Writing about toys from the 1960’s made me remember the TV from then and the following decades.
I realised that young people would not have a clue about old fashioned tv, how expensive TV sets were, how rare they were, how big they were….
I remember us getting a tv, but I could not remember how old I was, probably 5 or 6. I remember one Christmas watching a black and white puppet show about Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, there was also something called “watch with mother”, with programmes like “Andy Pandy”. I was a member of the “Tinga and Tucka club” I think. That was about two Australian koalas. In fact we seemed to watch tv for all round the world, “Belle and Sebastian”? ” Skippy the bush kangaroo”, “Flipper”, “Daktari”…..
What I remember is the TV was in a wooden cabinet. There was only one channel at first. The BBC. Half the time there were no programmes and you could watch a test card covered in lines and patterns, the best thing about that was they played interesting music…..then when the TV went off at night it closed down with a white dot on a black screen.
When we got the TV from the TV shop next door I remember half the street coming in to watch it with us. I think there was a special occasion that people wanted to watch. Other exciting programmes were test cricket, wrestling (on a saturday) which my dad enjoyed, and crime programmes like “z cars” and “Dixon of dock green”. I remember the first episodes of “Dr Who”, and hiding behind the settee when the Daleks came on.
Some more favourites were “Thunderbirds”, ” Captain Scarlet” and “Robin Hood” plus programmes like “Ask the family”.
By then I think there were two channels, BBC2 had come along. Later ATV (a local station from ITV) arrived, and we got to enjoy soap operas like “Coronation street” and “Crossroads” if you want to see how they were like try looking up Victoria Wood’s brilliant “Acorn antiques” spoof sketches.
All this without a remote, video player or DVD in sight!
It was only in the 1980’s we got Channel 4…..now we are awash with channels, but they don’t have as many memorable programmes. I know the old shows like “The Champions” “Randall and Hopkirk” and “Department S” maybe are cheesy, and are very sexist, but that was what was on.
The never-ending shows now on digital and streaming, satellite and terrestrial are overwhelming. In the old days when TV was black and white, there seemed to be enough. You went out to play and didn’t always spend hours infront of a screen; in fact if you watched too much people said you had square eyes!
This is all without remembering the TV repair man that had to come when it broke down. Usually he would have to change a “valve”, please don’t ask me what they are!