In 1982, at the age of 11, I discovered a little bit more about local radio through a friend at high school. There was very little in the way of radio back then.
I was always aware of Radio Medway's existence but never dreamed of tuning in. But my friend introduced me to Essex Radio which had only been on air a few months, broadcasting from Southend just across the Thames Estuary from where I was on the north Kent coast.
I started tuning in and fell in love with it. It felt weirdly glamorous to have your own local station, at the time Kent's Invicta Sound was a good 2 years away from starting its broadcasts.
The programme I really liked was on at 9pm on weekday evenings - The Timbo Show. Timbo (Tim Lloyd) hosted a show where people could phone in, answer quizzes, have a cosy chat and he also played lots of current music. It was on between 9pm and 11pm before his soon-to-be wife Lindsay King rounded off the day on the station.
Listen to the start of the Timbo show - that jingle, oh that jingle. "T I M B O - well here comes Timbo, he's all set and ready to go ..."
At 10pm, half way through the show, he used to play a jingle which was, I think, originally sent in by a listener called Chris. It was The Timbo Rap. I remember all the words in my head ... it's ridiculous. How can I forget important stuff and yet still remember the Timbo Rap? dare I write out the lyrics in full here and prove just how tragic I am? Yeah, OK then.
To the tune of Good Times, that soul classic from the 70s by Chic.
The Timbo Rap - Essex Radio circa 1982
The Timbo Show is quite all right,
two solid hours of sheer delight.
The latest sounds are on the show,
the highlight of the day for Essex Radio.
Mr Lloyd with his dulcet tones,
singing to the music coming through his 'phones,
competitions and quizzes that will blow your mind,
he gives away fanfares, he's one of a kind.
Do the Timbo Rap give your hands a clap,
Timbo's a hero, there's no doubt about that,
give your feet a tap, to the Timbo Rap,
the man who put Essex, on the map.
Essex Radio star DJ,
get out of his way cos Timbo rules OK.
Good looking and handsome or so he says,
you can't deny Timbo's the best.
Get out of the armchair,
switch off the box,
tune into Timbo,
he's the king of the jocks,
if entertainment is what you seek,
listen to Timbo right through the week.
And one more thing before I go,
convert your friends to the Timbo Show.
Phone him on double 8 double 1,
answer the questions, join in with the fun.
Do the Timbo Rap, give your hands a clap,
Timbo's a hero there's no doubt about that,
give your feet a tap to the Timbo rap,
the man who put Essex, on the map
OK. I did it. it's out there. The thing is, if no one else puts it on the web then it'll never get on the web. See what I'm saying? I wonder how many people are now gonna search for Timbo Rap and find this blog entry? Did I get the words right?
Other things about The Timbo Show that I remember.
• Timbo for president - listeners were invited to write in and get a poster to put up in their window.
• I Love Timbo Badge -- I had one of these. Seriously appalling design even for back then ... but huge and I was so pleased i had one! I wore it to school the next day and a) got accused of being gay and b) was told to take it off my blazer by one of the teachers walking down the corridor.
• TPR - Timbo did a series of shows from the front room's of listeners. The show was controled back in the studio by a robot - TPR - Timbo's Production Robot. It sounded like Roadshow Robbo. Where the hell am I dredging these memroies up from? I'm rapid cycling.
• Timbo did a saturday morning show called The Saturday Whatnot. I think children used to come into the studio, more family oriented.
• When the Saturday Whatnot wasn't on, Tim could be heard doing 'The Timbo Roadshow' on a Saturday lunchtime.
• Quizzes on the show include: Timbo stuck in the middle and The Gogglebox quiz (toot toot).
In late 1983 Timbo was moved to lunchtimes on Essex Radio and everyone I know started listening to The Rod Lucas Show on the newly launched Radio Kent (was Radio Medway). And that's a whole other story.
Essex Radio remembered - a selection of those old jingles on the station that liked to be thought of as 'somewhere special'.