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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Childhood TV Classics - Life's A Journey

Helen at http://saveeverystep.wordpress.com/lifes-a-journey-series/ urges us to share our memories from milestones in our life. This week's theme -Television  
Calling all British bloggers - do you let me know if these memories strike a chord with you? 
1953 was the year television came to our house in the shape of a small 10 inch screen Bush set, so we could watch the Queen's Coronation on June 2nd. 

Children's TV seemed to centre on puppets - Muffin the Mule and Sooty (with the spin off toys as Christmas present). I must surely have been too old for Andy Pandy, and Bill and Ben the Flower Pot Men, but perhaps saw them with my younger brother. The forerunner of family soaps The Grove Family and The Appleyards were also favourites; as were were Billy Bunter's Schooldays (I had a crush on Bob Cherry), George Cansdale from London Zoo on Looking at Animals, and Crackerjack, with its Double or Drop challenge
Mum, Dad, Chris & myself c. 1954

Saturday and Sunday were treats in that we had tea on the trolley around the television to watch such programmes as the Lone Ranger (Tonto and Hiya Silver!) and Circus Boy - my brother's favourites, and All Your Own presented by Huw Weldon and introducing talented youngsters.

Then there were the memorable BBC Sunday serials which we enjoyed so much as a family and which fostered my love of history, costume and reading the classics - Children of the New Forest, David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickelby, Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Count of Monte Chrsto, Railway Children, Pride and Prejudice, Worzel Gummidge. Robin Hood, Emil and the Detectives, and The Silver Sword - which told the story of children caught up in Poland during the war - a time close enough to have meaning of what living during the war must have been like.

When the new ITV channel first came on the scene, our old television could not receive it, so I missed out on the school gossip of the previous night's Emergency Ward Ten and Coronation Street, though once we got a new set, I later became fans along with the other soap Compact, set on a woman's magazine - I was an avid follower of that.

Programmes I remember from my teenage years:
  • Z Cars (Jock Weir my favourite)
  • Billy Cotton's Bandshow
  • Black and White Minstrels (now very politically incorrect, but I enjoyed the music, singing and dancing)
  • What's My Line
  • Eric Robinson's Music For You.
  • Francis Durbridge Detective Stories
  • This is Your Life
  • Sunday Night at the London Palladium
  • Man from Uncle (David McCallum my favourite)
  • Opportunity Knocks (with my father often said to look like Hughie Green)
  • Eurovision Song Competition where we were impressed with presenter Katie Boyle speaking French -" un point")
  • Gripping modern drama which seemed either to be Welsh miners trapped underground, or a plane about to crash with the crew going down with food poisoning and a passenger saving the flight. 
  • Comedy such as Charlie Drake, Hancock's Half Hour, Likely Lads, Morecombe and Wise 
  • For my brother - Doctor Who.
  • For myself - classical ballet, especially at Christmas - seeing Margot Fonteyn, Svetlana Beriosova, Nadia Nerina, Nicholai Faderechev (the names just roll off my tongue!)

American programmes came into vogue:
  • Doctor Kildare
  • Phil Silvers
  •  Dick van Dyke Show
  • Jack Benny Show
  • George Burns and Gracie Allan
  • I love Lucy
  • Perry Como Show

The BBC was the natural channel for current affairs and we always had the news on and special coverage to see Yuri Gargarin, the first man in space, the Amercan space launches, and ocean splash downs; major events such as royal weddings, funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, Aberfan disaster, assassination of John F. Kennedy. Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. By the time of the first man in the moon, we set the alarm to get up during the middle of the night to see the "first step", and then dashed into the garden to look up at the moon in the sky.

Two programmes my father absolutely refused to have on were the new satirical comedy show "That was the Week that Was" and irreverent comedy Till Death Us Part - the previews were enough for him to ban them. He always had to watch Panorama - until they were showing a programme on maternity care when he suddenly decided this was not family viewing.

Pop Culture passed me by and I was never into it, though I remember 6.5 Special and Top of the Pops. Of course everything I saw was in black and white, and I did not see colour TV until 1970 which I think was when it reached Scotland.

But I was enough of a TV teenage child to compile a scrapbook, with cuttings from the "Radio Times "of cast lists and photographs of my favourite actors and performers I had crushes on -  to pour over and admire!

1 comment:

  1. Such a great list! It's amazing how our memories just keep flooding back once we get started, eh?!!!
    Hope to see you on the Linky again soon!

    Helen (SaveEveryStep)


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