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

The Affluent Society

The Guardian‘s “Miscellany” column notes an unexpected increase in the sale of antiques, and suggests that this is the result of the introduction of commercial television – despite the fact that the field buys no advertising time on ITV. This is apparently because the companies that specialise in the hire of theatrical and film properties are “either too expensive or, more likely, cannot meet the increasing demands of independent television. At all events remote firms are now being ransacked by excitable art directors.”

Mr John Crawley, the BBC’s acting chief publicity officer, said last night at a meeting of the Publicity Club of London that it would be quite wrong to think the corporation wanted the Independent Television Authority to fail. “It would be love of sheer destruction which would make anyone want to see this considerable edifice which is being built up come toppling down.” He also rubbished some radio tittle-tattle: “All the rumours you have seen about the introduction of a merged Home-Light (programme) are without any foundation.” But for how long?

The Daily Express reports on a case of dustbins in Nottingham – Mrs Muriel Thomas, who owns 27 houses, insists her tenants should buy their own dustbins; the tenants and the council think she should. The magistrates side with poor down-trodden Mrs Thomas who claims to be “hopelessly out of pocket on these houses”. Apparently the tenants are well-to-do, Mr Thomas said, “They call Duchess-street ‘Television-avenue’ for about 25 of the 40 houses have TV sets. How odd that owning a single television set is considered a sign of affluence far in excess of that exhibited by someone who owns 27 houses.

The Curator of the National Film Archive, Ernest Lindgren, replies to The Times‘ summary of Sir Arthur Elton’s paper on film archives. Lindgren has little truck with Sir Arthur’s inclusion of the BBC and the COI as archive bodies. In a long letter mostly unconcerned with television he writes:

Of all the bodies groups together as archives by Sir Arthur Elton only two, to the best of my belief, fit this description – namely the collections of the Imperial War Museum and the National Film Archive. The libraries of BBC Television and the Central Office of Information, for example, although containing much material of historical value, are primarily production libraries, repositories of working material to be used in day to day production.

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