52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Radio and Television

This is the sixth challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy and  history, suggested  by Amy Coffin,  that invite genealogists to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.  Week 6 – Radio and Television

I have two very early memories of watching TV as a young child.  The first, like many people my age, is the Watch With Mother programmes.  I don’t recall having a television set at home until the early 1960’s but we may well have done – I just can’t remember.  So my memories of Watch With Mother are from spending time with my grandparents.

The classic line up of shows was

Monday – Picture Book

Tuesday – Andy Pandy

Wednesday – The Flower Pot Men

Thursday – Rag, Tag and Bobtail

Friday – The Woodentops

If I have to choose then I will say that my favourite was Rag, Tag ad Bobtail.

One other programme I remember was Four Feather Falls.  This was a Gerry Anderson puppet show set in the late 19th Century Western town of the same name, and featured the adventures of its Sheriff Tex Tucker who was given four magic feathers by Indian Chief Kalamakooya as a reward for saving the life of Makooya, the chief’s son. Two of these feathers allowed his guns to swivel and fire automatically and the other two allowed his horse (Rocky) and his dog (Dusty) to speak English.

My other very clear TV memory is from the early 1960’s and watching a “western” with my dad.  He liked cowboy programmes and films.  The TV series was Have Gun – Will Travel and starred Richard Boone as a professional gunfighter.

In my teen years the after school TV choice was really between Blue Peter and Magpie.  I was a Magpie watcher.

There are a host of other 1960’s programmes that I used to watch including

Till Death Us Do Part – Warren Mitchell as Alf Garnett.

Monty Pythons Flying Circus

The Prisoner – Patrick McGoohan as Number Six

The Lone Ranger – another western – the masked man and Tonto

Coronation Street – I don’t recall watching the very first episode but have seen it since on various tribute programmes to the long running “soap”.

Top Of The Pops – the weekly pop music fix every Thursday

The Man From Uncle

Match Of The Day – something for the weekend on a Saturday night

Dixon of Dock Green – early police series, aired I think early Saturday evening

Z Cars and Softly Softly – two more police series

The family entertainment and variety programmes included

Take Your Pick – with Michael Miles and the “Yes-No Interlude”

Opportunity Knocks – hosted by Hughie Green

Saturday Night at the London Palladium

My parents didn’t listen to very much radio at all.  So my interest really started by listening to Radio Luxembourg.  I used to share a bedroom with my younger brother so I would have the radio on really low if we had both gone to bed.  The disc jockeys I remember listening to were Tony Brandon, Paul Burnett, Dave Cash and Tommy Vance.  The reception was notoriously bad but I felt “cool” listening all the same.

Of course Radio One came along in 1967 and that was the start of a new era of pop music on the BBC.  Before that listening to music on the BBC was Children’s Favourites with Lesley Crowther and later Ed “Stewpot” Stewart – on a Saturday if my memory is correct.  Also on a Sunday was Two-Way Family Favourites – a request show designed to link families at home in the UK with British Forces serving in West Germany or elsewhere overseas.

If any of my readers share some of these memories please leave a comment for others to see.


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