At long last: The Big Wood Tales have been found

Uncle Bill and his Tales
I received many requests for help to find these great Uncle Bill stories that first aired on BFBS during the 60s and lived on on BFBS during the following years. A big thanks to BFBS's own Richard Astbury who kindly helped us with the search and got hold of a copy for our BFBS Radio Archive. So the entire series is there for all the fans listed below. Enjoy this trip down Memory Lane! :)

Peter McDonagh (PMcD) from BFBS (He of BFBS Angora) - wrote on his Facebook page the following note after seeing that the Big Wood Tales are on the BFBS Radio Archive website here:

Juergen Boernig, BFBS's archivist in Germany, in conjunction with Richard "Asters" Astbury, MBE, has located and placed in the public domain the tales written and performed in the 60s and 70s by Uncle Bill - William Charles Boyden-Mitchell, possessor of the only airtime voice which made Brian Sewell sound common. I was lucky enough to see at first hand the impact of these stories on HM Forces when I flew out for a Directorial BFBS visit to Hohne. This was the home of the 9th/12th Lancers and their Scimitar Tanks. Their Officers' Mess was an ex-Nazi mansion in the deepest woodland. One lunchtime, with Station Manager Steve Britton, we were driven in convoy on Scimitars to this Wolfschanze, and, standing on the steps of the Mess, I was told by the CO how his officers used to rush back from exercise to undergo a daily weekday ritual with Uncle Bill on BFBS.

As Bill started his Big Wood story for the day on the radio (they lasted about 11 minutes each), every officer would pull the cork from an individual 75cl bottle of duty-free scotch, and see how many inches of scotch he could glug while Uncle Bill's story ran. The prizewinner, who had drinks bought for him for the whole evening, was the officer who consumed the most scotch.

The outright winner was a renegade ex Rhodesian Forces Special Forces officer who managed a whole bottle. Sadly, he didn't last too long....

If the Soviets had known this was their opposition during the Cold War, they would have fucked off back to Russia many years before they actually did!

We salute Uncle Bill for his selfless contribution to the Cold War, and the Triumph of the West!


Tales from Big Wood: 01 - Big Wood Cricket Match
Tales from Big Wood: 02 - Gold And Cream Teas
Tales from Big Wood: 03 - High Wind In Big Wood
Tales from Big Wood: 04 - Mr. Owl & The Sorry Tale Of Summer Madness
Tales from Big Wood: 05 - Mr. Owl Strikes Oil
Tales from Big Wood: 06 - Mr. Owl & The Spring Flower Show
Tales from Big Wood: 07 - The Big Wood Local Defense Regiment
Tales from Big Wood: 08 - A New Look For The Regiment
Tales from Big Wood: 09 - War In Big Wood
Tales from Big Wood: 10 - Mr. Hedgehog's Secret
Tales from Big Wood: 11 - Mr. Owl And A Strawberry Trifle
Tales from Big Wood: 12 - Trouble On The Industry Front
Tales from Big Wood: 13 - Mr. Owl And The Bees
Tales from Big Wood: 14 - Mr. Owl And The Big Wood Firework Display
Tales from Big Wood: 15 - Mr. Owl And The New Bus
Tales from Big Wood: 16 - Mr. Owl And The New Council Offices
Tales from Big Wood: 17 - Mr. Owl Catches Fire
Tales from Big Wood: 18 - Mr. Owl Does The Cooking
Tales from Big Wood: 19 - Mr. Owl Gets A Surprise
Tales from Big Wood: 20 - Mr. Owl Goes Caravaning
Tales from Big Wood: 21 - Mr. Owl Goes On A Picnic
Tales from Big Wood: 22 - Mr. Owl In The Fog
Tales from Big Wood: 23 - Mr. Owl Paints The House
Tales from Big Wood: 24 - Wild Man Of The Woods
Tales from Big Wood: 25 - Mr. Owl Takes A Bath
Tales from Big Wood: 26 - Mr. Owl Under The Weather
Tales from Big Wood: 27 - On The Night Of The Blizzard
Tales from Big Wood: 28 - Owl And The Fishing Contest
Tales from Big Wood: 29 - Owl Goes Camping
Tales from Big Wood: 30 - The Big Wood Elections
Tales from Big Wood: 31 - A Visitor From Mars
Tales from Big Wood: 32 - The Black Leather Document Case
Tales from Big Wood: 33 - The Egg & Spoon Marathon
Tales from Big Wood: 34 - Thunderstorm In Bog Wood
Tales from Big Wood: 35 - Unveiling The Cathedral Clock
Tales from Big Wood: 36 - Water Rat's Grand Flying Tour


  1. used to listen to tales of Bigwood every evening when having dinner , in the Army.

  2. Is it possible to purchase copies of these stories. Wonderful memories of my children listening to them in Germany.

  3. We used to listen to Uncle Bill and Badger every evening when we came home from school in Germany

  4. Still have some of these on cassette recorded from BFBS in the 70s for the kids to listen to over and over again. Loved them

  5. I shall have to listen to these and my recordings as I seem to have several which are not listed here. It may be that I mis-titled them back in the 70s.

  6. I used to listen to them on BFBS GIBRALTAR radio and was always impressed with Badger's patience with his officious and temperamental friend Mr Owl. They were great.

  7. Oh my goodness ❤ Takes me right back to the 70's.Thank you so much for the great memories of sitting listening to the radiogram with family..❤

  8. Wonderful to have discovered this site and to get the chance to listen again in better quality than the taped recordings I made during the 1990's. After listening to these again I noticed that story 17 & 26 were identical?! Furthermore I have on tape 12 stories not included here. Best Wishes... Graham F.

  9. My kids loved these stories on BFBS in Germany in the 60s and 70s.

    Of course these kids are all in their 50s now with families of their own. I might run these past the Great Grankids.

  10. It's amazing how many of us remember these stories. Stood the test of time. Dear old Maud Rose, my favourite character.

  11. I have a large framed copy of the ‘Big Wood’ map that adorned Uncle Bill’s desk. Apparently his stories became so complex that he needed the map to keep track of places and events.

  12. Love these stories I grew up: amazed how few there are - it seemed like dozens at the time! Would love to play to the grandkids, but how do we access them? The links lead to a Eurovision station, not a player?