RECENTLY CAME ACROSS some fascinating pages on radio producer Mark Vernon’s Meagre Resource website about tape recording clubs.
These enthusiasts’ associations date back to the 1950s and the arrival of affordable recording equipment. Mark has already made radio broadcasts about them for Radio 4 and Resonance FM, and his site has an impressive array of material, including original tape clubbers’ recordings, local newspaper articles, and photographs. Here’s one of members of the Leicester Tape Recording Club:
Much of the tape clubbers’ activities reflected the eagerness and curiosity which often comes with breakthroughs in access to technology. The clubs were also products of a time when people were better able to create durable organisations among themselves through forming committees, complete with treasurers and secretaries. Greater informality today goes hand-in-hand with social transience.
A few club contact details can still be found through the website of the British Sound Recording Association, which began life in 1958 as the Federation of British Tape Recording Clubs. The nearest club to London includes in its contact address the now-vanished county of Middlesex, a nice touch and in keeping with the awkward-squad mentality of us hobbyists everywhere.