Springbok Radio
South African series
broadcast on Springbok Radio 1968 to 1985
and Radio South Africa 1993 to 1995


The gentle satire and images of old-fashioned British life made The Men From The Ministry popular in places far from Whitehall. In South Africa, Springbok Radio broadcast a locally produced version of The Men From The Ministry from 1968 to station closure in 1985. The popular series was subsequently revived on Radio South Africa and 71 new episodes were produced and broadcast between 1993 and 1995. There were over 900 episodes in all, an astonishing number, and certainly a testament to the skill and broad public appeal of all those involved.

The Men From The Ministry is still fondly remembered by many South Africans. Robin Davis gives some excellent illustrated descriptions recalling his frequent attendances as a loyal audience member. Campbell Crawford gives a complementary production perspective based on his experiences as a script writer for several episodes. Richard Sutherland and Pumamouse also recall further fond memories. Further descriptions of Springbok Radio are given on The Avengers on the Radio website, from which the Springbok Radio logo above is reproduced courtesy of Alan Hayes.

The main characters were the familiar ones from the BBC episodes, but played by South African actors. A few episodes were adapted from BBC scripts, but the majority were locally written.

The cast of the South African The Men From The Ministry were:
Roland Lennox-Brown John Simpson
Richard Lamb Roger Service
Mildred Murfin Maureen Adair
Sir Gregory Pitkin Tom Meehan
Supporting characters Tommy Read, Pat Simpson, Frank Graham
Producer Tom Meehan
Script Writers Tom Meehan, John Simpson,
Brian Squires, Campbell Crawford,
Margaret Milner-Smythe
  Edward Taylor, Johnny Mortimer,
Brian Cooke (BBC)

Details of the broadcast schedules of the South African series of The Men From The Ministry are not presently available. The following is a list of surviving recordings known to the author. All are amateur "off-air" recordings. The original studio tapes may not have been systemmatically retained because some episodes were recorded more than once, see for example, Left To Their Own Devices. Apparently, the last remaining tapes were given away as "tape aids for the blind."

One of scriptwriters, Campbell Crawford, has compiled a book of 13 original scripts of The Men From The Ministry episodes broadcast in 1979 and 1980. It is available through Amazon.

The surviving episodes differ in presentation details and evidently come from several different broadcast seasons. Some stories derive from BBC scripts. Several episodes have major sponsors, for example, Wesclox and Benson & Hedges. Most recordings are undated and the titles are unofficial. Transcripts of the opening and closing announcements are available to assist with identification of unlabelled recordings.

The author would appreciate receiving further details or recollections of the South African broadcasts of The Men From The Ministry. Please write to Gary Schajer,
Title Notes
Moderately Important Person adapted from BBC episode 1/6
Sort Out Records Room adapted from BBC episode 2/11
Visit To America adapted from BBC episode 3/5
Finding Location Of New Airport adapted from BBC episode 3/9
Blow Up (18.7.82) adapted from BBC episode 4/1
Problem With Submarines adapted from BBC episode 4/2
The Moon Shot adapted from BBC episode 4/11
Left To Their Own Devices (16.9.84) adapted from BBC episode 5/5
  download audio
Left To Their Own Devices adapted from BBC episode 5/5
In The Picture (2.10.83) adapted from BBC episode 10/12
Getting Tanked Up (18.7.82) adapted from BBC episode 12/1
Full Of Energy adapted from BBC episode 13/2
Refuse Modernisation adapted from BBC episode ?
Thinking Faster Than The Shrink (6.6.82)adapted from BBC episode ?
A-Hunting We Will Go (1.4.79) script by Campbell Crawford
Double Eclipse (7.10.79) script by Campbell Crawford
Getting The Message (14.10.79) script by Campbell Crawford
Tally-Ho ! (25.11.79) script by Campbell Crawford
Hot Toddy (30.12.79) script by Campbell Crawford
Bridging The Gap (13.1.80) script by Campbell Crawford
Men of Steel (9.3.80) script by Campbell Crawford
Helping Out (30.3.80) script by Campbell Crawford
The Spingle Factory  
Cows Can Be Trouble (4.10.1969)  
The Party (30.11.69)  
Fancy Dress Ball  
Fowls, Birds  
Nudist Camp  
New Year's Eve Party (28.12.69)  
Nerve Gas Sponsored by Wesclox
In The Army Sponsored by Wesclox
The Rose Problem Sponsored by Wesclox
No.2 Becomes A Jockey Sponsored by Wesclox
Animals For The Zoo Sponsored by Benson & Hedges
House Fraud Sponsored by Benson & Hedges
Red Shadow (21.3.70) Sponsored by Benson & Hedges
Mixed In With The Fruits  
Crossing Knives With Fawkes (5.11.78) 
Rolicking Along The Airwaves (9.1.80) 
Right on Target (8.6.80)  
Under The Scalpel (6.3.83)  
Doing Their Act (18.12.83)  
Joining The Gazette  
Heading for a Bus  

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ribet !
This page was compiled by Gary Schajer, Vancouver, Canada.