De Beauvoir radio project unites young and old

PUBLISHED: 15:09 28 December 2013

Eden John and Imogen Bartley work on a jingle for the show during a Parallel Radio workshop

Eden John and Imogen Bartley work on a jingle for the show during a Parallel Radio workshop


A radio workshop has brought the young and the old together, as they took to the airwaves just six weeks after being challenged to make a radio show.

Parallel Radio, run by Open School East in De Beauvoir Road, De Beauvoir, encouraged over 20 people, from schoolchildren to septuagenarians, to give up four hours over six Saturdays to share their memories through music while training to use radio equipment.

They made their debut appearance two weeks ago when they took over the airwaves of Resonance FM for an hour between 8 and 9pm on Friday, December 20.

Laurence Taylor, co-founder of Open School East, which organised the workshop, said: “With parallel radio we wanted to create an intergenerational workshop on radio making.

“The project is about sharing gems in your music collections, learning practical skills and more importantly creating collaboration and communication between young and old people. “The project has been a huge success and we look forward to continuing in 2014.”

Vicky Burrington, one of the younger members, said: “It was such a great opportunity to be working with people from different generations, can’t wait to get back into it in the new year.”

Skippy, an older member of the group, said: “We knew nothing about radio. However since we have been here a great deal has been gained. We look forward to continuing in the new year. Being a part of this gives a sense of belonging.”

Prior to the show, Rick Crust, one of the leaders of the workshop described how quickly the group had worked to get their show on air.

“In just two weeks, they learnt to use the equipment, the microphones, how to balance the sound, how to make jingles.”

“But more importantly, because we’ve been talking about music we remember from a long time ago to induce memories we’ve found out more about each other, that is the real value.”

Dalston’s renowned Four Aces Club DJ Newton Dunbar,79, was interviewed as part of the workshops about his advice for young people who want to become DJs, while Pauline Browne, 58, from Clapton, took over the radio booth on another session to record a song she had written years ago, but only now felt confident to share.

Ms Browne had been on a plane to Jamaica in the 1990s when the plane had to make an emergency landing because of fears of a bomb on board. It left a lasting impression.

“The plane disaster was a nightmare,” she said. “We had to run for our lives.”

For others, working with a group of people they didn’t usually interact with was the attraction of the workshops.

“It’s wicked working with older people,” Victoria Burrington, 22, said. “Part of the reason I signed up was because it was with over 55s”.

Frank Robertson, an older participant, said: “I could stay here all day, I’ve never seen anything like this - people who would normally cross each other on the street are working together, it’s beautiful.”

Latest Hackney Stories


County Championship Division Two, day three: Northamptonshire (346) trail Middlesex (187 & 374-9) by 215 runs


London Lions have captured six foot ten inch big man Kervin Bristol in a massive coup for the club following his season with Vytautas in Lithuania last year.

The former Spurs striker enjoyed a two-and-a-half year spell at White Hart Lane

The left-back talked up the potential of Myles Judd, Dan Happe and Marvin Ekpiteta after Saturday’s win

Four former friends on trial for murder have turned against each other in the dock at the Old Bailey, with one accused of calling another a “snitch” in graffiti on a prison toilet wall.

The 50-year-old reflected on the Premier League loss to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium


Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn has backed new head coach Unai Emery to deliver on his pressing ethos.

The pair will continue their comebacks by featuring in a behind closed doors match with Southend United today


To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists