The Perfumed Garden Lists

Phil Jones was a member of a very active group of fans of the Perfumed Garden, which continued long beyond the demise of Radio London. Members lobbied Robin Scott to give Peelie full-length programmes on Radio One. (Look where that led!) Phil has very kindly scanned group newsletters, some with contributions from the Perfumed Gardener himself, which make fascinating reading. There are also extensive membership lists, which Phil has scanned in the hopes of recontacting some of his long-lost friends.

"As a teenager, I listened to Radio London a lot, and latterly to John Peel's Perfumed Garden programme, which was playing music not found elsewhere (much of which later became more mainstream).

Before the station was shut down in 1967, listeners to the PG were invited to send in their names and addresses to two people (Soosan Male and Jackie Petherbridge) who wanted to ensure this slightly esoteric community of late night listeners would not be lost. Some time later, I received a list with a large number of names on, and there were several subsequent updates as people got themselves added, together with items of interest to what was assumed to be a quasi-'countercultural' audience.

A few years back I rediscovered a batch of the original lists which contained nearly nine hundred individual names. There was, understandably, a heavy presence from those living in Essex, but the Radio London signal was pretty loud and clear over a much larger area (certainly in Buckinghamshire) and the list includes people from around the UK and a good number of other countries.

As a result of the list (a kind of pre-Facebook, I suppose) I ended up for some years in correspondence with a number of the other people on it, hitherto complete strangers, and I also recall meeting a few of them. There are even two with whom I have sporadic contact to this day and I'm sure that this must have been the experience of many others.

The PG lists were mentioned in passing in John Peel's autobiography, in the section completed by Sheila Ravenscroft after his death. She quotes 'Monni', writing in the magazine Gandalf's Garden in 1968:

'...we, the listeners, decided to continue The Perfumed Garden as best we could, in our own way, and to communicate with one another... So one of our number began collecting names and addresses, and thus the famous Perfumed Garden list was born.'

Famous? Well, references to the PG lists on the web, which I thought contained everything in the world, seem to be in short supply. So here are the six lists I'm aware of, and a summary spreadsheet with the individual names. Well, somebody had to do it! Make of all this what you will, but I do think the lists must be of some interest, somewhere.

Note that some pages had to be scanned twice to get the top and the bottom of foolscap paper (yes, it was that long ago!) into A4 format."

A newsletter contribution from John Peel


We agree with Phil that the Perfumed Garden Lists will prove to be of interest to Radio London viewers and hope to hear from at least a few of those whose names are listed. Get in touch here

Interestingly enough, it was pointed out to us recently that many people who claimed to have been Caroline listeners in the Sixties, turned out from the comments they made, to actually have been tuned to Radio London. (e.g. "I loved Kenny Everett"; "I was a huge John Peel fan", etc.) The Caroline name appears to have become the generic term for offshore radio.

The Lists:

List 1 28/09/67

List 2 + Newsheet 2 03/05/68

List 5 10/11/69

List 6 17/07/70


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