24 May 2004

ALBUM Border

Border Television
Borders and Cumbria: 1961-2002 (Lost identity)


Solid and reliable

It’s difficult to talk about Border to television enthusiasts. In a close-knit community of people sharing this unusual hobby, it is always interesting to see how people view Border.

Some see this station as a small, backward, money-poor minor as an anachronism, or as an ITV company that unaccountably didn’t go to the wall during one of the previous advertising recessions, or even as an embarrassment – a student cable station on the network. Border’s authority announcement, all eight pages, revealed a powerful insecurity about its place in the world.

And then there are those who hold the polar opposite to be true. These people think Border to have been a plucky minnow in a very big pond, a community station with genuine local roots and most importantly, real local affection from its viewers.

They see a company that until recently remained independent not through might or argument but by simply being too small to be noticed whilst geographically sandwiched between players 1 and 4 on the ITV grid. This company’s authority announcement, indeed a weighty tome that practically went down to street level, betrayed a station that was secure in its own area.

For those of us who wish not to be caught up in this heartfelt, passionate, but good-natured debate, we leave the arguing to others, and simply sit and wonder to ourselves.

On Screen

Border in black and white

Showing the region in an abstract way (the Y is the border whilst the D is the transmitter area), Border’s symbol was always unusual – not least for appearing in monochrome post-colour due to limited finances.

No much changes at the coming of colour to the region, although the arrangement of words gets nicer.

Border in colour

By the 1990s, three-dimensional technology has come to Carlisle and Border has embraced it.

Here are the last identities of Border. Two things to note: firstly, the Granada-style ITV1 identity has was taken on fully (no surprise really, given Border’s ownership) and secondly, the Border symbol.

This appeared to be the policy of the company, meaning that Border was left with just its name as a symbol. The typeface used in the “Hearts” era is from the ITV 1989 corporate look. By the time of ITV’s consolidation, even the name is reduced to a subsidiary role. And then, with every other ITV name, Border was gone.

Listen to a Border authority announcement by Allan Cartner

This must be the most all-encompassing authority announcement in the history of the network.

Forget Anglia and Westward listing channel numbers and transmitters – Border’s territorial ambitions are clearly spelt out, almost to street level.

Cumbria, south Scotland, the Isle of Man and north and west Northumberland all get a mention. You half expect the announcer to continue, dropping in things like 42 Acacia Avenue, Carlisle, the village of Bromfield, two men in a paddock with a portable television and so on.

Was the name ‘Border’ not comprehensive enough for them?

The Border discovered

Border TVTimes 25 April 1968

TVTimes (Border) 25 April 1968

ITA information on the region from 1966

ITA information on the region from 1971

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