Grammy honour at last for father of Petersfield man

By Post in Local People

A PRESTIGIOUS posthumous award has been presented to a Petersfield man in honour of his inventor father.

Simon Blumlein (81) was thrilled to accept the Grammy at a glittering ceremony in New York.

It was a technical Grammy from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to Alan Dower Blumlein, credited with inventing stereo sound.

His system, patented in 1933, revolutionised sound recording, changing the way music is recorded and listened to.

For decades Simon has been championing his electrical engineer father, and is delighted with the Grammy.

“I am still on cloud nine, and don’t think I will ever come down,” said Simon, who travelled to the States with wife Anne, son Charles and daughter-in-law Lea.

“It was wonderful to accept the award. I said I had been waiting 75 years for this. Then with a tear I said ‘daddy, this is yours.’”

Simon was six when his father was killed after a Royal Air Force Halifax bomber he was in crashed during a top secret radar test, and the crash was hushed up.

During his life Alan filed 128 patents, mostly relating to sound reproduction and television broadcasting.

Two years ago Abbey Road Studios in London, where Alan took his pioneering stereo equipment in 1934 to record the London Philharmonic Orchestra, erected a plaque in his honour.

A Hollywood film about his life is now being made with Simon being consulted by the scriptwriter.

This, he hopes, will bring the work of his father, never recognised by the government, to a wider audience.

Meanwhile Simon hopes his father’s archive, including the Grammy, will be accepted by the EMI Trust at Hayes, Middlesex.

The first test film to use stereo sound was called ‘Trains at Hayes.’

It was shot from a window at the EMI offices in Hayes.