Monday 29 May 2017

TV Times 27th May 1967

A selection of articles and adverts for the week of 27th May 1967.

Miss Anglia Will Need Beauty Plus...

This article sets out to find some hints on 'How - To - Make - Yourself - Sparkle - Before - The - Judges' for Miss Anglia '67. I must say I am baffled by the whole beauty competition concept. Despite all the claims made in this article about personality and 'an inner beauty', it all feels rather hollow. If it is genuinely considered at all, the comment that personality is there 'to garnish your natural feminine appeal' makes it clear what really counts. Who wants a garnish?

Interestingly, the article does turn to four women and only one man to seek tips.

'But who would have sound advice to pass on to the girls? I decided to ask the people who devote a lot of their time to the world of love, marriage, beautiful women, handsome men - the writers of romantic fiction.'

Barbara Cartland, Sylvia Thorpe, Ivy Ferrari, Mary Burchell and Walter Boore are the authors consulted. They all provide variations on the personality trope.

First place gets £200, second takes £100 and both go through to the National Final of the Miss ITV competition. Third place receives £50. These are not insignificant sums in 1967 and would undoubtedly be a large part of the appeal for many of the young ladies.

Lessons that go on and on...

On Wednesday Siggy and the Changelings shows two new primary schools that have adopted an unstructured school day. Lessons are not rigid and flow among one another. The recently abandoned 11+ exam has opened up the possibilities for different teaching styles. The writer, Graeme Kay, went to visit both schools and encountered a couple of interesting aspects.

'When I rang Royce to make an appointment a 10-year-old answered the phone. A nine-year-old makes his daily rounds as the school weather man, checking temperatures and issuing weather bulletins.'

The article describes the schools as radical and being unfamiliar with a typical 1960s' primary school day, it is difficult for me to judge. Some of the ideas certainly ring bells with my own education many years later. A teacher describes an English, Maths and baking lesson all in one as, 'the children write and read out the recipe, hence the English lesson. Then when we take it from the oven, the cake is cut into fractions - halves, quarters, eighths, and so on. Thus we get a maths' lesson before the children demolish the cake.' There is also a photo of a girl measuring a boy with the caption telling us, 'Learning arithmetic this way gives children a personal interest.'

The children appear to flourish. John England, a headteacher and former president of the National Union of Teachers praises the schools, before going on to make a firm point. 'But let's get one thing straight. You can never take all the drudgery out of school work. At some point a child must get to grips with a subject or problem he doesn't like.' An official from the Manchester Education Authority pointed out that most schools don't have the resources of these two, which also both have far fewer pupils than most schools.

Wish You Were Here...

Anthony Morton, Sue Nicholls, Noele Gordon and Lew Luton pose on the shore.

Four of the Crossroads regulars pose in Djerba, Tunisia, whilst taking a break from filming there. I am absolutely baffled as to how Crossroads ended up filming in Tunisia and the cast must have thought all their Christmases had come at once. How does a soap opera centred around a hotel in the West Midlands end up in Tunisia? We want some beach scenes - where shall we go? I grant you the West Midlands region is not awash with coastline. If we wanted to go to the beach for the day when I was a kid, it was at least a four hour round trip. However, though they may be slightly less beautiful, there are nearer sandy parts than Djerba, Tunisia.

Swing Through Summer With Bulmers!

Send off the paper or foil seals and you can save money on a beach towel, a folding table, an insulated bag and sleeping bag. The sleeping bag has an 'attractive, gay cotton cover'. All you need to do is buy several, I presume, bottles of Woodpecker or Strongbow cider. I had never heard of Woodpecker. Wikipedia states sales to have declined by a third since 2001 and yet Sainsbury's claims it to be the third biggest draught cider in the UK. Oddly, I am inclined to believe the former.

The Harry Driver Story: Part One
Triumph Over Tragedy

A scriptwriter for George and the Dragon as well as Coronation Street, Harry Driver discusses how he got his success. After contracting polio, Harry was paralysed from the neck down but eventually persisted to become a writer. Harry was 25 when he contracted polio, something that surprised me because I had only ever heard about polio being contracted by children. Harry's descriptions of his suffering really convey what a terrible disease it is. 'All this rubbish about having thoughts and feeling sorry for yourself. In fact, you're just interested in breathing for the next ten minutes, nothing else!' He spent over a year lying in an iron lung, where the nurses fixed up a mirror so he could see who he was talking to and was able to watch television. Harry seems to have picked writing as one of the few jobs he could do despite being paralysed. He was very concerned about being able to provide for his young family. Overall, the picture painted is a devastating one. Harry may have made a success of himself, but there would be many who didn't. It is odd to think of such a debilitating disease still being so prevalent up until the 1950s.

Speaking out

(Mrs) M. Edgar of Harrogate, Yorks. is appalled at the use of Americanisms in The Avengers as she heard 'petrol being referred to as gas, and flat as apartment'. TV Times takes a sarcy tone, saying she wins the prize letter for that week. Her prize? '5 dollars and 88 cents.'

Mrs Jacki Boardman goes all the way with Frigidaire!

Ooh-er etc. The young lady looks ecstatic to be surrounded by drawings of modern white goods. Apparently there was the money for a photograph of her but alas, not of any of the products.

Over 250,000 Women enjoy wearing this wonderful Girdle every day

For only 16 shillings a month for five months, you could enjoy this 'light as thistledown but immensely strong' Girdle. For who-only-knows-what-reason, they need to know your occupation or 'Husband's if married'. Quite why you would need to know someone's husband's occupation before sending them a Girdle is beyond me.

Leaving School?

School leavers are invited to send for a book on the Royal Navy. The top line is appropriate for the time of year but virtually every issue of TV Times seems to have at least one advert for the armed forces. This one has three. National Service had only ended a few years before and though the armed forces were being reduced in size, there was still a need to woo young recruits in. Good prospects, decent pay, the opportunity to travel and learn a trade all usually feature in these adverts.

Why doesn't someone bring out a refrigerator as carefully made as my Singer sewing machine?

'Someone has!' Although the name is usually associated with the sewing machine, it appears Singer branched off into other products. Fridges seem a rather bold move but 'You can trust SINGER'.

The trousers that look after themselves

Two women admire a pair of men's trousers because they won't have to iron them.

Thursday 18 May 2017

TV Times 20th May 1967

A selection of articles and adverts from TV Times for the week beginning 20th May 1967.

Lanning at Large - Up With The Cup!

It's FA Cup Final week and ITV are covering it - Tottenham Hotspurs and Chelsea. The BBC will be broadcasting the match too. Not many club matches were broadcast on television at all as there were still concerns about match attendance numbers. But the FA Cup Final provides the choice of both BBC and ITV's coverage! Dave Lanning's Lanning at Large segment is a regular feature of TV Times and this week he has been to visit the FA Cup trophy.

The location of the cup is top secret so he starts to feel as though he has stepped into a clandestine world. The World Cup was stolen in Britain the previous year so 'big-time soccer is understandably jumpy about its silverware'. Lanning writes, 'no official is permitted to be photographed with the Cup' but fortunately he is not an official and a cheery photo accompanies the article.

Nonetheless, he describes the cup in detail. 'The end of the rainbow is 19in. high, 10in. wide, and weighs 175oz'. For those of you who only do metric, that is 48.26cm high, 25.4cm wide, and just under 5kg. As the cup weighs 11 pounds, Lanning reckons that must be why the players all pass it around so much in the victory lap - 'it gets to be quite a weight for one man to carry for a whole lap, particularly after 90 minutes of flat out football'.  One oddity of the article, and indeed for others of this period, is the interchanging use of 'football' and 'soccer', as we now usually regard the latter as an American word.

Among the facts we learn is the Cup is the third trophy for the FA Cup. The first was stolen in 1895 and the second withdrawn in 1910 after it was found to have been duplicated. Lanning is shocked at the low value of the cup - it is insured for £300, around £5000 today. For scrap silver, it would fetch about £75 (£1250 today). No small sum but perhaps not enough for a cup 'kings, queens, legendary soccer skippers have held'. This trophy would be retired in 1991, after becoming too fragile.

We also learn that 'in 1955 Newcastle's jubilant players, about to swig the celebratory champers, found a set of false teeth in the bottom' and 'in 1964 West Ham startled soccer by drinking milk from the Cup'.

I won't spoil the score because you can watch six minutes of highlights below, courtesy of British Pathé. A 'faces in the crowd' section at half time makes it well worth it. Also look out for Tottenham captain, Dave Mackay, kissing goalkeeper, Pat Jennings.


Granada is launching a new programme showcasing talent from the North. It will be a 'nightly three-minute showcase for newcomers'.

First up on Monday is 13-year-old Kathy Jones. The commentator helpfully tells us 'I hate this song' though admits her version 'makes it sound most attractive'. Kathy Jones would later play Tricia Hopkins in Coronation Street from 1973-6 and present A Handful of Songs in 1973.

Two Yorkshire lads, Lenny Westley and Danny Clarke, form Foggy Dew-o. They would release two albums the following year but Lenny then went into hospital with a rare lung disease. Some time after his recovery they started up again and lasted several more years before disbanding in 1973. Fun fact: Danny's real name was Granville.

Jazz-blues seven-piece, (The) John Evan Band, are set to be the most successful as they are the forerunners to Jethro Tull. Ian Anderson gets a credit as 'the composer and bearded vocalist'.

I was unable to find out any information about either Bill Brennan or The Cumbrian Folk so one presumes they found little long-term success from their 15 minutes of fame. This is a shame as I would have liked to have found out more about Bill, 'a contact lens consultant'.


Cliff Richard gets a full page colour photo to tell us his series, Cliff!, is back on Wednesday. We are told little about it with TV Times seeing fit only to give us the most vital information: 'there will be 14 girls - three singers and 11 dancers'.

Armchair Theatre: The Snares of Death

This play starring Richard O'Calloghan and Alfred Burke is described as a black comedy. Set in 1919, it depicts an undertaker in a small town. There are only so many people in a small town and apparently not enough of them are dying so the undertaker (Burke) 'plots a way out of his troubles with a forged death certificate'. Intriguingly, 'the plan takes a macabre twist when Rupert (Callaghan) decides to elaborate on the scheme'.

The other Richard O'Calloghan play alluded to in this preview is The Division, which goes out on Thursday. The Armchair Theatre previews in TV Times are often excellent like this. An increasingly frustrating problem presented here is finding out the episodes exist but are not released on DVD. However, we can present a colour photo of Alfred Burke printed in TV Times. This would often be the only way of seeing stars in colour. When I was watching Public Eye and first reached the colour episodes I was shocked to discover Alfred Burke had blonde hair as I had always presumed it to be dark! There are also a couple of colour photos from the set of 'The Snares of Death'.

Susan Maughan - Ideal Traveller

A singer, Susan Maughan enjoyed success throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. Her column in TV Times usually specifically addresses women and contains fashion, make-up and housekeeping advice. What else could a lady want... Here, she informs us 'a housecoat is a must'.

Do It Yourself - Tampax Tampons

The crux of this advert seems to be that if you can put up a bookcase then you can insert a tampon. What baffles me is it seems to imply someone else was doing both of these things before.

Russian Cameras and Radios

I love that the advert includes a map to show readers where Russia is but fail to label the UK on the map. 'from RUSSIA - the nation that photographed the MOON!' 'DON'T BE CONFUSED BY IMITATIONS! MAKE NO MISTAKE - OURS IS RUSSIAN!' I have some doubts about the Soviet Union's technological prowess in consumer goods. An item described as 'AN IRON CURTAIN MIRACLE!' and 'NOT JUST A RADIO BUT TECHNOLOGICAL MAGIC!' just doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence in me.

These are part of a full page advert from a mail order company, Headquarter & General Supplies, which is quite possibly the blandest name for a company ever invented. In fact, it sounds like a cover name along the lines of James Bond's Universal Exports. Whilst looking them up I ended up on a couple of dodgy websites so I am still not convinced of their legitimacy. However, they did exist and eventually had a number of physical stores before going bust in the 1970s.


This is far from the sexiest of ads for Levi's but is probably the most badly illustrated.