These nursery rhymes were first recorded on 78rpm records in the late 1930s and then reissued as part of a set of six seven-inch extended play discs in the late 1950s. Even today they can be heard on digital streaming services. This was the third recording in the series.

They feature ‘Uncle Mac’ who sings some of the rhymes, but in the main, introduces them, which are performed by singers and children. In the example illustrated the soloist is Stanley Riley, with a major contribution by The Greenbank Children’s Choir.

‘Uncle Mac’s’ full name was Derek Ivor Breashur McCulloch. He was born on 18 November 1897. He was the head of children’s broadcasting for the BBC from 1933 until 1951. He had a pleasant voice, but with enunciation typical of early ‘BBC English’.

The programme for which he is most remembered is Children’s Hour. The programme included talks, plays, music and drama serials. In 1939 the audience for Children’s Hour reached four million. He resigned from the BBC in 1950 due to ill health but returned in 1954 for ten years to present Children’s Requests on a Saturday morning. He was awarded the OBE in 1964. He died on 1 June 1967.

More information:

Date 1930s
Material(s) Vinyl
Item number MBPO73

Questions to help you remember using this item

  • Do you have a favourite nursery rhyme?
  • The record illustrated was a 7-inch 45rpm disc. What do the initials rpm stand for?
  • Uncle Mac also appeared as Larry the Lamb in a popular radio feature in Children’s Hour. Do you remember the name of show? Uncle Mac always ended his programme saying ‘goodnight children…………….’ What was the final word?

User Stories

I remember that Children’s Hour featured a serial ‘Norman and Henry Bones: The Boy Detectives’, played by Charles Hawtrey and Patricia Hayes.

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