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radioservice3.gif The El Adem Radio Service, known to all as TEARS, began broadcasting from a Nissen hut at Royal Air Force Station El Adem during 1958. Initially its programs were transmitted via the airwaves and, it has been said, some broadcasts were heard as far away as Canada and Switzerland !! With the arrival of BFBS at the garrison at Tobruk in the early 60's, TEARS was no longer permitted to transmit and so land-lines and overhead cables were put in place to connect the studio - now housed in a purpose-built building - to the various huts, billets and accommodation blocks that formed the living quarters for those based at El Adem. Eventually the lines were extended to the married quarters. During its 12 year life-span it is estimated that as many as 1000 people worked, in their ‘off duty’ time (both RAF and Army) at the studios of TEARS. Announcers (never DJ’s !), controllers, technicians and librarians were all recruited to help maintain the service. TEARS programs were heard every evening and also during the day at weekends.



The wide selection of programs included all aspects of music from Pop to Jazz and Classical to Country & Western - usually hosted by an ‘expert’ on the subject. Local interest items including interviews with the stars of touring CSE. shows were also featured as well as links with BFBS. and the BBC World Service for sport and News. Messages from loved ones back home were read out and a favourite piece of music played during UK Requests which was probably the most popular regular broadcast. The latter part of the 1960’s saw the introduction of outside broadcasts from the NAAFI , Station Sports Day and many other venues. A Disco unit was also constructed which was used with great success at many of the functions held in the Families Club and the various Messes. TEARS was last heard in March 1970. The final ‘Close-down’ program went out shortly before the closure of the air base at El Adem. Remarkably many of the programs still survive on reel-to-reel tape.



techie_sobbing_at_desk_lg_clr.gifWebsite :- Mick Barnes

Content © TEARS.org.uk 2004