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Jeannette Longmuir 17/1/2009

Hi All

Missing Devonair, Just wonder where Gordon Sommerville is - I used to sit on your show in the late 1980s and wonder how you are what your up to. There was not a station as good as this one, shame it was taken over - loved it to bits.
Miss Gus Honey Bun as well he was the real side of Devon on TSW the oldest are the greatest.

All My Best wishes to all the Devonair people .
Please Gordon if out there write back all the best to all of you.

Jeannette Longmuir

Keith 13/6/2008

Having just brought myself into the twenty first century by purchasing this "flip flop", sorry I mean Laptop and spending considerable time learning how to switch it on, I have somehow found myself on this absolutely marvellous webside and instantly thought that it might just improve my typing skills by offering a contribution to it.
Being the "SOG" (Sad Old Git, according to my ex sister-in-law) that I am, I have wonderful memories of the alarm going off at some ridiculous time in the morning on the day that DevonAir Radio dawned to set my tape recorder going to record Bob Kingsley opening the station with "Here comes the sun" and at least the first few hours of broadcasting.
I still have it here somewhere in my collection, so guess what I might just be doing after I hit the submit button?
I also have very fond recollections of the year 84 when I found myself helping "Bronnie Jocks" sorry I mean John Brocks ( I am so pleased to see that he has done so well since) with the late show, and the DevonAir roadshow.
I seem to remember on one occasion having finished the "Prog" John suggesting that we should have an early breakfast, good idea says I, but where did we have it? On the beach at Torquay at 0100hrs !!! We got hold of a couple of camping stoves and did bacon & egg sarnies. Probably the best sarnies in the world.
Oh Happy Days & even better memories.

John Autton. 9/2/2008


Came across this website purely by coincidence. Strangely enough at the time, I was searching for some information about the Babbacombe Cliff Railway, then my fingers went out of control. No surprise there, they often did when undertaking the split-breaks procedure in the very early days of DevonAir, oh yes, I was there.
Let me introduce myself, I am John Autton, the station's original country music presenter. Contrary to popular belief, I am alive and kicking, although, no longer involved with radio in any way, shape or form!

As you can imagine, browsing this website has brought back many incredible memories, the greater majority of them are very happy indeed!

Keep up the good work, DevonAir Radio in it's original form may be gone forever, but, thanks to your good selves, will never be forgotten.

Jon Lear 8/10/2007

I was just a late night listener in my motorcycle shed. I used to listen to Gordon Sommerville and remember the nightflight whisper with the sound of the plane wooshing by [ at least it sounded like a plane]. that was in the 1980's and i now live in arizona, but I kept my night flight window sticker and i have it here in a frame to remind me of those happy nights fixing my bikes up listening to the radio. I had to peel it off my window during a visit to the uk in 1999 and it was covered in creosote wood preservative but still readable [it was a pretty ramshackled shed but it loved it for a 17 year old it was paradise]. now its fading for good i wanted to know if anyone has another sticker they could send me?

Daniel Brunner 2/2/2007

I was as a student in Exeter (April till July 1989). During this time I went together with DevonAir to the Elton John concert in London. It was just great! I am very sorry, that DevonAir is not on air anymore. Greetings from Switzerland.

Jennie Vass 29/8/2006

Maurice Vass

I recently came across this site and I thought you might like to know that Maurice who was the first MD of Devonair and in fact set up the studios at St. David's Hill, sadly died on 8th June 2002 in the British Virgin Islands. He is now buried in Kingswear, Devon. He was vey proud of Devonair and I well remember that first broadcast and the large amounts of money raised by on-air bids for local charities. The first one being for the Devon guide dogs I seem to think. He loved his sailing and not many people knew that he was a good rugby player and had been capped for playing for England Schools! They beat Wales at Cardiff Arms Park! After Devonair he joined Radio Luxemburg and ran their operation in London.

Paul Redmond 12/10/2005

Early listeners to DevonAir may be interested to know that Bob Kingsley now has a podcast at www.bobkingsley.co.uk

Jill Hamilton 12/10/2005

I just found you after reading an article in the Herald Express. What I remember most is the "By the shore and in the town" jingle. I still have a wealth of memorabilia somewhere including the badge showing the sun wearing sunglasses and the Christmas magazine with John Pierce's guide to winemaking (nothing changes). Thanks to my interest in Devonair I became a writer for a music magazine for many years, was a regular guest on Gemini and several stints with my own show on Palm FM where I met up with CJ and John Pierce. Devonair was such a family station where we all "knew" the presenters, and I used to win all the competitions! Thanks to Tim Arnold who ditched a large part of his singles record collection on to me when vinyls were on the way out. I still have them, and play them.

Deb Richards 31/8/2005

Hi all, I worked at DevonAir from 1980 - 1987, in the record library and compiling the weekly playlist - all that vinyl!
Would love to know where Paul Owens (Uncle Ray) is as he and I worked together on his morning show until he left for County Sound in Guildford in 1983 - remember the Yesterday Once More feature, 9am - 9.30 every weekday... the hits and the headlines! Happy days, lots of great memories. We were playing then, what Radio 2 play now - interesting.

Chris Langmore 7/4/2005

I worked at DevonAir (84/85) under the guidance of Ian Waugh and then Tim Arnold - Thanks for the break Tim! I wonder if he remembers my first piece of journalism about zits! Slogging around the lead handbag that was a Uher and vox popping in the Guildhall. I've still got the broadcast tape. Memories of presenting the overnight show that was sb'd on Plymouth Sound - How did we stay awake?
And the original jingle package...brilliant. When I was working out of the Torquay studios I copied a full set -they still sound good today. Remember the ad colour code: Blue for Torbay and Green for Exeter? What was gold and red for??

Hi and thanks to the team that helped me all those years ago and the listeners who supported the station so well.

Marlowe 21/3/2005

Quite a few people in Devon and throughout the industry still remember DevonAir Radio which started regular broadcasts on 7th November 1980 and ceased transmissions on 31st December 1994.

The station was responsible for the launch of many successful careers, was the first to split it’s programming and commercials at variable times, had an initial ‘reach’ of more than 60% and enjoyed considerable business success – especially in it’s final years.

This year would have been the station's 25th birthday - so how is DevonAir remembered for freelancers, employees, shareholders and listeners?

DevonAir allegedly lost it’s contract because it wasn’t prepared to split it’s programming over it’s allocated frequencies (am/fm) –but was this action by the regulator justified?

Also, I'd be interested to know how DevonAir’s predecessor has faired and how DevonAir would have progressed in today's broadcast environment had it not been killed off.

J 15/3/2005

I still miss Devonair after all these years! When ever we walk past the old Exeter premises I remember the old days :)

Selina Ross 8/3/2005

Started working with Nicky Ezer and Chris Philips back in '88 on a Monday night after school. Where are you Nicky?? Remember helping John Reynolds on the 'midday market' from the lovely Torquay studios. Went onto work with Dave Mason, Andy Sinclair, Tim Arnold, Gordon, Diddy Dave England, Keith, Paul Saunders and who could forget Tony Horne and Jonny Haywood, both great people and big influences.. So many memories of a wonderful station to listen to and be part of. Thanks for the great website.

Former Freelance Employee 14/2/2005

2005 will see a plethora of look backs, reminiscences and reflections.

If, like me, you were at the station opening night soirée and were with DevonAir before if went on air – you might, wherever you are, whatever your role, wonder how something so naïve and blameless, yet so excellent and popular could be so brutally killed off by the very people who were, allegedly, so dedicated and enthusiastic to it’s initial professionalism.

To be part of DevonAir from it’s inception was a truly excellent experience - to witness it’s long, painful editorial and creative destruction – was not at all pleasant.

Six years of personal loyalty and an eventual, misguided belief that things weren’t really that bad were enough for any person.

Carolyne Jo Corben-Richards. Formerly GLENN RICHARDS 4/2/2005

It has been interesting browsing this site and remembering the people involved in this station which for me (in the most) was a marvellous time.
A renunion is actually planned this month in Torquay. Should be Fun!!!
Lots of love to you all.

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