THE CHALMERS SISTERS AND WHEELER BROTHERS
During his time at BBC Northern Children’s Hour in Manchester, my good friend, Trevor Hill, recruited several youngsters to help in the studio and with outside broadcasts. Sadly, three have now predeceased him, the latest being Sandra Chalmers who, amongst other broadcasting assignments, edited Woman’s Hour. Her sister, Judith Chalmers, told me how Sandra ( Sandy) was a kind and considerate lady, always keen to help by putting other people first. I am old enough to remember them both as teenagers, likewise the brothers Geoffrey and Peter Wheeler, who were familiar voices on radio and faces on television.
Judith Chalmers is perhaps bestremembered for the television travel programme Wish You Were Here but did you know while still only a teenager, she became the first female television announcer outside London? Trevor told me with a chuckle how he suggested she remove her jewellery before her first broadcast! She also hosted the live Children’s Television Club from the North of England which later metamorphosed into Blue Peter.
I am delighted to pay tribute to all four siblings for their high- quality broadcasting, something which, sadly, is increasingly lacking today.
Judith left) and Sandra Sandy) Chalmers, pictured last year at their alma mater, Withington Girls’ School in South Manchester. Both started their long broadcasting careers while still pupils there, beginning as teenagers on BBC Children’s Hour.
Peter Wheeler ( left) hosted Granada’s Junior Criss Cross Quiz and Thames’ Full House, while his older brother, Geoffrey ( right), hosted Songs of Praise, Winner Takes All splendid Top of the Form Evergreen, 2010).