Monday, August 3, 2009

Leonard Barras - the missing episodes

Further to my post of 1 January, I am indebted to Bruce Goatly for filling the gaps with the following:

Eva and Adamson
Part 4 - Either That or Bursitis; Achieving the Unintelligible
(This corrects the title previously given)

Sideways a Bit
The first few words ("The trouble with Tully was...") are unfortunately missing and the next phrase ("nobody ever listened to him.") is muffled because it was at the start of the cassette.

UPDATE - post of 3 February 2012 "Flummoxed Four Times" also includes a re-edit of "Sideways a Bit" with the missing first sentence reinstated.
UPDATE - 18 August 2009

I recently got hold of a copy of the book "Up the Tyne in a Flummox" (you should be able to pick it up cheaply on Amazon). It states that "The various pieces collected in this volume were broadcast on Radio 4 between 1982 and 1986". (The earliest Barras recording I have was first broadcast in 1983, but I believe "Sideways a Bit" was from 1982. Outaspaceman [a keen champion of LB] has suggested there was an earlier series called "Up the Tyne in a Flummox", which would seem logical since I have "Further..." and "Even Further...")

The book includes "Certain Vicissitudes" (a one-off episode), all of "Very Likely" and three quarters of "Further up the Tyne in a Flummox". There are also four titles for which I do not have recordings, viz

A Fearful Conflagration
A Poultice for a Post
Public Exposures
The Finger in the Filing Cabinet

So it seems that the quest for Barras recordings is not yet over.

I tried a Google search for - Barras "A Fearful Conflagration". Nothing led me to "Up the Tyne in a Flummox", but there were a number of hits on Romanian websites, from which it appears the book was translated into Romanian with the title "Iubire in bataia vintului" i.e. Love in a Windy Place. (I'm not sure if there is a direct Romanian equivalent of "flummox".) Here is an example

"Wallsend Amnesia" looks even funnier in translation! Note the reviewer compares Barras to Chesterton. I look forward to hearing from LB devotees in Romania.

UPDATE. Dead download links removed. Please see post of 16 June 2015 for a complte set of recordings.


Outa_Spaceman said...

First, my deep thanks to Phil for making these programmes available...
(I was beginning to think I'd imagined them...)
Second, I recommend that anyone with an interest in LB lobbies BBC Radio 7 to get them back on air...

(Could some kind soul translate this into Romanian for me?)

Peter said...

Phil - If I ever get my house contents out of store, I have a BBC tape with the 'Up the Tyne...' episodes on it. (PS from RTG site)

Phil said...


Good to hear from you. I'll wait in hope.

Peter said...

Just don't hold your breath! Excellent that you have these copies though - I Have searched the internet many times, but missed this link.

Unknown said...

Dear Phil,
So you have "Sideways a Bit" & the last of "Eva & Adamson", but do you have "Eva & Adamson Again" & "Up the Tyne in a Flummox"?
I can send them if you wish.
And remember.... All cats are grey to a colourblind horse.
Oh, I see below I will have to give a google account. Not sure if I remember my details. Try

Phil said...

Hi Bill,

Good to hear from you and yes, they would be very welcome. Peter (above) mentioned that he has the "Up the Tyne..." tapes somewhere, but I guess they have still not surfaced yet. I still have a further four episodes to upload, provided by another Barras devotee. I believe they are from "Flummoxed Four Times" but I stand to be corrected. They are:

It was Possibly Watling Street
The Millennium Minus a Bit
Under Canvas with Trapezium
Whatever Day it was

Otherwise, what you see is all I have.


Peter said...

Yep - I think those are the 4 from 'Flummoxed Four Times'. I look forward to hearing them again. Peter

Outa-Spaceman said...

I recently got hold of a copy of 'Up The Tyne In A Flummox' and am in the process of posting all the stories on to my blog.

I'd like to get hold of copies of the LB books 'Turnip In The Night' and 'Bluebottles On My Marmalade' both of which, I think, contain stories that were broadcast on the BBC.

I've tried searching in the local library but no luck.
If anyone knows where I can get hold of copies I'd be grateful to hear.


Peter said...

Years ago I managed to find 2 slim books by LB in Sunderland library. I cannot remember the titles, but you might want to try the inter-library lending service.

Phil said...

Have you tried an excellent source for secondhand books? I picked up a copy of "Bluebottles..." by that route. There is one copy listed at present, but to my mind a bit expensive for such a slim volume. I haven't had any joy trying to track down "Turnip..." or "Hailstones on my Father".

Greywolf said...

Thank you so much for posting these. I fondly remember the original broadcasts on Radio 4. It's been a source of great bafflement to me ever since that they're not frequently repeated or available on CD. Barras is a great British comic writer, and what a wonderfully warm voice.
Incidentally, I recall that Barras used to sell cassette tapes of his readings. Unfortunately I don't have any, but maybe someone out there does?
Thanks again,
Philip :-)