks".

CRA Chair, Steve Byrom, spoke about the CRA's respected status in political circles and emphasised that it had always been an aim of the organisation to treat the needs of the Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities as a priority. Referring to the unlicensed sector, he recognised their contribution to the debate and spoke of the CRA's flexible attitude towards them, evidenced by the decision at the Bristol AGM to allow them into membership of the CRA providing they accept the Code of Practice.

 White Paper heralds 1990 radio legislation  

The White Paper on Broadcasting, published this year, brings the new era of radio one step closer to realisation. The White Paper will form the basis for a major Broadcasting Bill to be introduced in the 1989 to 1990 parliamentary session.

Plans for a separate Radio Bill were shelved last year. Now the Government plans to introduce new radio legislation concurrently with major reforms of the structure of television broadcasting.
The White Paper reiterates the Government's intention to introduce a new "light touch" Radio Authority to oversee an expansion and diversification of the radio industry. It will include plans for several hundred new community and local radio stations.

The Broadcasting Bill will be a substantial piece of legislation with a separate section to deal specifically with radio. It is unlikely to receive Royal Assent before summer 1990, but a shadow Radio Authority could already be in place by then to deal with preliminary issues such as frequency allocation and applications procedure.
The first licences would be on offer in late 1990 with the first stations under the new regime coming on air in 1991.


Pilot speaks while off-air in 1989

Pilot presenting 'Talk-Back' 1992
With PCRL being off the air I'm sure that you"re thinking we're lazing around doing nothing well chance would be a fine thing.

While we are off the air there is still the office to run because our Gift Shop is still open for sale of our paraphernalia and also of course doubling up as an Information Centre.

With the application pending we are at this present moment forming a working party consisting of people who have the knowledge and background to present our application for a Broadcasting Licence in the strongest possible light. This particular committee has been meeting once, sometimes twice, per week in meetings lasting at least 4 hours duration and I'll tell you, you feel pretty tired after one of these meetings.

Being off the Air also creates another problem, how do you keep the presenters interested? What we try to do is to hold regular staff meetings so as everyone knows what is going on but still it is a very difficult task.

Some of our Presenters are attending the Community Radio Training Course (CRT) to enhance their Broadcasting skills, they are working very hard to attain their certificates in Broadcasting Proficiency I'm sure that a lot of their training will reflect in forthcoming programmes.

Before I close it must not be forgotten the hard work that has gone in to putting this magazine together, if I went into that it would take another page. So as you can see there is a lot going on behind the scene!         By Pilot

(taken from PCRL's Off Air Bulletin magazine - 1989) Sadly though it was not to be - Ed

Inside PCRL
Many people ask me how is PCRL run? How do we maintain discipline within the ranks? Are there rules to abide by? Who decides who does what?

I could take quite a long time to answer these questions but I'll try and keep it short. First of all when PCRL first started it was obviously run by the Founder Member, (Music Cecil Morris Master) I have to say it was very difficult 4 years ago but everyone at that time as enthusiastic about the project and had the same aim of becoming legal.

Gradually, the original team started to break up and new people joined the organisation, this presented problems. One of the major ones was the fact that some of the people who joined did not know the unwritten rules of the organisation.

We all got together as a group and came up with a document which is called 'The Code of Conduct' which is still in operation today it also forms the basis of discipline within the ranks.

PCRL has been through various crisis where the very foundations has been stretched to the limit, but I am glad to say that we have survived them all mind you, can anybody tell me of an organisation which exists on volunteers that hasn't had its turmoils? Bet you can't.

Where rules are concerned, which do not appear in The Code of Conduct, the main one is Presenters must not! say anything on Air to upset our Listeners or anything that could be detrimental to any particular Group or Groups.

For the past 2 years PCRL has been run by what is called a Council of Management, this Group was formed to make policy, steer the organisation in (hopefully) the right direction, keep up morale and most important to inform Presenters on whats happening.

Meetings are held once a month and let me say these can be very fiery sometimes with so many different opinions coming into the arena but at the end of the day common sense must prevail, I can safely say that All Presenters are well informed.

One great thing about meetings is that they create some really funny moments and they are also a morale booster, I might tell you about some of those funny moments at a later date anyway you know a little bit more about inside PCRL. - Pilot