Happy Birthday!
Radio London
d December 1964

A Special Birthday Gift for Philip
In July 2003, I received a message from Catherine McDonald in Alberta. Catherine is a second cousin of ex-Radlon MD, Philip Birch, and was trying to trace him. At the time, Philip's last-known whereabouts was in California, but I had no contact details for him. Fortunately, I kept in touch with Catherine and when I finally made contact with Philip late in 2004, I let her know. This is her reply:

Thanks for your message Mary, and happy to hear you have been in touch with Philip Birch. If you contact him, I would love to say hello after all these years so do send him a copy of this message.

My Mum and Dad were very close with Philip's brother Frank and his wife and I stayed at their house many times. Last conversation with my Mum, she had lost contact with Frank Birch and believes he is now retired and living up in Scotland. Frank Birch and my father both worked for the Pearl Assurance Company.

I think I must have been 11 years old when I met Philip. He came to visit my parents, Doug and Marjorie Young, when we lived in Orpington, Kent. I remember being as jealous as hell when he turned up in a Rolls Royce and took my dad for a flight out of Biggin Hill in the small Cessna I believe he piloted. Philip's two sons came to stay with us one year and I remember we had great fun with them as they were around the same age as my brother Keith and I - we got up to all kinds of mischief!

Philip promised my brother and me a trip out to the radio station but unfortunately it was a short time later that it got closed down. I had a major crush (can you believe this??!!) on Tony Blackburn.

Sadly my Dad, Doug Young, died very tragically back in the 70's and since then my Mum has moved several times from Orpington to Chichester, Ferring, Plymouth and now living in New Milton, Hants. On our last phone conversation and with her recent introduction to the world wide web, I emailed her Philip's picture from the Radio London website and it really brought back delightful memories of him.

I moved out here to Calgary, Alberta in 1993 but it must be something about being an ex-pat that makes you want to track down the friends and family members who meant something in your life. At this special time of the year I pass on Peace, Love and Happiness to you and yours!

Fondest regards, Catherine McDonald

I forwarded Catherine's message to Philip, and was delighted to receive another message from her quite soon afterwards, telling me of the happy outcome.

Hi Mary,

I just wanted to say thank you. I had a great email from Philip and made a promise to myself for next year. If he can't get up to Calgary for a reunion, I will take a trip down there to California. It is so wonderful to catch up after all these years and I think he was just as excited as I was!

It would be great if you want to publish the story on your website.


(Catherine is pictured above at a 2004 charity toy collection.)


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