Ian Waugh is a broadcaster, historian, published author and Englishman.
Born in Dorset, brought up in Devon with my roots in the South West going back many generations, currently living in East Anglia. I am a passionate historian, British historic researcher who co-authored the book The Man They Couldn’t Hang, own the website and the material.
As a broadcaster I have worked with radio and television networks in the UK and with state broadcasters in countries in Europe and Africa.
I am fascinated with British modern history, I’ve written about aspects of it, created websites linked to it and research constantly – it has become a pleasant addiction. My family tree data which extends back to the 1500’s is here (image: 11 May 1995 – Babbacombe, Torbay).
I’m a staunch supporter of the UK Labour Party. I don’t subscribe to organised religion. News and current affairs fascinates me. I start the day with it, end with it but I am not glued to it.
My favourite place to be is the City of Valletta built from 1524 onwards by the Order of St. John. It is a stunning gem in the Mediterranean. It has been designated European Capital of Culture for 2018. For me Valletta has a beating heart all it’s own and I love it.
I have spent much of my life in London living at various times from Islington to Croydon, Harrow to Richmond.
Devon is where I have my roots buried deep and over many generations. I was born over the border in Dorset where my Dad was based with the BBC in the 1950’s, a true Devonian, he, my mother and I returned to Devon in 1957 when I was three years old. I was brought up in West Devon, went to school there and worked in the county for many years. It is my home place, I know it, I understand it and it is part of the blood running through me.
Station Cottages, Princetown on Dartmoor in Devon. We lived at the Railway Stationmaster’s House between 1957-1962. The Princetown railway had closed in 1956 so we moved in as GWR personnel moved out and the track of England’s most beautiful railway was ripped up. The mast is the BBC North Hessary Tor television and radio transmitter where my father worked. We moved to nearby Tavistock just before the infamous winter of 1962/63.
I got my first job opportunity in broadcasting in 1972 as a “voice” (meaning doing voice-overs). This was at ITV and Independent Radio and, after that, I worked on a freelance basis for a number of years in television and radio, mainly in commercial broadcasting.
I joined UK commercial radio with the start of DevonAir Radio as a presenter and later as the station Head of Presentation. It was a privilege to be associated with a very successful DevonAir from before day one and to be able, as a Westcountryman, to broadcast to my own area, Devon, for seven interesting years. Being a ‘local lad’ my listener was my friend – my neighbour. And that’s why I found waffling away on DevonAir for those years so very, very special (images: December 1980, broadcasting live from DevonAir Radio in Torbay and at DevonAir Radio in the Presentation office circa 1982 © John Pierce).
Out of England
Following my work in commercial radio, I went to an organisation funded by the British Council and travelled abroad to work in Zimbabwe, Malta and Namibia. The aim of the projects was to train state broadcasters. I went to Zimbabwe in 1987 (at a time when things in that country were much less volatile). I was in Malta from 1988 until 1992 and also in Namibia in the early 90’s. As well as training in broadcasting, the aim was also to promote English language skills through broadcast media, particularly in Commonwealth countries.
Ian Waugh – the historian
As an historian I advise those seeking information relating to events and stories in the British national and regional newspapers between 1750 – 1950. The service to individuals is free of charge and voluntary. This generates many enquiries from users worldwide who are interested to know more about a criminal or other events in their family history. From the enquiry I can supply a scanned digitised copy of the news reports for no fee and further more extensive research for those who require it (more here and here).
I spend most of my day at my desk embracing current digital technology, wired at high speed to this interweb thingy, with telephony connected by land-line on my trusty late 1950’s analogue telephone that works perfectly – although dialling out can take an age.
I have been disabled since 1995. I have osteoarthritis in both legs and hips. I had two strokes in 2000 and became partially paralysed. I suffer from diabetes mellitus type 2. The effect of my condition is that I have significant discomfort and severe mobility restriction. I am unable to walk any significant distance, climb a step or use stairs. General regular movement is seriously restricted. For example I need help with matters in the bathroom, cooking and getting to and going to bed. I need to carefully plan all regular movement, say from my desk to bathroom or just relocating myself around my home. I have many technical aids to assist but overall my condition has extensive restriction on my daily life that I like to lead as normally as I can (right: 10th March 2014, London EC1).
I consider myself friendly, quite outgoing and understanding. I generally try to look at the bigger picture. Outwardly I’m a private person, but when you know me I open all doors.