2BP (Glasgow)

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2BP mock logo med.png
City of license Glasgow
Broadcast area Greater Glasgow
Frequency 415 metres
First air date 24 January 1923; 94 years ago (1923-01-24)
Last air date 3 February 1923 (1923-02-03)
Format Varied
Power 20 watts
Owner Marconi/Daimler

2BP was the call-sign of Scotland's first broadcast radio service, a temporary station established in Glasgow in January 1923 by the Marconi Company and the Daimler Motor Company. It was necessary for the purposes of promoting Daimler-Marconiphone car radios at the Scottish Motor Show of January 1923, given that the British Broadcasting Company's own station in the city, 5SC, would not be launched until March of that year. Recognising the pent-up local demand for a regular broadcasting service, 2BP's sponsors decided to extend the programme for the benefit of those who had invested in domestic receiving sets. With a regular, published programme schedule, it qualifies as Scotland's first radio station.

Technical details

The transmitter and studio were erected at Daimler’s newly-opened showroom and wholesale depot on Hughenden Road in the Kelvinside district of Glasgow. 2BP broadcast on 290 metres with a power of 10 watts during test transmissions, but boosted to around 20 watts when proper broadcasting began.

The station was designed to be picked-up over a radius of around 16 miles, although successful reception came from as far afield as Edinburgh, Stirling, Montrose, Ayr, Dumfries and Belfast. The furthest reported point reached was Inverness, a distance of about 150 miles.[1] One message was received from the master of a small coasting vessel in Lamlash who had installed a small receiving set on his boat.[2]

The Daimier show cars

The Daimler Motor Company was the first manufacturer to install wireless telephony receivers in its cars. Two vehicles at the Scottish Motor Show were equipped with the Daimler-Marconiphone apparatus: one, a 45 horse-power dark blue saloon, was positioned on the show floor at the Kelvin Hall; while the other, a 30 horse-power, seven-seater landaulette toured the city. Both received broadcasts from 2BP, but the touring car was additionally able to send telephony messages to the car in the Kelvin Hall.


The station broadcast for eleven days between Wednesday 24 January and Saturday 3 February 1923 with a selection of news, gramophone orchestral music, live music performances and children's entertainment. Programmes began at 5pm and continued until 11pm, with an additional programme on Sunday afternoon.


On the Sunday there were two additional religious programmes in the afternoon: at 3pm, a recital of sacred songs by Miss Mabel Debenham Smith, and at 3.45, a special address broadcasted by the Rev. Dr George H. Morrison of Wellington U.F. Church, Hillhead.[3]

Music hall stars

Music hall stars Mona Vivian and Lupino Lane, who were appearing in pantomime in the city, broadcast from 5.30 to 6.30pm each weekday by special permission of the proprietors of the Alhambra Music Hall.


A special news bulletin was prepared by the Glasgow Herald and the Evening Times and read-out by a Marconi engineer.

Final concert

On Saturday 3 February a special farewell concert was given during which the station's artists performed many items by 'special request' — including Miss Margaret Colquhoun who gave two performances of her readings at 8.15 and 9 o'clock.

Programme schedule

  • 5.00 — Special news bulletin from the British Broadcasting Company, by favour of the Glasgow Herald and Evening Times
  • 5.30 — Miss Mona Vivien
  • 6.00 — Mr Lupino Lane
  • 6.30 — Mr John Dickson, 'cellist
  • 6.45 — Children's Story
  • 7.00 — Closedown
  • 7.30 — A musical programme of various singers on different evenings (see below), accompanied at the piano by Mr Charles Simpson and Miss Ella Whyte. Listings from the first few days of broadcasting include mention of 'recitals of the Duo-Art piano lent by Messrs Ewing and McIntosh'. Including a second news bulletin at 8pm.
  • 10.0 — Closedown


The evening musical programme featured performances from a selection of the following artists:

  • Miss Jessie Livingston, soprano;
  • Miss Maud MacLean, soprano;
  • Miss Mabel Denham-Smith, soprano;
  • Miss Peggy Rae, mezzo-soprano;
  • Mr James Anderson, baritone;
  • Mr Thos. Milne, baritone;
  • Mr Norman F Swan, baritone;
  • Mr David Laing, baritone;
  • Mr Jack Mcintyre, tenor;
  • Mr John Dickson, violin;
  • Mr Robert Pollard, violin;
  • Miss Margaret Colquhoun, elocutionist.

First religious broadcast from Scotland

On Sunday 28 January at 3.45pm, 2BP broadcast a special afternoon sermon delivered by the Rev. Dr George H. Morrison of Wellington U.F. Church, Hillhead, Glasgow. It was preceded at 3pm by a recital of sacred songs by Miss Mabel Debenham Smith.[4] The regular evening programming, from 5-10pm, was also of a suitably 'appropriate nature', including items given by Mona Vivian and Lupino Lane, selected from among those given by them at concerts arranged by the National Sunday League — a liberal organisation which promoted activities on the Sabbath.[5]

Rose Dance broadcast

2BP continued broadcasting for an hour later than usual on the night of Thursday 1 February 1923 for the benefit of those attending a special celebration in connection with the Motor Show. The 'Rose Dance', organised under the official patronage of the Scottish Motor Trade Association, was held in Glasgow's Charing Cross Hall for motorists and trade visitors to the city. After finishing her performance at the Alhambra that night, Mona Vivian gave an additional turn from 2BP which was played out over loudspeakers in the hall during intervals between the dances. Miss Vivian then travelled to the hall to join the company at the dance.[6]


It was estimated that there were around 3,000 listeners-in around Glasgow, in a city in which nearly 9,000 receiving licences had been issued.[7]


  1. Evening Times, 29 January 1923, 5.
  2. Bulletin, 1 February 1923, 4.
  3. 'Special Sunday Broadcasting from Glasgow station', Bulletin, 27 January 1923, 18.
  4. 'Special Sunday Broadcasting from Glasgow station', Bulletin, 27 January 1923, 18.
  5. 'From Glasgow', Glasgow Herald, 27 January 1923, 13.
  6. 'A Longer Programme from 2BP To-Night', Evening Times, 1 February 1923, 3.
  7. 'Scotland's first broadcasting station', The Courier, 25 January 1923, 4.