The world of British television off and on the screen, as it was sixty years ago.

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Visually Impaired

Saturday, 2 July 1955, and we’ve reached the final day of Wimbledon. Readers of Radio Times are warned that coverage may over-run, in which case this evening’s live In Town Tonight will be telerecorded and shown on another date. ITT is simultaneously broadcast on the wireless, sound only – obviously, on the London, Midland, North and West of England Home Services. So what happens if the tennis over-runs? Do the radio broadcasts still go ahead? If so, do they get repeated when the programme’s eventually broadcast? Perhaps it won’t come to that, but if the ladies’ doubles final is running late you can guarantee coverage won’t end early because both pairs in the final are British, meaning that the country is guaranteed its first title winners since Dorothy Round‘s singles win in 1937. (more…)

The Blame Game

Television gets blamed for all manner of things, sometimes reasonably, sometimes ridiculously. On Wednesday, 29 June 1955, the Daily Express reports that the British Transport Commission, which were then responsible for running the railways, were in the red to the tune of £11,900,000 because of “rocketing costs and fewer passengers.” Passenger journeys were down by 1.3%. Why? Because of new housing, the growth of private motoring and television.

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Co-Axial to Kent

These won’t always be daily, but I figured I should put in an effort, early doors. So, Friday 24 June 1955…

The Times reports that in Parliament, James Callaghan (Lab, Cardiff South East) said that workers “were more ready to down tools because of the long hours being worked through overtime.” He added, “Men were working overtime to pay instalments on television sets which they had no time to look at.”

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The Man With No Organ

23 June 1955, a Thursday. This means that there’s a new issue of The Stage to look at. Fortunately, after months where their television coverage was usually restricted to a maximum of half-a-page, they’ve seen sense and we have a whole “TV Page” in this edition. Let’s hope it’s not a one-off. This time round it’s mainly interested in what’s happening at the new ITV companies. (more…)