Cum­mings Go­ings

The BBC Ra­dio Glouces­ter­shire break­fast show pre­sen­ter looks back on the sta­tion’s 30th An­niver­sary

Cotswold Life - - INSIDE -

We’ve been tak­ing a nos­tal­gic look at the past three decades as BBC Ra­dio Glouces­ter­shire cel­e­brates 30 years of broad­cast­ing across the county. One of the in­spir­ing as­pects of such a re­flec­tion is the re­al­i­sa­tion of how much has changed across the re­gion. Much has been achieved in in­fra­struc­ture, busi­ness and tourism since we started broad­cast­ing to the area. Part of my role is to hold de­ci­sion-mak­ers to ac­count and some­times poke a stick into ar­eas where a lack of move­ment and ac­tion is frus­trat­ing my lis­ten­ers. How­ever, it’s just as im­por­tant to high­light the pos­i­tive ar­eas of growth and a jour­ney back to 1988 cer­tainly fo­cuses the mind. So when Princess Anne de­clared BBC Ra­dio Glouces­ter­shire “On air” in 1988, what didn’t we have that we take for granted in our ev­ery­day lives to­day?

For ex­am­ple, the A417 by­pass. When I first com­muted to work in the mid 90s it took one hour fif­teen at rush hour along the A417, through Brock­worth and Huc­cle­cote into the city of Gloucester. Now that jour­ney takes 50 min­utes. Same for com­muters around Stroud who now have the Eb­ley by­pass and the once-clogged Bris­tol Road has been eased with the South West by­pass. Thirty years ago we didn’t have any uni­ver­si­ties. Now we have three. The Univer­sity of Glouces­ter­shire was a teacher train­ing col­lege and we can now add Cirences­ter and Hart­pury to the mix. Also on the list is the stun­ning trans­for­ma­tion of Gloucester Docks with the Quays de­vel­op­ment. We now have a wind tur­bine at Nymps­field; the Coop­ers Edge de­vel­op­ment; the Al­lied Rapid Re­ac­tion Corps based at Imjin Bar­racks, for­merly RAF Innsworth; Cam and Durs­ley and Ashchurch Sta­tions; the award-win­ning Old Spot pub in Durs­ley; the mas­sive ex­pan­sion of the Cotswold Wa­ter Park; Waitrose in Stroud; pro­fes­sional rugby; the GCHQ Donut; Cotswold air­port; junc­tion 11a; and the Sec­ond Sev­ern cross­ing. Fi­nally let me end with a list of lo­cal com­pa­nies who weren’t even born in 88 but my, how they’ve grown…

Pulling teeth in Chel­tenham

One of the joys of con­duct­ing nu­mer­ous live in­ter­views day in and day out is the de­li­cious pos­si­bil­ity of oc­ca­sion­ally be­ing taken to­tally by sur­prise by a guest. It can be a politi­cian re­veal­ing some­thing they hadn’t in­tended to, a lis­tener shar­ing a nugget from their lives that leaves you speech­less or a celebrity shar­ing a juicy anec­dote that warms the cock­les. Au­thor Joanna Trol­lope joined me dur­ing the Chel­tenham Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val and I wanted to steer her in the di­rec­tion of her love for Glouces­ter­shire and how she felt about her home county. Un­prompted she told me of her trips to Chel­tenham in the 50s. A jour­ney to the spa town in­volved putting on their Sun­day finest and dress­ing for the oc­ca­sion. Her big treat was be­ing taken for a cake in Fullers as long as she didn’t bite the den­tist!

Tyler the tiger

“Come on Tyler… come on… come on.” My high oc­tane screams achieved the usual re­sult. Within sec­onds my faith­ful lurcher Tyler jumped up, dived onto me as I lay on the sofa and licked me all over ex­pect­ing his usual walk. I had to let him down gently as the Tyler I was scream­ing at wasn’t my faith­ful hound. It was in fact Tyler Roberts who was on my TV play­ing for my beloved Leeds United and was about to score his third goal with a 30-yard screamer against Hull. Tyler came to my at­ten­tion re­cently when a friend found out my shame­ful se­cret of be­ing cursed with a love of Leeds United. She then causally men­tioned that her grand­son had just signed for Leeds for £2mil­lion. Talk about drop­ping a bombshell. She went on to ex­plain that Tyler grew up in Gloucester and played for Tred­worth Tigers. He was spot­ted by West Brom and then snapped up by Leeds. Af­ter a few in­juries to our first choice strik­ers, Tyler got his chance and has shown the Cham­pi­onship his un­doubted qual­ity. For my ra­dio pro­gramme I went train­ing with the Tred­worth Tigers who are thrilled with the emer­gence of their old boy and are lov­ing the ex­tra in­ter­est in their in­ner city club from kids want­ing to fol­low in Tyler’s foot­steps.

Now if Car­ling did book clubs…

My wife is part of the best book club in the world. Ev­ery month we have the same con­ver­sa­tion that goes a lit­tle bit like this…

“Don’t for­get I’m out tonight, its book club”

“Have you read this month’s book?” “Not all of it”

“How much?”

“First few pages”

“Won’t the oth­ers suss out you haven’t put the ef­fort in?”

“Nah, they read less than me” “How long do you spend talk­ing about the book?”

“About 10 min­utes”

“What then?”

“Drink wine, some­times gin, gos­sip then watch a movie”

Early bird of­fers

I’ve had no end of teas­ing over the past year for think­ing my sil­ver wed­ding an­niver­sary was last year. I wrote last month about my in­creas­ing habit of be­ing early for ev­ery­thing. One of my chief tor­men­tors has been the editor of Cotswold Life. Imag­ine my joy when he asked me to tip him off about the sub­ject mat­ter of the next day’s show. In his mind he was due in to co-host the next day and wanted to get his head around what might come up. A quick peek in the di­ary re­vealed he’d got his dates wrong and was not due in for an­other month. I could have let him know about his mis­take and con­firmed him for a month’s time or I could let him come in any­way and ex­pose his dozy time-keep­ing live on air. I’ll leave you to guess which op­tion I chose.

Mark in his Leeds United away strip, 1976/77

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