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Mr. Fernand LE GRAND
founder of Radio Normandy 



F.Le Grand



Close to the Benedictine's Palace,
Vincelli-La-Grandière, the villa of
Monsieur Le Grand, from where the first broadcasts of EF8IC took place, followed
by those of Radio Fécamp,
on 17 November 1926 





Vincelli-La-Grandière, side court.  
The Palace is on the other side
of the street.
Nowadays, this building
is called the Villa Vincelli, an art gallery,
with paintings and archives of Fécamp. 


The big lounge of Vincelli first
"auditorium", or studio, where the first
broadcasts took place.

In two words... 

In the 1930's, the ancestor of free radio, in France, is called Radio Normandy. Situated at Fécamp and Louvetot between Yvetot and Caudebec en Caux, the "station" is highly listened to and even broadcasts in English on Sundays!   Fernand Le Grand, whose grandfather "invented" the Benedictine liqueur, started Radio Fécamp on 17th November 1926. He didn't imagine that his station would find fame far beyond the region. Renamed Radio Normandy, the station is listened in England, a country without any commercial radio. In France programmes fill listeners with joy. Some remember "Aunt Francine", the first broadcaster, and Uncle Roland, or the accordionist Roger Queval, accompanied by the Radio Normandy orchestra.. In 1938, the transmitter is transferred to Louvetot.  There are studios in the present city hall of Caudebec, as well as in Rouen, Le Havre, Le Tréport, Le Touquet... as well as Paris. The first private radio station in the province, Radio Normandy operates a regular service until the war, when the transmitter is destroyed. When liberation comes, the state seizes the airwaves monopoly, and after thirty years relaying Parisian "programmes", the dreaded return of private radio (free radios) in the 1970's heralds the dismantling of the station.

Who, nowadays, remembers,
that within a few steps of the Benedictine's Palace, the dream
of a man fascinated with
the "Wireless Telephone",
became a reality?

The vicinity of the Benedictine's
distillery and Villa Vincelli
This is an old still



Excerpt from
a radio booklet :



After a year of operation, in 1925,
the Radio Club of Fécamp had 18 members. As with all radios clubs, Fécamp intends to unite Wireless amateurs, to introduce them to the discoveries of this new science, to provide them with ideas and to guide them in the choice of their equipment. The Radio Club becomes the association of Listeners of Radio Normandy with 15,000 members.  

Birth of
the radio

"At its creation in 1923, the Radio Club
of Fécamp and the region, intends to unite wireless amateurs, to keep them informed of the latest developments and to assist purchases or exchanges between its members.

The committee comprises :

Fernand Le Grand, president ;

René Legros, vice-president;

Emile Durand, treasurer ;

P. Borocco, secretary ;

G. Pollet, secretary - associate.


F. Le Grand is named President of the society, as he is one of the oldest amateurs in the region. The PTT gives him the call sign 8 IC. With the help of some devoted friends, he gets to work
constructing a broadcasting station".

(Newspaper of Fécamp 12/28) 


"Modulation and frequency tests are done every evening on 200 metres wavelength, by the radio clubs station. Amateurs are asked to report the results of their monitoring". 


(communiqué of the Radio-Club
 of Fécamp 2/6/25)




In 1926, a crisis occurred at the club: members didn't meet up anymore. The main reason for the desertion : the huge size of the city of Fécamp made it difficult to access, and members did not want to venture out on cold nights! The committee realised the problems and called on members to try and persuade them to come to meetings, stating that "It is through the WIRELESS that we will remain united". So it was that the first broadcasts were organised







< Benedictine's Palace
in the same street, opposite
the Vincelli Villa, seen on
post cards (beginning
of the XX
e century)