James Cameron

From Scotland On Air
Jump to: navigation, search

James Cameron (or 'J. M. A. Cameron' as he was most commonly referred to in print) was a senior Scottish BBC official.

Career

Cameron was involved with the experimental broadcasting station 5MG in 1923.

He joined the BBC on 6 March 1923[1] as superintendent of all the Company's engineers in Scotland and the North of England. He was second in command to chief engineer Captain P. P. Eckersley.

His first immediate job was to take over the technical operation of the BBC's Glasgow station 5SC from the installing engineers. As well as being 5SC's engineer, he turned his hand to various other duties when required, including arranging places for the orchestra, doing a spot of announcing and very often being roped into the Children's Hour under the nickname 'Uncle Six Fingers' — so named because the engineer would make a sign with six fingers to indicate to the performers in the studio the arrival of six o'clock and the closing of the programme. Not long after 5SC was up and working, a permanent engineer-in-charge was appointed and the station was considered a going concern.

Cameron did a similar job setting-up the main stations at Newcastle and Manchester — where he was known as 'Uncle Sandy' or 'the man who spoke Scotch'[2] — before returning to Scotland in late 1923 to establish stations in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee.[3]

After seven years he moved to a head office position looking after the administration of the Engineering Department's 600 personnel.[4]

Anxious to get back to Scotland, in October of 1933 he was transferred to Edinburgh to take-up post as Scotland's Regional Executive, heading up the Region's new 'administrative' division and serving as Deputy Regional Director.[5] His secretary was Miss Helen King, who used to help in running business-efficiency exhibitions.[6]

The BBC staff magazine, Ariel, said that he had owned 14 motor cars; constructed a thought-reading machine; paints water colours; and is editor of the Scottish Treadmill News.[7]

References

  1. Ariel, June 1937, 32.
  2. 'Aberdeen Broadcasts Tonight', Courier, 10 October 1923, 3.
  3. Glasgow Weekly Herald (Radio Supplement), 2 March 1935, 15.
  4. Reith to Dinwiddie, 10 August 1933, BBC WAC L2/53/1.
  5. 'Mr Dinwiddie to start duties on Monday', Glasgow Herald, 29 August 1933, 11.
  6. Ariel, June 1936, 26.
  7. Ariel, June 1936, 26.