There’s nothing like lying in bed at night, not quite asleep, with the wind and rain lashing against the windows and then suddenly you realise it’s that time: they’re playing Sailing By, a lovely, emotive tune to introduce the shipping forecast.
I walk around the streets for a living, whatever the weather. I can’t imagine what it’s like being out in the open sea in really bad weather, day after day. My dad was in the Royal Navy during the war and I wish he had told us more about his maritime experiences. I always think of him when I hear the Shipping Forecast.
I hope this programme continues to be broadcast when we are forced to listen to digital radio, and only digital.
The combination of Sailing By with the soothing tones of, typically, Alice Arnold, almost, just almost, makes insomnia worthwhile.
The Shipping Forecast is currently on Radio 4 at 00:48 every night and at 05:20 in the morning. In addition, on Radio 4 longwave, it’s on at 17:54.