I first met Bill Heine at Radio Oxford in the nineties . As chair of the Thames Valley Art and Antiques Dealers Association I was regularly invited on their antiques phone in programme . .Just as I was leaving Bill would be coming in to prepare for the evening phone in programme. The first free festival I organised for the Friends of Kennington Library , I invited Bill to talk about his memoir Heinstein of the Airwaves. The filmmaker Philip Hind who lives in Kennington asked me to introduce him. He made a proposal- to make a film about the oldest cinema in Oxford –the Penultimate Picture Palace. Bill and Pablo Butcher restored and reopened the long neglected cinema. The sculpture on the front was made by John Buckley who also made the world famous SHARK in the roof of Bill’s Headington home. The following year Bill returned to the FOKL Arts Festival and talked about his second book The Hunting of the Shark. Philip showed this film that resulted from that introduction.
Bill was one of the early Oxtopian Castaways . He changed it from an art and antiques feature into one that focussed on the castaway’s life story . It is such a pity that he didn’t write about his early life in the USA. I enjoyed writing those paragraphs in his castaway feature. You can read it in Oxford Castaways.( Ling Tang has translated it into Mandarin ) He was a great supporter of the series and attended most castaway events. The first launch in the Ashmolean, the get together in Antiques on High, the Tropical Gala Night in Kennington and the final event the launch of Oxford Castaways 3 in the Maths Institute and more . (see pics)
He was a consummate radio journalist. I witnessed it first hand when he twice invited me to be his guest presenter and three times on his Sunday morning newspaper review slot. With Bill in charge you knew you were in good hands but you also knew that he could ask the most difficult questions in the politest manner !
More connecting – Charlotte Bannister Parker – Nancy Hunt and a memorable trip for Bill broadcasting from Kenya . Another story for another day. Bill will be missed but never forgotten-the SHARK is his monument!