Indepth on Westward Television 

24 May 2004

Dave Jeffrey looks in-depth at the Westward galleon

Anglia Television had chosen an unusual, striking and incredibly original symbol. A silver horseman, carrying a jousting pole adorned with an “Anglia” pennant.

You have to remember that in Anglia’s first ident there was incredibly dramatic lighting, and much better direction than on the subsequent poorly made colour ident – in 1959 the Anglia horseman was noted for its revelation rather than its revolutions!

The model gave off all the right signals to a largely agricultural region – permanence, continuity, quality, trustworthiness and establishment.

Therefore, when Peter Cadbury was looking for a symbol for his new Westward Television company in 1959, it was to Anglia’s horseman that he looked for inspiration.

Westward ident in 3D

Peter Cadbury formally introduced Westward’s galleon to Westward’s viewers in person way back on their first day – 29 April 1961. He said that the ship, a model of the Drake’s flagship the Golden Hind, was chosen as it embodied the four counties of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

The model was next to him on a stand, as he spoke. What’s striking about watching the broadcast again today is that the model itself was actually quite small, and not nearly as impressive in scale as it appeared to be.

This is perhaps something it shares in common with Westward, which gave an incredible service to viewers in the southwest that utterly belied its size as an ITV company.

Unlike Anglia’s 4-foot high, 3-foot long silver horseman, the Westward ship could be placed on top of a television set (which is precisely where it is alleged to be today – the set in question being owned by Peter Cadbury).

However, with the second and third idents in particular the Golden Hind looked particularly majestic and impressive.

In all three Westward idents, it is notable that optical film effects, cel-animation techniques and live action film were employed; Westward’s idents were all much more elaborate than Anglia’s.

Unlike Anglia, Westward realised that a detailed and intricate metallic model was not suitable for all the uses to which a television logo could be put.

Westward ident in 2D

Therefore they simultaneously designed a stylised galleon for use on cameras, printed material, and so on. It is worth remembering that this galleon pre-dates Tony Hart’s Blue Peter ship design by nearly three years, despite the similarity.

In the first Westward ident, the galleon is shot end on, against a photographic background of waves in a circle in the centre of the screen.

This fades into the print-version of the Westward logo – usefully establishing both the print logo and the galleon in the viewers’ minds.

The “Channel 9” and “Channel 12” ripple on gently using a nice optical effect to suggest water, and a gentle, very-English, understated set of chimes plays unobtrusively in the background. The overall effect is calm.

Westward dropped the print logo from their second ident, and interestingly shot the galleon rotating into a side view in negative against an optically printed black background.

This background also helped to obscure the stand of the model. To accompany this, a nautical brass jingle from Ron Goodwin. Overall this is a much jauntier ident for the mid-sixites, possibly picking up on the prevailing Rediffusion, London and Ben Hur-print ABC zeitgeist.

The classic colour Westward ident

Westward’s final ident, introduced in May 1971, is the classic Westward ident. This ident makes wonderful use both the colour and the extra detail afforded by 625-line television.

The fine detail on the ship is clearly visible on this ident, the chemists have cheated and made the ship golden (it is in fact a silver model) and there is a lovely printed blue optical background.

The print-logo also makes a comeback, with a lovely orange background. All this was accompanied by a lovely arrangement of “Come Landlord Fill the Flowing Bowl” arranged by Paul Lewis.

What makes this symbol a classic?

Westward’s galleon is a classic for the same reason that ATV or Thames’s are classics – the ident succeeds in encapsulating the ethos of the company in ten seconds.

Stately, sedate, unmoveable, reliable, well-made quality, from the region in question. It was also unforgettable, once seen, and distinctive.

Despite being a small company, Westward had some of the best made ident packages on the network. Visually exciting to look at, whilst reflecting all that Westward stood for.

You Say

1 response to this article

Michael Doughty 1 June 2015 at 10:21 am

Dear Dave

I happened to see your website. I believe the galleon was made by George Love an old friend ( deceased)
Do you know where it is now?

Your comment

Enter it below

A member of the Transdiffusion Broadcasting System
Liverpool, Friday 23 February 2024