Does Anyone Else Remember The Days Before Televisions Became Common In Homes

SDMDAM

Distinguished Member
Occasionly of course BBC TV would stay open beyond midnight once every 4-5 years covering the General Election with Richard Dimbleby, Robin Day, Robert McKenzie and David Butler. My Mother and Father allowed me to stay up to watch my first ever General Election results programme around 1960. And BBC TV broadcasting that late was the exception to the rule and only rarely this would happen and mainly only for General Elections!

Yes, I do remember that and I think maybe the time for the stations to close down was later at the weekends.
 

the whistler

Active Member
I was pre school age, probably about 1950 when my grandad got his first tv. My grandparents used to childmind me and although there were no actual daytime programs, the BBC used to broadcast an engineering test transmission every morning for 2 or 3 hours. It was the same program every morning but I used to sit glued to it.
 

Richardxx

Distinguished Member
One thing I remember from the days before TV was everywhere was the radio programme "In Town Tonight", with its loud cry at the beginning of "STOP - Once more we stop the mighty roar of London's traffic" and at the end "Carry on London".
Yes and there was later on also a TV version.
 

Grandad1943

Distinguished Member
I was pre school age, probably about 1950 when my grandad got his first tv. My grandparents used to childmind me and although there were no actual daytime programs, the BBC used to broadcast an engineering test transmission every morning for 2 or 3 hours. It was the same program every morning but I used to sit glued to it.

Yes I remember those test transmissions also, along with the Test Card.
 

the whistler

Active Member
A couple of other things I remember.

The BBC often played a short information film where a guy is sat watching TV but keeps getting interference. In the end he gets so fed up he throws a brick at the screen. Turns out the interference was happening every time a vehicle passed his house. The message was "get a suppresser fitted in your car" I think the suppressor was a simple capacitor across the points to suppress the arcing.

My elder brother after leaving school, trained to be a tv engineer. He installed our first tv which I think was an Echo with just the BBC channel. When ITV came on line, he brought a conversion kit home from work and adapted the TV to receive ITV. We sat patiently waiting for it to start up do we could watch our first adverts. One of which was "Murray mints, Murray mints, too good to hurry mints"
 

dmpzsn

Distinguished Member
A couple of other things I remember.

The BBC often played a short information film where a guy is sat watching TV but keeps getting interference. In the end he gets so fed up he throws a brick at the screen. Turns out the interference was happening every time a vehicle passed his house. The message was "get a suppresser fitted in your car" I think the suppressor was a simple capacitor across the points to suppress the arcing.

My elder brother after leaving school, trained to be a tv engineer. He installed our first tv which I think was an Echo with just the BBC channel. When ITV came on line, he brought a conversion kit home from work and adapted the TV to receive ITV. We sat patiently waiting for it to start up do we could watch our first adverts. One of which was "Murray mints, Murray mints, too good to hurry mints"
Slightly off topic, the suppressor was fitted to the side of the distributor body, you could also get one to fit on the dynamo which could also cause interference and produced a whine to the car radio, the ht leads could also cause interference and champion brought out a cap to help sort the ht problem.
 

Tight Git

Distinguished Member
Talking of ITV conversion kits, because our TV was straight TRF rather than superhet, our convertor changed channel 9 (Croydon) to Channel 1 (Crystal Palace) which meant ITV had a severe pattern on it apart from late at night if CP closed first!
 

Ian Thompson

Well-known Member
Remember the old BBC Public Information Films!

This is one of the Charlie The Cat BBC Public Information Films for children in the 1950’s/1960’s.
 
D

Deleted member 36193

Guest
I remember when there were just two channels and the arguments about what to watch because they both had good programmes.
The closedown in the afternoon seemed a pain.
Then when BBC2 opened we were excited that we could watch High Chaparral but then discovered our TV (or maybe the aerial) couldn't pick it up.
In the 70's I worked for Woolworths and sold TVs, so remember the launch of C4 and C5 - and the hassles having to change the carrier on VCRs so they would work OK.
At Christmas we bought the Radio and TV times and marked off what we would watch and what we would record to catch up later.
Now there are hundreds of channels and naff all on most of them, and the decent stuff is so difficult to find.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
At Christmas we bought the Radio and TV times and marked off what we would watch and what we would record to catch up later.
Now there are hundreds of channels and naff all on most of them, and the decent stuff is so difficult to find.
I remember that. Radio Times for BBC1 and 2. And TV Times for ITV and channel 4. With channel 5 being added in 1996?
 

dmpzsn

Distinguished Member
I remember that. Radio Times for BBC1 and 2. And TV Times for ITV and channel 4. With channel 5 being added in 1996?
Apparently it was 97, I thought it was a lot earlier than that :blush: Some good programs on 5 back then.
 

Boo Radley75

Distinguished Member



For anyone with memories of and for those to young to have seen this testcard.

Interesting fact - the girl from that BBC test card with the clown holds the record for the most aired person on British TV. Her dad was an engineer at the BBC and originally her sister was supposed to be on it but was missing her 2 front teeth at the time so Carole was chosen.

 

A1944

Well-known Member
Of course, the classic test card was the old Test Card C

720
 
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nvingo

Distinguished Member
Can the HD test card still be summoned on a DVB-T2 receiver?
From this DS post on the date stated within:
1634131167243.png

This procedure brings access to other test facilities, but not today a testcard image.
 

Garrett

Moderator
Amazing what you can find on YouTube. The suppresser film.


Its probably not but that opening scene on the Tv remarkably looks like shot in Padiham.

I do remember being taken to an aunts and watching Watch With Mother before I started infants.
And even remember lawn mowers causing interference with the TV. Also no preset channels and having to turn a dial to swap channels and trying to get the best picture.
 

Ian Thompson

Well-known Member

Service Information on BBC 2 and the BBC 2 channel was about to cut the hours of the BBC 2 testcard because of the financial situation at the BBC. Just like at present. Year 1975.
 
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