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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: Wales David Challinor's Avatar
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    Does anyone remember the films BBC 2 used to put on during the morning in the late 1960 to test colour (I assume)?

    I recall footage of wacky exhibits at German trade shows, oil company films from around the globe etc etc all in glorious b/w - while my mum hoovered round me [I was aged 3 or 4], and my cowboys and indians!

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    wasn't there one about a car restoration and some animal/bird giving birth in the engine bay?

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    I do indeed remember the trade test transmissions. They must have been broadcast around the time of the launch of colour TV, as I remember one which was presumably aimed at the armies of TV repair men who were employed by Radio Rentals, DER* etc, and featured Michael Aspel narrating a series of tips on how to correctly adjust a colour TV. I remember he particularly emphasied the importance of degaussing, which, if not carried out correctly, could apparently cause Fanny Craddock to turn brown. There was an animated sequence showing the dire chromatic consequences of an incorrectly adjusted TV receiver, rendering a London bus green as it passed into shadow.



    My memory may be playing tricks, but I seem to remember watching trade test transmissions while at home during the school lunch break, usually from behind a stack of cheese and pickle sandwiches which my mum made for me.



    Other films I recall include one featuring a young man who was feverishly renovating a vintage car so that he could take out a young girl and a hairy Dulux dog. Not sure whether he had designs on the girl or the dog.



    Another featured 'Evoluon', a technology fair which happened in Belgium or somewhere, and featured the top technology of 1969. The only part of that one I remember was a German frog saying something like "Ich bin der kicker.." and paying tribute to Galvani, which was quite charitable when you consider Galvani had chopped the frog's legs off. Unfortunately, this film confused a number of TV repair men who went around attaching frog's legs to people's televisions.



    There was a film called "something something Trieste" (Train to Trieste? Sleeping car to Trieste?) which I think had something to do with Trieste (wherever that is).



    The last one I remember was a cookery film made by the Gas Board and featured a bloke in a suit who said something like "To eat food is essential to life, to enjoy food is one of the great pleasures of life", and that proves true to this day.







    *Domestic Electrical Rentals

  4. #4
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    I am sure there are a few of you out there who remember the trade test films sown on BBC2, in between the test card.



    The films I remember are one about Expo 67, Runaway To Sea and Cattle men with a title song sung by Frank Ifield.

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    Senior Member Country: England
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    As kids we would always rush in to watch them because suddenly there was afternoon television

  6. #6
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    Haven't we had this quite recently?



    Anyway. I was a young TV repair apprentice in the late 60's/early 70's and I watched every one of these wonderful films many times! My faves were 'Crown of Glass' about the new Liverpool Cathedral, A Journey to the Weald of Kent (with narration by the incomparable Sir John Betjamen), Evoluon, SIDE (elecrical safety), It's the tube that makes the Colour and others I can't quite put a title to. They all ran to about 20 minutes and alternated with Test Card 'F'.

    I think they stopped showing them in about 1972, but I may be wrong.



    Those were great days. Colour was new and a lot of the older engineers decided they couldn't handle the complication, and we young whippersnappers took up the baton.

    Now it's us lot who ramble on about subcarriers and burst-gates, and we wonder how on Earth these new-fangled digital oojahs and LCDs work....

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Challinor
    Does anyone remember the films BBC 2 used to put on during the morning in the late 1960 to test colour (I assume)?

    I recall footage of wacky exhibits at German trade shows, oil company films from around the globe etc etc all in glorious b/w - while my mum hoovered round me [I was aged 3 or 4], and my cowboys and indians!


    There was even one about colour tv, including explaining about degaussing the screen with a coil and how no two people never see white as white so some tv's on display in the shop were set to slightly more blue or green.



    The Trout Farm was not so exciting and I've never had to put S.I.D.E. into practice yet.



    S = Switch off

    I = Isolate

    D = Dump

    E = Earth



    Okay, that's probably because my life has not been spent around heavy electrical generation equipment and people falling into it.



    I was lucky enough to buy a cheap Look at Life "British Cold War Jets" DVD at a car boot sale and the short I remember seeing on tv for a while is on that DVD. Entitled "Jumping Jets" the short was about the Kestrel (pre-Harrier) aircraft being used in an exercise in woodland, landing it in a clearing, hiding it then it taking off vertically again.



    A later one I remember seeing on tv a lot was a bit boring though and was of Army helicopters jinking low over woodland.

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    Colour tests were first transmitted in the early 60s on BBC1 in the afternoons. They were usually shorts made by commercial companies. The feature film She Wore a Yellow Ribbon was also often showed.

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  10. #10
    Member Country: England Colpepper's Avatar
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    Excellent link - although I had it many moons ago but forgot about it. I remember quite a few of those - some got repeated time and time again - especially GIUSEPPINA and the Kariba dam one. Now if only we had something along the lines of the BTF re-issue program....unlikely I suppose.

  11. #11
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    Hi There,



    I wonder if anyone remembers the trade test transmission films that used to be shown in the late 60's early 70' in the early days of BBC2.



    They used to show short films on range of subjects including a Harrier flying over trees and A car being built from parts from a dump. I was hoping that maybe some are loaded on utube but they were sometimes half an hour long so thay may have problems loading them. I would love to see some of them again.



    Any info or chat would be much appreciated.



    Best regards



    Shaun

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: England
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    I found Evoluon on YouTube last year. I can barely remember watching it in

    my pre-school days.



    I also remember a few films that used to appear regularly and found the French film The Red Balloon a few weeks ago.

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    I remember watching these films nearly every lunchtime and several other times during school holidays! Sad person I am! What's worse is, as I watched them so many times, I can still remember loads of bits of the dialogue.....



    Algerian Pipeline - "....and soon the farmer will erase the graders traces...."

    Bulong & Bola - ".....they may be slow using oars, but at least they keep moving..."

    Cattle Carters - "...you know, hash-magandy...put in the lot...!"

    Clean Air - "....sulphur; no more harmful than normal exhaust emissions but a bigger nuisance...."

    It's The Tube That Makes The Colour - "....from now on, this shadow mask and this tube will be permanently paired...."

    The Dairy Industry - "...the image of the farmer with a few cattle and pigs has gone forever...."

    Evoluon - "....I am a frog; but for me, Galvarni would be nowhere...." (Although that could have been Expo 70)

    Giuseppina - ".....everyone's important, Giuseppina, everyone..."

    Pan-Tele-Tron "...but what if B is too far away to hear A's words..."

    Prospect For Plastics - "...with faster cooling, the crystals become small and irregular - perfect for packaging...."

    I could go on and on.....

    Some of the music was really good, too - I have old reel-to-reel tapes of the tracks recorded straight from the television speaker!

    It's difficult to pick favourites, but a few would be Light, Multiplicity, Shadow of Progress, Cattle Carters, Prospect for Plastics. I reckon Light and Multiplicity were best for music.

    I promise this is the end of this little missive - great what you can achieve at work when the bosses are away.....

  14. #14
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    There was a strange one shown a few times in the 1960's. It was more like a public information film and was something to do with shutting down and make safe, electricity supply stations before working on them. Why they showed it is beyond me. I didn't imagine it. They kept repeating a 4 letter name.



    (The strongest tablets I took in those days were Parma Violets)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Pendrey
    There was a strange one shown a few times in the 1960's. It was more like a public information film and was something to do with shutting down and make safe, electricity supply stations before working on them. Why they showed it is beyond me. I didn't imagine it. They kept repeating a 4 letter name.



    (The strongest tablets I took in those days were Parma Violets)
    Yes, is was a safety film by The U.K.A.E.A (United Kindom Atomic Energy Authority) - the word or acronym you are looking for is S.I.D.E., which stands for Switch Off, Isolate, Dump, Earth. (The first is obvious, Isolate the circuit so it cannot be energised again, Dump any residual charge left in the circuit and Earth the circuit by using an earthing stick). If you have a look on YouTube and search on things like short circuit or high voltage, you'll see some great clips of how things can go wrong if you don't follow the rules...!

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    I'm not sure if it falls into this category, but I remember seeing a short film on TV as a kid that showed engineers climbing up huge radio masts, and using crossbows for something - the narration was along the lines of "a new use found for these ancient weapons". It was on quite regularly, usually before programmes started, I think.



    I can't find any mention of it online though - does anyone else remember this?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: England Owlett's Avatar
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    On the matter of the music. From the mid 60's till about '67 or '68 I do recall a rather evocative theme, or rather, more like a suite of music in the light classical style which at the start of transmissions (about mid Morning) used to accompany a still with some info about transmitters for the Southern region.



    As I say, the music was quite moving and began with a stirring theme which evoked plangent waves and the majesty of the sea with french horns a-plenty and swelling strings. This ceded into a sort of jokey polka with clarinets and bassoons to the fore. As a finale, the wave-battered 'coastal' theme was reprised. Any info on this would be most welcome.

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    Hi, Owlett!



    Try this link:



    http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/~jami...hern-down.html You'll need the usual 3 w in front of it.



    There's an mp3 you can listen to. I don't know if it's the right music as my computer here at work doesn't have sound! ;o)



    Good luck!

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    Having been directed here by someone who has a huge collection of these, I found (well the search facility did) that there appears to be no thread on these TV classics, from about 1967-72, to demonstrate the new facility of colour on BBC.



    My favourite, which just arrived after an appeal months earlier, was Prospect for Plastics, which along with a few more have just seen for the first time since back then, and am gradually picking them up as I go along. There are a few complete lists online but found unlike most programmes I could happily watch these over and over again. And the music, which was called 'Walk and Talk' by Syd Dale, also on Youtube under trade tests, was one of my favourites in the couple of minutes leadup to the start. He also wrote the memorable 'Marching there and back', the theme (and arguably the best part) of Screen Test.



    And who could forget the TV equivalent of the shipping forecast before each day's transmissions, the BBC transmitter information. The places which I never heard elsewhere before or since, were always fascinating, Menwith Hill, Tacolneston, Durris, Emley Moor, Winter Hill and all the others. I've often found the programmes not intended for the public like engineering information and intervals were at least as interesting as most of the programmes and miss not having it now.

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    Hello everyone



    I have acculumated a collection of over 130 of these trade test colour film gems.



    Although I had a few already on an old tape format from the late 1970s when the BBC re-broadcast some of them in a series of Indistrial Films, I really got my teeth into a marathon mission of my own to scour the world's archives and film production companies in 1988. The idea was to obtain as many of these titles as possible way beyond those few that were still available from Shell and BP. Whilst both had a few titles still active in their lending library, most of the trade film titles had been withdrawn.



    However, they were happy to help, and encouraged by these early successes I began trawling. In those day of course there was only letter, fax and telephone. No email, no internet. International phone calls were very expensive and so was the cost of obtaining many of the films, notably those from New Zealand and Canada.



    They told me I was the first person to ask for these films which were simply gathering dust so they had to be specially telecined. No transfers to tape were extant.



    Of course, that has now changed and I think it is now relatively easy to obtain many of theses titles direct at reasonable cost.



    I believe Shell, BP, National Film Board of Canada, and Archives NZ (current custodians of es NFU titles) still make their titles available for sale.



    I would be happy to share my research resources to anyone who has any questions. I can't promist to be able to answer them all but am happy to try.

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