Monday, 28 February 2011

Those Radio Times! (BBC TV and Radio Selections for 28 February 1975)

Friday, 28 February 1975 kicked off with Simon Bates on the Radio 2 early morning shift at 6.2am. 

As previously mentioned on this blog by fellow blogger Andy Walmsley, Simon Bates had quite a varied career on Radio 2 before reaching the dizzy heights of Radio 1 in the late 70s and 1980s: "... looking back he had a variety of shows on Radio 2 - The Early Show, Night Ride, Late Night Extra and Saturday Night with the BBC Radio Orchestra."

This great photograph from that days Radio Times listings shows Simon handing over to Terry Wogan (Radio 2, 7.2am). 

By 1975, Wogan was firmly in position as Radio 2's breakfast disc jockey. "Care-free Simon finds a cup of (sugar-free?) coffee for the (fairly?) flab-free Terry..." states the picture caption. 

References to Wogan's flab were running jokes on Radio 2 in the 1970s; as were his constant jibes about BBC Tea. 

I had to agree with Wogan myself when sampling some BBC Tea first hand from a BBC catering unit as an extra on All Creatures Great and Small when filming in West Witton, Yorkshire in 1978, it was like dish-water!

BBC Television Highlights for 28 February 1975

On BBC2 at 7.45pm; Hugh Scully presented the first of a new series of Collectors World, in which he looked at a scrapyard that was giving hope to locomotive preservationists by attempting to salvage steam trains. In The End Of The Line, Hugh was joined by antiques expert, Arthur Negus who answered viewers questions about antiques.

Arthur Negus appealed to many viewers, his gentle presentation on shows like Going For A Song displayed a love for the objects he was presenting rather than the bombastic "How Much Is It Worth? approach of antique and collectors shows of 2011. 

Negus was also playfully name checked by many comedy acts of the day when referring to old items in their acts including Morecambe and Wise.

There was comedy over on BBC1 at 8.30pm with Ronnie Barker in Porridge. This week's episode was entitled The Hustler and also featured Richard Beckinsale and Fulton MacKay.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Simon and Garfunkel's 40th Anniversary Of Bridge Over Troubled Water

Bridge Over Troubled Water 
It's over 40 years (41 - to be exact) - since Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water single and album topped the charts around the world!

I always thought this was a particularly beautiful song as I was growing up, and still do, despite the fact that lots of people allegedly choose it for the record to be played at their funeral(!)

Anyhow, Sony music are releasing to coincide with the 40th anniversary (rather belatedly - but we'll let that pass) an excellent two CD set comprising the original album, a previously unreleased live album and a rare TV special featuring the duo.

You can read further about this exciting release on my feature here: Simon and Garfunkel Classic Album Gets Deluxe CD and DVD Release

Things Liz Loves: Time Travel Tuesday: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Check Out this Great Blog which will take out back to the 1990s to Saturday Evenings / Thursday Nights or whenever Buffy The Vampire Slayer was on in your region around the world Things Liz Loves: Time Travel Tuesday: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Looks like Liz has got plenty of things to write about too!

Retrospace Top Ten Sunday's: Doctor Who Adventures Featuring The Brigadier

Following on from the sad news this week that Nicholas Courtney who portrayed The Brigadier in Doctor Who has died; I've decided to defer this weeks Top Ten in favour of my Top 10 Classic Doctor Who Stories Featuring The Brigadier article on Suite 101.

There you'll find some brief run downs on each story I've selected (and hopefully very few spoilers if you haven't already seen the episodes).

Enjoy the article!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Saturday Superstore: Camberwick Green Toothpaste

Camberwick Green Toothpaste - TV Comic, 1972
Amazing when browsing old comics how you can see an advert for something that you vividly remember having as a child!

Camberwick Green Toothpaste must have been the first toothpaste I ever had, you could get tubes in four different designs including Captain Snort and Dr Mopp.

I certainly had Captain Snort and remember the tubes been very colourful - don't think the stuff did much to protect my teeth however as they still seemed to go bad!

Friday, 25 February 2011

A Wet Friday In Newport, South Wales

Happy Meal time from The Golden Arch's  For Jon, Tom and Seren
Don't you just love half term holidays? The weather hasn't been brilliant around Newport in recent weeks, with rain, frost, rain and even snow. Still it is only February and when you take into context what other people in the world have to endure it makes my complaints seem rather pitiful!

Anyhow Rachel has gone on a scrapbooking course in another Newport with American craft guru Tim Holtz, so I have a few days off work to get caught up on some writing, blogging and doodling.

My Brother Sampling The
Hot Chocolate
As the rain was just pelting down I was glad the children could spend the day in holiday club, to doodle, paint and draw as much as they like!

That allowed me to concentrate on two articles for Suite101:
  • Simon and Garfunkel Classic Album Gets Deluxe CD and DVD Release
  • Top 10 Classic Doctor Who Adventures Featuring The Brigadier

I also had time to put a birthday card design together before my brother turned up in the afternoon - more of that in a later post!

After we picked the kids up it was over to the Golden Arch's chain for one of those treats the kids enjoy from time to time.

As you can see from the pictures - Tom instantly found a use for his happy meal box!

Badge Friday: The Beatles (1)

Finding pin badges featuring my favourite band, The Beatles seemed to be pretty rare back in the mid-80s. Maybe I just wasn't looking in the right places!

However; when the badge shop / stall I used to frequent on Darlington market surfaced with two badges one week back in 1988 (I think), I snapped both designs up!

This one features the Let It Be era Fab Four.

Join in with Badge Friday

If you have a badge you'd like to submit for inclusion on a future Badge Friday post - e-mail me with the badge picture and a brief description of your recollection of when you got it and what it means to you! I'll include a link to your respective blog or website too!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Nicholas Courtney 1929 - 2011

Nicholas Courtney Profile
TV Action - June 30, 1973
I'm sad to hear of the passing of actor Nicholas Courtney, aged 81.

Like many other Doctor Who fans, I associate him with the classic Doctor Who era of the early 1970s when he starred opposite Jon Pertwee's Doctor as Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce.

He was born William Nicholas Stone Courtney in Cairo, Egypt on 16 December 1929, and following a stint of National Service joined the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art before moving on to repertory theatre in Northampton.

TV roles followed in The Avengers and The Champions before Nicholas made his Doctor Who debut in the 1968 serial The Web Of Fear opposite Patrick Troughton and returned later that year in The Invasion.

Perhaps my favourite Brigadier moment is from 1973's The Three Doctors, when The Brigadier, Sgt Benton, The Second Doctor, The TARDIS and the entirety of UNIT HQ are sucked into a black hole and arrive on a sandy landscape on an alien planet.

True to fashion, The Brigadier takes control, refusing to believe he's been transported through space and time: "No, I'm Pretty Sure That's Cromer!".

Wordless Wednesday: Early 1900s (6)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Back To Mono With Sergeant Pepper and The Beatles

Sgt Pepper - Mono Version
Last week, my friend, Nigel Corten, a work colleague who I regularly have had chats with about all matters of sixties music loaned me his mono vinyl copy of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles.

"Why?", I hear you ask, "surely you have it already?"

Yes, in stereo on vinyl and CD, (I even used to own it on cassette).

However; this groundbreaking stereo album was simultaneously released in mono in 1967 (then standard for most record buyers). I remember hearing a documentary on Radio 1 celebrating the albums 20th anniversary back in 1987 and recording engineer Geoff Emerick praising the mono version as the definitive version to have as that is the version The Beatles poured their heart and soul into.

On hearing this version I have to say how surprised I was and totally agree with Geoff's view.

Sgt Pepper - An Undisputed Classic
The sound brings The Beatles more together as a whole, with guitar and drum work more prominent. I even dare to suggest that McCartney's vocal of She's Leaving Home is better than on the stereo version. While the reprise of Sgt Pepper is decidedly different to the stereo take with McCartney in evidence of really rocking out!

I committed this version to digital format before returning this undisputed classic to Nigel, and it struck me how the clarity of this and other artists had to be so much better back in the 1960s. For a start when these records got airplay on the radio they had to sound good on there too. Stereo radio didn't arrive until much later!

I'm currently putting together an article on Pepper and would love to have your thoughts on what you think of the album whether you bought it in 1967 or today!

Online Sketchbook: Nigel's Beatles Cartoon

Nigel and Yours Truly 
(whoever he may be)
A colleague of mine, Nigel Corten retired from The South Wales Argus Central Sub's Department last Friday. I'll miss Nigel in the workplace as he often regaled me with 1960s anecdotes, while I jogged his memory with facts and figures of music, television and film from that decade!  These chats earned me the title of Keeper of the Sixties, though as he always tells me - he was there!

I'm hoping Nigel will find time to share a few of his anecdotes and memories over on my Retrospace blog shortly. In the meantime, here's a cartoon I did of Nigel with John, Paul, George and Ringo for his retirement card.

I've included the three steps of the design: the initial line concept, the colourised version and the final cartoon with text.
Beatles Cartoon - Line Concept
The initial cartoon was based on the Beatles cartoon characters from the American TV series. Thankfully I had a book which had some rough sketches of these to base them on.
Beatles Cartoon - Coloured Version
I then scanned the cartoon into Adobe Photoshop colouring the main characters and adding a psychedelic filter background. Note that I opted for the grey Beatle suit colour.
Beatles Cartoon - Final Version
Here's the final card design with a few added speech bubbles and message. Nigel is depicted in his motorbike helmet (complete with Beatle fan club badge!). It took me a few evenings to do but was great fun.

And Another Thing: Get Back to Mono with Sgt Pepper and more Beatles blogging!

New Roy Orbison Album Commemorates 75th Anniversary

Roy Orbison - The Monument Singles Collection
If he had lived, the great rock and roll pioneer Roy Orbison (AKA The Big 'O') would have been 75 in April.

Roy Orbison was once said to be one of Elvis Presley's favourite singers. Furthermore John Lennon originally wrote The Beatles' Please Please Me in the style of Orbison before producer George Martin advised the Fab Four to speed their song up.

Roy Orbison scored no less than three Number Ones in Great Britain during the 1960s, It's Over, Only The Lonely and Oh Pretty Woman, the latter lending its name (and theme) to the 1991 film of the same name starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

This new compilation brings together all of Roy Orbison's Monument Single releases between 1959 and 1964 in original mono format, allowing the listeners to hear the songs as they were originally intended.

You can check out my preview for Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection here.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Those Radio Times! (BBC TV and Radio Selections for 21 February 1978)

Undoubtedly the TV landmark on Tuesday 21 February 1978 was the 200th Edition of The Good Old Days fronted by Leonard Sachs, which went out on BBC1 at 8.10pm.

The show had been recalling the days of variety and music hall since the 20th July 1953. It seems odd for a series that seemed to be so frequently on the box during the 1970s that it had only amassed 200 episodes by 1978, maybe they repeated a lot of them?

The guests on this particular edition featured Ron Moody, Hinge and Bracket, Duggie Brown, Alan Randall, Peter Gale and Rita Morris.

Alan Randall would frequently appear on television performing songs in the style of George Formby and later starred in a very good stage show entitled The George Formby Story.

A New Series of Just a Minute Began On Radio 4

If panel games were to your taste on this particular evening in 1978, you would no doubt be delighted that a New Series of Just a Minute was beginning on Radio 4. 

The show was fittingly described in Radio Times as "A panel game whose unruly members are occasionally kept in disorder by the chairman: Nicholas Parsons  and in which Kenneth Williams, Sheila Hancock and Derek Nimmo endeavour to prevent each other from talking for just a minute of this - or that!"

Some three decades later both Just a Minute and Nicholas Parson's have endured, another series recently airing on Radio 4, the panel may have changed but the concept of the show is still there, and so are the laughs!

Those Radio Times! (BBC TV and Radio Selections for 21 February 1971)

21 February 1971 was a Sunday and if you were tuning in to BBC1 at 5.20pm that afternoon you would have caught Part 6 of the Sunday afternoon serial, The Last of The Mohican's by J Fenimore Cooper and directed by David Maloney.

The Sunday afternoon serial's were a staple diet of TV viewing on BBC1 during the early 1970s and a great way of introducing younger viewers to stories they may not otherwise of thought twice about reading in a colour TV age.

Amongst the cast of this great series was Patricia Maynard, Joanna David, John Abineri, Richard Warwick and Philip Madoc. 

Philip Madoc revealed in his one man monologue stage show, Dylan Thomas and Friends in 2009; that it was his portrayal of Indian Chief Magua that gained him a following with a real Indian tribe that subsequently formed a fan club in his honour.

Radio Comedy For February 21 1971

Back on Radio 2, at 2.1pm (1500m and VHF) there was an hour of comedy with Ken Dodd in The Ken Dodd Show featuring Peter Goodwright, Pat Coombs and Talfryn Thomas. 

Talfryn Thomas was that famous Welsh actor who turned up in many radio and TV shows during this time and would find great acclaim as newspaper reporter Mr Cheeseman a few years later in Dad's Army.

Comedy Parade followed at 2.30pm with Les Dawson in a comedy vehicle entitled Our Les featuring Colin Edwynn and Joe Gladwin. 

Comedy Parade featured many pilots for new comedy show ideas of the day, and if anyone has a recording of this show, I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

What I'm Listening To: The Searchers

The Searchers In Concert at Newport Riverfront
Anyone who knows me knows of my passion for music from the 1960s.

I regularly listen to many groups from this era on my iPod and one such group is The Searchers who I have been fortunate enough to catch live twice in recent years.

Check out my Searchers Top Ten favourite records over on Retrospace today and if you have a favourite band you'd like me to feature in a future top ten I'd be happy to publish your list with a link to your blog!

You can also check out my preview for The Searchers UK  2011 Tour here!

Finally check out The Searchers Official Website for latest news from the band.

Retrospace Top Ten Sundays: The Searchers

The Searchers at Newport Riverfront
1960s pop group The Searchers are still going strong after half a century in the business.

I've had the pleasure of catching the band twice in recent years and have to say, despite a few line up changes they still sound very authentic and true to their original 1960s recordings. Pictured here are a couple of Searchers pictures when the band performed at Newport Riverfront a few years ago.

The Searchers Live!
Here's my Top Ten Favourite Searchers tracks:
  1. Don't Throw Your Love Away
  2. Needles And Pins
  3. When You Walk In The Room
  4. Sugar and Spice
  5. Take Me For What I'm Worth
  6. What Have They Done To The Rain?
  7. Take It Or Leave It
  8. Love Potion No.9
  9. Sweets For My Sweet
  10. Goodbye My Love
Read My Preview of The Searchers 2011 UK Tour  and check out up to date news on The Searchers on their official website.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Play-Doh Cakes

Play-Doh Cakes

Seren, Jon and Tom allowed their creative juices to flow this morning as I suffered with flu sniffles in the background.

I love these Play-Doh cakes that they created that look simply too good to eat - because they are! 

Seren created  LazyTown biscuits, they're the white ones!

Saturday Superstore: Ovaltine Dad's Army Game Offer

Ovaltine Dad's Army Game - TV Comic 1972
Ah! Ovaltine - I love it!

If you were buying Ovaltine over Autumn 1972, the chances are you would come across this great Dad's Army offer, which co-incidentally coincided with the fifth series arriving on British television.

This advert, advised to collect tokens from Ovaltine products up to the value of £1.40 to claim this great game - the first Dad's Army one ever produced.

The game itself is a bit of a rarity now and I knew someone who took out a second mortgage to buy one on eBay ten years ago!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Badge Friday: Altered Images (Clare Grogan)

Probably one of the first bands I got into properly was Altered Images. Mainly because I loved their edgy pop and also, as with many teenage boys in the early 90s I had a crush on singer Clare Grogan!

Altered Images produced three very different albums in the early 80s moving from Punk to Pop to classy disco smoothness in three very easy sessions (actually, it probably took more than three sessions!).

Following hits including Happy Birthday, I Could Be Happy and Don't Talk To Me About Love and a very notable appearance in the film Gregory's Girl, Clare became a TV presenter and was spied recently on Vintage TV presenting a retro video show! While, Altered Images Guitarist Johnny McElhone went on to become part of Texas!

Not sure how I got this badge, possibly in a bargain bin or via my sister!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

40th Anniversary of Decimalisation With Decimal Des

British Rail Decimalisation 
Leaflet- Andy Walmsley
It was 40 years ago today, the United Kingdom went decimal and I have to thank Andy Walmsley for the scan of this brilliant leaflet provided by British Rail explaining the new coinage system and how passengers would have to be prepared for the new system when purchasing tickets to travel.

I have to admit to only been two and a half when decimalisation kicked in, so my memories only stretch back to a point that I remember my parents and grandparents complaining as to how out of pocket they were going to be with this new system.

British Rail obviously weren't taking any chances and were making a swift change over to the coinage system on the 14 February. Decimalisation Day or D Day itself was actually on the 15th February! 

British Rail's  character Decimal Des sympathised: "If you find you must tender £ s d 'coppers' (3d and 1d) please do so in lots of 6d (-2 1/2p). Otherwise we cannot give you correct change."

I bet there was some happy people arguing with ticket collectors that morning!

Within two weeks the old coins had all but vanished from circulation, except for the cheeky so and so's who then tried to pass them off as two pence pieces in corner shops up and down the country over the next decade!

One other memory I have is from 1983 when a maths teacher attempted to teach my class the old coinage system in a belief we may one day return to it. We didn't learn it and we still haven't!

If you have any memories of this period or scans of ephemera, send them in and I'll include them on the blog!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Those Radio Times! (BBC Radio For 14 February 1974)

Here's a look at the BBC Radio schedules from Valentines Day, 1974, information courtesy of that week's Radio Times!

BBC Radio 1 and 2 Programming For February 14, 1974

Radio's 1 and 2 on February 14 1974 started broadcasting at 5.0am with the news. At 5.2am, Barry Alldis presented the early show for all the early risers!

Actress Beryl Reid guested on
Sounds Familiar
Radio 1 on 247m and Radio 2 at 1500m went their separate ways at 7.0am when Noel Edmonds presented the breakfast show on Radio 1 and Terry Wogan entertained listeners over on Radio 2.

Radio 1 featured Tony Blackburn at 9.0am, Johnnie Walker at mid-day then David Hamilton at 2.0pm with  Dave Lee Travis at 5.0pm

Radio 2’s daytime schedules included Pete Murray’s Open House at 9.2am (featuring Waggoner’s Walk NW at 10.30), Jimmy Young at 11.30 and Joe Henderson providing happy music in a sing-along style at 1.30pm. John Dunn livened up the afternoon further at 3.2pm including a new episode of Waggoner’s Walk NW at 4.15pm, then Tony Brandon filled what would later become known as the drive time slot at 5.2pm.

Evening Schedules For 14 February 1974

Peter Latham
Hosted Late Night Extra
Radio 1 and 2 joined schedules again at 7.0pm.

Barry Took presented the panel show Sounds Familiar at 7.2pm with guests Barry Cryer, Hubert Gregg, Jesse Lasky Jr and Beryl Reid.

At 7.30pm,  Simon Bates looked at the Folk 74 scene. featuring Scarlet and Lace, while Tony Capstick brought news from the Folk world in the aptly titled Folkweave at 8.2pm. Folk made way for dance music at 9.2pm from the Radio2 Ballroom with Sidney Davey and his Orchestra in Those Were The Days.

Peter Latham presented Late Night Extra at 10.2 with music from The Gordon Langford Sextet with Rosemary Squires neatly taking the listener up to Midnight Newsroom.

If you were still awake after that, Eugene Fraser and Julie Dawn read your letters in Night Ride until the News and Weather, then closedown at 2.2am

April Cantelo
presented a wedding
for Valentines Day
Highlights from Radio 3 on 14 February 1974

Radio 3 began at 7.0am on 464m with News and Weather followed by Overture at 7.5am which today featured Weber’s Ruler Of The spirits played by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. A New Series began at 9.45am of special interest to amateur choralists, The Part-Song Repertory.

Alceste an Opera in three acts with music by Gluck was featured at 2.45pm. While David Monrow on Pied Piper at 5.25pm featured reflections on St Valentines Day from Frank Sinatra, Samuel Pepys, Maurice Chevalier and John Donne.

Judi Dench and Michael Williams kept the love theme going in Tokens of Love at 8.45pm. Soprano April Cantelo presented an anthology of song on the subject of marriage in For Better or For Worse at 9.55pm – very romantic!

Highlights from Radio 4 on 14 February 1974

The Detectives began a
New series Radio 4 at 8pm
Radio 4 began the day at 6.20am with The News followed by Farming with David Addis at 6.22 and Prayer for the Day at 6.40 with Jean Richardson.

Robert Robinson and John Timpson presented the News programme Today at 6.45am

Irish actor JG Devlin read Morning Story at 10.45. Here Endeth The First Lesson was written by Frances McEnaney and on Medium Wave only. Later, Hugh Burden chose and told The Story of the Stalled Oz in Stories by Saki at 11.50am while Steve Race hosted a repeat of Tuesdays My Music at 12.27pm

Barbara Myers presented Woman’s Hour at 1.5pm which included a wry celebration of the St Valentines Day Massacre.

A new series entitled The Detectives looked at a classic case in the story of criminal investigation at 8.0pm, while Brian Matthew read part 4 of Harris in Wonderland in A Book at Bedtime at 10.45. 

Closedown occurred on Radio 4 at 11.54pm.

Those Radio Times! (BBC Television For 14 February 1974)

George Layton and Melvyn Hayes
Starred in It Ain't Half Hot Mum
St Valentine’s Day, 1974 found Britain still in the grip of a three day week when the country was forced to conserve its use of power.

BBC TV programming therefore finished at 10.30pm every night and these were the days when daytime viewing was sporadic at best!

Anyway let’s take a trip back to what the TV highlights were on Thursday February 14, 1974! 

Thursday Morning on BBC Television on 14 February 1974

BBC2 had an early start at 6.40pm with programmes for the Open University. However they closed down again at 7.30am!

BBC1 viewing commenced at 9.41am with programmes For Schools & Colleges. The BBC always produced great programmes for schools and colleges back in the 1970s although the only time you ever got to see them was if your teacher could be bothered top schedule in a TV programme for your class to watch (this was before the VCR!) or if you were at home ill and there was nothing else on the box. Shows today included Merry-Go-Round, Maths Workshop, Television Club, Going to Work (does anyone know who recorded the theme tune for that one?), People of Many Lands (narrated by Christopher Trace) and Twentieth Century Focus which looked at health hazards in smoking. Not that anyone cared, everyone smoked in the 70s.

Back on BBC2, Play School was broadcast at 11.0am then the channel closed down at 11.25am. Yes, BBC2 really took conserving energy seriously back in the 70s.

Afternoon Viewing on BBCTV For 14 February 1974

There was a further closedown of 15 minutes on BBC1 at 12:10pm, but broadcasting recommenced at 12:25pm with Welsh dialect series Ffordd o Siarad. The News followed at 12.55pm then Pebble Mill at One at 1.0pm looked at Consumers at Large. 

Jack Scott followed with The Weather at 1.30, then there were two programmes for younger viewers. At 1.45pm Teddy Edward, narrated by Richard Baker, then Ring-a-Ding presented by Derek Griffiths.

At 2.2pm the final programme of the day For Schools and Colleges was Scene: A Child of the Jago which featured actor and pop star David Essex returning to Canning Town where he grew up and considering the reasons why he left.

Thursday Matinee at 2.25pm was 1964’s black comedy A Jolly Bad Fellow starring Leo McKern, Janet Munro and Dennis Price. Radio Times film columnist, Philip Jenkinson, said of the film: “...It should have been pitched like Hitchcock’s The Trouble with Harry; instead it gets bogged down with too much arsenic and not enough grace or lace." The film featured music from John Barry and a guest role from Cliff Michelmore!

Over on BBC2, the channel started up for a trip to the Office at 3.0pm to look at Management Information. The channel then closed down again at 3.25pm

There was Regional News (except in Scotland, Wales, London/South-East) at 3.58pm, followed by more children’s programmes at 4.0pm which consisted of  a repeat of that days Play School presented by Julie Stevens and Lionel Morton. Boris the Bold followed at 4.25pm, then at 4.35pm, William Rushton told the story of Tim and Charlotte in Jackanory.

Blue Peter with John Noakes, Peter Purves and Lesley Judd was at 4.50pm followed by John Craven’s Newsround at 5.15pm. Wacky Races featured the Zippy Mississippi Race at 5.25, then Crystal Tipps and Alistair at 5.25pm.  Yes! Children had a great afternoon of viewing back in 1974!

Evening Programming on BBC Television For 14 February 1974

Open University recommenced on BBC2 at 5.25pm, while on BBC1 the National News with Richard Baker started at 5.45pm.  Nationwide with Michael Barrett, Frank Bough, Bob Wellings and Sue Lawley then followed at 6.0pm.

Raymond Baxter presented Tomorrows World at 7.0pm then the highlight of Thursday evenings at Top of The Pops commenced at 7.25pm. This week Noel Edmonds presented  Alvin Stardust, Lena Zavaroni, Stevie Wonder, Paper Lace, Pan’s People, The Hollies, The Wombles and Mud.

Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s classic wartime sitcom It Ain’t Half Hot Mum found the Concert Party stranded in a remote part of the North West frontier at 8.0pm in The Road To Bannu. This classic series featured Michael Bates as Rangi Ram, George Layton, Melvyn Hayes and Windsor Davies.

Over on BBC2 there was a repeat of last Saturday’s episode of The Pallisers, a series in 26 parts by Anthony Trollope and starring Susan Hampshire and Philip Latham.

Freddie Jones and Angharad
Rees Starred in Dennis Potter's
Joe's Ark
Back on BBC1, Cliff Michelmore and John Carter presented Holiday 74 at 8.30pm,  then Richard Baker returned with the Nine O Clock News at 9.0pm. 

BBC2’s Show Of The Week was The Vera Lynn Show. Vera Lynn’s guests were Franc Mosbaugh, Prelude, Francis Van Dyke, Roger Webb and The Young Generation.  Ah! Simpler times! 

Midweek with Ludovic Kennedy followed on BBC2 at 9.45pm

There was more to see on BBC1,as Play for Today at 9.25pm starred Freddie Jones, Angharad Rees and Dennis Waterman in Dennis Potter’s Joe’s Ark.

The Weatherman returned at 10.28pm with Closedown on BBC1 and BBC2 at 10.30pm.

Oh, and don’t forget to pull the TV Set plug out of the wall!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Cereal Crimes

Jon and Tom love their breakfasts. I sometimes think Jon could sit their all day eating cereal! Today he had a two bowls of Frosties and a third made up of Choco Hoops and Choc N Roll.

"Don't Take My Picture!"
Tom stuck to his favourite - Rachel's pancakes!

More Cereal fun over on Retrospace!

Retrospace Top Ten Sundays: Television Themes

Hawaii Five-O makes Number 9
I've always loved TV themes, probably more from when I was groeing up than nowadays. Today they don't write theme tunes for shows anymore - I mean can you hum the tune from Torchwood or Being Human? These theme tunes that make my hair stand on my back with excitement when I hear them!

There's probably at least thirty others I could include here - but ten's the restriction!

  1. Doctor Who (Original Version) - Ron Grainer / Delia Derbyshire / The Radiophonic Workshop
  2. Dad's Army (Who Do You Think You're Kidding Mr.Hitler?) - Bud Flanagan
  3. The Avengers - Laurie Johnson Orchestra
  4. Dr Finlays Casebook - Trevor Duncan
  5. Whickers World  - Laurie Johnson Orchestra
  6. Bring Me Sunshine - Morecambe And Wise
  7. Monty Python's Flying Circus (Liberty Bell)
  8. Where I Find My Heaven (Game On) - Gigolo Aunts
  9. Hawaii Five-O - The Ventures
  10. Light Flight (Take Three Girls) - Pentangle
I know I've missed loads - tell me your favourites!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Newport Scenes: Indoor Market

A scene from Newport Indoor Market 
Tom and Jon After a Trip To Their Favourite Sweet Stall

Visit The Saturday Superstore!

I love looking back over old newspapers and magazines and one thing I often find interesting is old adverts and the memories of products they evoke!

That's why, a few weeks back I opened up the Saturday Superstore on my Retrospace Blog, to once again give these old ads another outing.

Some are just hilarious, Rolf Harris promoting a stringless apron, Radio Rentals pushing Black and White TV's, but all representative of the respective era's they were created for!

Having designed adverts a few years back I appreciate how hard it must have been for some of these designers to put the adverts together without computers - and they still look a lot better than much of the rubbish produced today, and the same can probably be said for many of the products.

Check out my Retrospace Blog for all the Saturday Superstore posts. These are generally adverts from over the years with my general comments on the products and my recollections of the products!

Saturday Superstore: Kelloggs Ricicles

Ricicles Popper Doll Advert - TV Comic, 1972
There were lots of great cereals back in the 1970s and hardly any of them tasted of chocolate - unlike the breakfast cereal of today!

Ricicles always looked appealing to me as a five year old, whenever I visited the supermarket (Asda, just off Dovecot Street in Stockton On Tees) with my Mum. Mainly because they used to give away funny little toys (like The Popper Dolls) and had a picture of Florence and Dougal from the Magic Roundabout on the cereal pack box.

Nevertheless, Ricicles were deemed too expensive - so we didn't get them at our house!

Anyone still got a Popper Doll?

Friday, 11 February 2011

What I'm Listening To: Patrizio

Patrizio: LD Communications
I'll admit I'm not usually a fan of Baritone Italians but this self titled new release from Patrizio is pretty neat. The crooner features a couple of covers from Crazy to Fly Me To The Moon mixed in with some new tracks  including the single This Kiss Goodnight.

You can check out my Patrizio review here:

Check Out Some Of My Other Music Reviews:

Retrospace: Badge Friday: Doctor Who Badge - Tom Baker (1)

Retrospace: Badge Friday: Doctor Who Badge - Tom Baker (1): "Doctor Who Badge - 1980 This is one of several Doctor Who badges I own from the 1980s. "

Badge Friday: Doctor Who Badge - Tom Baker (1)

Doctor Who Badge - 1980
This is one of several Doctor Who badges I own from the 1980s.

I remember purchasing this one via mail-order from a company called Denis Allen Print between 1980 and 1981. Denis Allen Print specialised in distributing squillions of exclusive Doctor Who memorabilia and regularly advertised in Doctor Who Weekly.

Within a year, both Denis Allen Print closed down and Tom Baker had made way for Peter Davison, so all these nuggets outdated pretty quickly - or did they?

Time Is relative - and 30 years on Tom Baker is still my favourite Doctor, even though I love watching the current series starring Matt Smith with my kids!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Check Out My Wordless Wednesday Pictures on Retrospace

Every Wednesday I take part in Wordless Wednesday over on Retrospace.

This series features a collection of old pictures I picked up in a flea market down the Bank Yard in Richmond, North Yorkshire around 18 years ago.

Most of the pictures have no identification on them so apart from their timeless beauty there isnt a lot to say about them. Saying that, I have had a lot of comments about them - so maybe not so wordless after all!

Check out all my Wordless Wednesday Pictures here : Retrospace Wordless Wednesday - Vintage Pictures

Wordless Wednesday: Early 1900s (4)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

What I'm Listening To: Elysium III

Elysium III - LD Communications
The last few weeks have involved getting up a bit earlier on a morning (around 6:15am), mainly to try and get a bit more pro-active with writing blogs and articles in the first hour of the day. This enables me to be a bit more focused before the children get up around 7am. Some days are better than others, but it seems to be better than staying up till 2am and struggling to put sentences together!

Anyway, amongst the CD review pile I had recently a promo from a new classical rock girl band Elysium III. Their new album Rock Diva has covered a wide range of rock classics including Yes' Owner Of a Lonely Heart and John Farnham's You're The Voice.

I've quite enjoyed this and decided to blast the kids out of bed with it this morning however; after ten minutes I discovered it wasn't working.

"It's good music Dadi" said Seren, "It was so nice, I just wanted to go back to sleep!"

If you want to know more about this great new album you can read my review on Suite101: Elysium III Release Classical Rock Album - Rock Diva

Monday, 7 February 2011

Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular Touring The UK

The Rat Pack Vegas
Spectacular - Wayne Kennedy
On Saturday night I attended the Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular at Newport Riverfront. This is the fourth Rat Pack show that I've attended so you could say I'm getting to be a bit of a fan.

For me, I've come into the music of Sinatra, Martin and Davis a bit late. I probably spent many years considering them a bit old hat, but having heard several modern takes on their music I actually realised how great the originals really were.

My Rat Pack Reviews

Anyway, here's my review of one of the latest shows touring the UK, it went down a storm in Newport on Saturday evening!
You can find out more information about The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular Tour at

Also, you can check out a review from another Rat Pack Show I attended at Christmas:
If you've attended Rat Pack shows send me your links!

Swinging With The Rat Pack On Saturday Night!

The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular - Wayne Kennedy
On Saturday night I attended the Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular at Newport Riverfront. This is the fourth Rat Pack show that I've attended so you could say I'm getting to be a bit of a fan.

For me, I've come into the music of Sinatra, Martin and Davis a bit late. I probably spent many years considering them a bit old hat, but having heard several modern takes on their music I actually realised how great the originals really were.

My Rat Pack Reviews

Anyway, here's my review of one of the latest shows touring the UK, it went down a storm in Newport on Saturday evening!
You can find out more information about The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular Tour at

Also, you can check out a review from another Rat Pack Show I attended at Christmas:
If you've attended Rat Pack shows send me your links!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Retrospace: Retrospace Top Ten Sundays: Top Ten Retro Audiobooks

Okay here's something I've listened to a lot of recently -  Audiobooks!

Many of these vary from readings to plays and exist on a variety of labels, formats from Vinyl to CD over the years...

Check out links for reviews of some of these releases:
  1. Dad's Army - Sgt Wilson's Little Secret / Something Nasty in The Vault
  2. BBC Fifty Broadcasting Years (Presented By Rene Cutforth)
  3. Tony Hancock - The Blood Donor / The Radio Ham
  4. Monty Python's Flying Circus
  5. Doctor Who - Terror Of The Autons
  6. I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again
  7. More Junk From Steptoe and Son
  8. The Velveteen Rabbit (Read by John Le Mesurier)
  9. The Two Ronnies
  10. Morecambe and Wise


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