Joe Pengelly

A voice, a history and a legacy

Joe alias Albert Hubert Pengelly born in Plymouth, contributed  much to the broadcasting landscape of the Southwest. From the nineteen fifties his tenor singing voice provided an opening into broadcasting. Ambition to perform in front the microphone and camera led in 1969, to an award for southwest television personality of the year. Along the way his enthusiasm for history and the preservation of the past gave us the only audio record of characters from the early days of 5PY. He became a world authority on early recorded music and undertook lecture tours worldwide. The author of this article remembers well his oratory and knowledge from a lecture at Plymouth Polytechnic in the late 1970's. Together with an engineer from BBC Plymouth he developed a cylinder gramophone player which allowed early wax cylinders to be played with improved fidelity. This is described in the Guinness Book of Recorded Music.  

Note on excerpt from Guinness Book of recorded sound in 1984: The first machine in the 'renaissance' of cylinder playing was developed in 1977 by David Dunmall and Joe Pengelly of BBC Plymouth.

listen to Joe's story here....

'Crack my Jaw' a local term for following the airs and graces of the spoken word - here Joe displays his mastery in communication.

A freelance contributor Joe was in demand both in radio and as a television newsreader in the early days of the teatime magazine programmes. Later when local continuity announcements and links were created across the country Joe became familiar to viewers of BBC 1 in the southwest. This could be a lonely job as the continuity person was quite often the only person on duty at BBC Plymouth playing out the national anthem at closedown after midnight on BBC 1.