Radio: Dad and Dave

I like listening to the national radio station in New Zealand because of the content but also because of the lack of advertisements. Guess it’s an age thing but commercials really annoy me. I was thinking this morning about the radio serial my sister and I listened to when we were young. This will be totally foreign to anyone under about 70 years of age and who didn’t live in this country before 1953. You have been warned.

DAD AND DAVE was an Australian radio serial which was delivered twice a week. I know one of the nights was Thursday because that was the night of my parents’ church choir practice when Grandad babysat us. The other night was ether Monday or Tuesday. We had to have our baths and be dressed in our pajamas by 7:30. After the broadcast we went to bed. Mum had very strict sleeping rules and we went to bed much earlier than the neighbouring kids.

The serial was about Dad and Dave and their problems on the farm. They lived in Snake Gulley and other people popped in an out of the story. Dave was madly in love with Mabel, the daughter of Bill Smith and his wife. I can’t remember Dad ever having a last name and his poor wife didn’t even have a first name. Mr Smith, Dad’s friend and sometime rival, was called Bill and his wife was Mrs. Smith. Looking back on it this seems terrible but I can recall many men in my youth referring to their wives as Mum or Mother. What was that? Did they long for a second mother after they had grown up?

I googled the serial and discovered it ran from 1937 to 1953 and each episode lasted 11 minutes. I noticed that different actors played the various parts in the story. I was highly amused by a comment about the serial. At the time, both the Australian and New Zealand broadcasting services required announcers to speak with an English accent. But the people in DAD AND DAVE were regular Aussies so that was a problem. It was decided that Australian accents were allowed only in comedies. I love that.

You can still listen to DAD AND DAVE. I found a site and listened to the first two. They were dreadfully clunky. In the first one, some English girl named Sue was leaving on the train. Apparently she was in love with Dave ( goodness knows why )but his heart belonged to Mabel. In the next episode she arrived home from hospital (?) to Dave’s delight but she seemed to be over interested in a young doctor who was coming to Snake Gulley on a holiday. I don’t remember any of this so will have to hear more. I do recall exciting episodes about the farms being beset by fires and floods.

My early exposure to a radio soap opera didn’t turn me into a lifetime fan. As an adult, I recall a show called DR PAUL which aired in the morning. I didn’t listen to it but found the title rather funny because a real Doctor Paul lived along our street. Poor man. He must have become tired of references to the show.

Maybe I will explore more OLD entertainment next week.