Tonight’s Thames, Southern, Anglia, Westward and Harlech… in 1969 

28 April 2016

A strike-bound TVTimes gives us a run down of Thames, Southern, Anglia, Westward and Harlech programmes for Monday 28 April 1969. Things worth noting include:

  • The fact that the TVTimes is on strike. The result is a black and white pamphlet with no feature pages across two editions, north and south – the one remaining printing plant only being able to approximate the full print run if the printing process is sped up by removing the features, the regionality and the colour.
  • We’re not told what Anglia is doing differently with its schools programming, but it is coming on 2 minutes early for both sessions. Anglia, Westward and Harlech are also slipping in an extra programmes into the afternoon session.
  • It’s hard to know where to start with the afternoon programmes, which are entirely set by the companies with no networking. This leads to drift in the start-up time – Harlech General comes on at 3.53pm compared to Thames hanging about until 4.15pm.
  • Who is the audience for these later afternoon programmes? For Thames, mums and toddlers. For Anglia, the same but in a different order. For Southern, much more mums than toddlers. For Westward, toddlers. And for Harlech… toddlers and teachers, oddly.
  • Our first programme to be networked is Southern’s How at 5.20pm. Space decides how much description it gets.
  • Thames, Anglia and Southern extend their local magazine programmes, usually to cover the weekend’s sporting action. Westward leaves it at 20 minutes but sticks in a separate visit to the Sports Desk and a 15-minute local feature with Graham Danton. Harlech General, not covering a nation known particularly for its love of sport or anything, sticks with the 15-minute Report, while Harlech Wales gets a standard 20-minute Y Dydd.
  • ITV networks from Opportunity Knocks! at 6.45pm through to the end of ITN’s News at Ten, then splits again.
  • Thames heads off with the creaking 1953 film noir Vicki. Anglia has a long sports programme, a documentary rather than any form of results service.
  • Southern and Westward both take Granada’s University Challenge. Harlech General wheels out Patrick McGoohan in Danger Man, while Harlech Wales substitutes a different ITC potboiler, The Baron.
  • The need to stick within the limited hours allowed by the Post Office means that adult education or religion rounds off the day for all the companies. Neither counts towards hours on air, so allows for extra advertising income but also ensures that any extras (or shortfalls) are covered.
  • Thames goes with religion and is off at 12.10am. Anglia follows Peyton Place with the standard epilogue, open ended but lasting around 5 minutes on average to take them off at 12.10am as well.
  • Southern hangs out their part with 10 minutes of local news, 30 minutes of farming (rpt), the weather and a programme of Easter vox pops that probably sees them off by about 11.55pm.
  • Westward shows an episode of Whicker, which does count towards the hours on air, thus knocking them off at just after 11.30pm.
  • Adult education is the route Harlech decides to take, with a series about archaeology that, for once, probably does indeed count as actual adult education. Both of Harlech’s networks are off air around midnight.

You Say

6 responses to this article

Paul Mason 28 April 2016 at 10:05 pm

When I was at college in 1976 doing commerce studies a trip was arranged to the now long demolished Eric Bemrose printing works in Aintree nr Liverpool. It was DEAFENING printing the thousands of TV Times for the whole country.
Our guide apologised that due to publishing laws we could not have a sample butwhen I was not far from Aintree the following year I discovered a glossy paper trail. A bundle of TV Times for the Southern TV region had spilled out along the road. I managed to cobble together a TV Times for three weeks later from the scatterlings but bearing in mind the magazine would have variations different from Granadaland..
TV and TV Times were often strikebound. I recall ITV was on strike and wiped out the channel’s 1970 World Cup coverage, but thats another story!

As for the Harlech region not being interested in sport what about RUGBY?

Russ J Graham 28 April 2016 at 10:07 pm

Yes, that would be the joke.

Arthur Nibble 29 April 2016 at 4:25 pm

I wonder what Thames…er, London were doing in those extra four minutes after the 5.50 news and before “Today”?

An early sighting of Tony Gubba on Southern’s “Day By Day”.

Arthur Nibble 29 April 2016 at 4:37 pm

So that’s where the Go-Jos went after “Top Of The Pops”.

Nigel Humphreys looks unerring like a young Spock in that “Coronation Street” photo.

Geoff Nash 3 May 2016 at 3:46 pm

Thames continued the Rediffusion tradition of providing a weather forecast immediately after the ITN Evening News, although it was read by that evening’s continuity announcer and illustrated with graphics for which four minutes would seem a bit of a stretch, unlike Rediffusion’s forecast prepared and presented by Laurie West which was a programme in itself and would have lasted the duration.

Interesting to see the regional drift in those days, although it seemed to me that networking throughout the main evening schedules up to News At Ten started to happen in earnest after the 1968 franchise changes.

Alan Keeling 19 May 2016 at 9:00 pm

At 4.55 on Southern TV there is “The New Adventures of Superman”, produced in 1966 by Filmation inc. Sandwiched in between two 6 minute “Superman” cartoon stories, there is a “Superboy” adventure, with help from “Krypton” his wonder dog.

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