Friday, 5 February 2016

Pip pip!

Happy birthday to The Pips! No, not Gladys Knight's backing singers but the six little 'pips' that pipe the hour (sometimes, not as often as they used to) on the radio.

Ninety-two years ago this very day they were heard (or 'it' - the GTS, was) for the first time after Lord Reith, no less, had decided some system of broadcasting the time - accurately - was needed.

Being 'of a certain age' I can remember when they were played almost ubiquitously, on the hour across the BBC's vast network. Which also means I can remember that subtle change - the subtlest, a slight lengthening of the last one - which was introduced in 1972.

So, over ninety years of service then, sterling service too, from the Royal Observatory: just don't let anyone fool you into believing that they've stayed the same! 

Pip, pip!

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