Schedules

Summer 1961

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Chez les Dupré
(Associated-Rediffusion, Tuesdays & Thursdays 3:08pm)
French from France
(ATV, Mondays & Tuesdays 11:35am)
Ici La France
(ATV, Tuesdays 10:00am / Granada, Wednesdays 11:40am, plus repeats)
For Sixth Forms
(BBC Television, Mondays 11:30am & Wednesdays 10:05am)
General Science
(Home Service, Tuesdays 11:20am)
Stories from British History
(Home Service, Thursdays 2:20pm)
Early Stages in Welsh
(Welsh Home Service, Wednesdays 11:00am)
Today & Yesterday in Northern Ireland
(NI Home Service, Wednesdays 1:45pm)
Associated-Rediffusion timetable, summer 1961
BBC timetable (part 1), 1960-61

BBC Radio

Schools programmes on BBC radio.

Home Service (England)

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY
09:00
9:05 Service for Schools
09:15
09:30
9:35 Service for Schools (rpt)
09:45
9:55 Stories from World HistoryJapan 9:55 Music and Movement I(Rachel Percival) (rpt) 9:55 Music and Movement II(Marjorie Eele) (rpt)
10:00 10:00 Early Stages in French
10:15
11:00 11:00 Singing Together(William Appleby) 11:00 Music and Movement I(Rachel Percival) 11:00 Music and Movement II(Marjorie Eele) 11:00 Rhythm and Melody(Gladys Whitred) 11:00 Time and Tune(Kay Foster)
11:15
11:20 Junior ScienceScience in Nature / Science is Everywhere 11:20 General ScienceGrowing Up / Animal Behaviour 11:20 Current Affairs 11:20 GeographyThe Middle East and North Africa 11:20 How Things Began
11:30
11:40 Intermediate French 11:40 The Christian Religion and Its PhilosophyThe New English Bible / The Gospel of Thomas / The uses of myth 11:40 French for Sixth Forms 11:40 Intermediate German 11:40 Talks for Sixth FormsLight Opera in England / Current Affairs
11:45
12:00
13:30
13:40 People, Places and ThingsLife in Africa / Isambard Kingdom Brunel, etc
13:45
14:00 14:00 The Music Box(Gordon Reynolds) 14:00 Stories and Rhymes 14:00 Let's Join In 14:00 Adventures in EnglishRed Sun and Blue Moon / Kashtanka, etc 14:00 Travel Talks
14:10 Orchestral ConcertsFrom Ballad Opera to the Musical
14:15
14:20 Poets and Poetry 14:20 Adventures in MusicDescriptive Music 14:20 Science and the CommunityScience and Food 14:20 The Bible and Life Christian Worship / The Parables in Modern Dress
14:30 14:30 The Jacksons
14:40 Modern HistoryThe Second World War & Its Aftermath in Asia & Africa / Historic Results of Scientific Progress 14:40 Stories from British History 14:40 Senior English ILorna Doone / Two Old Men, etc
14:45 14:45 Nature StudyMr Collins and Tony, etc
14:50 Prose and Verse Readings
15:00

Northern Ireland Home Service

MONDAY

as England.

TUESDAY

as England.

WEDNESDAY

as England except:

13:45-14:00 Today and Yesterday in Northern Ireland

THURSDAY

as England.

FRIDAY

as England.

Scottish Home Service

MONDAY

as England except:

11:20-11:35 Round and About: The White Company, etc

14:30-14:50 Scottish Heritage

TUESDAY

as England except:

9:30-9:55 Service for Scottish Schools

11:20-11:40 Stories from Scottish History: The Jacobites, etc

WEDNESDAY

as England except:

11:40-12:00 For the Fifth and Sixth

13:40-14:00 Exploring Scotland: Holiday Journey / On the Road

THURSDAY

as England.

FRIDAY

as England except:

9:05-9:25 Service for Scottish Schools

9:55-10:15 Physical Training: For Use in Classrooms (Sheila Cater)

11:40-12:00 This is My Country: Linen and Jute / To The North / Stories of the War

Welsh Home Service

DYDD LLUN

as England except:

13:40-14:00 Hanes Cymru (The History of Wales)

DYDD MAWRTH

as England except:

9:55-10:15 Rhigwm a Chân (Rhyme and Song)

11:00-11:20 The Story of Wales: Wales in the Early 19th Century

DYDD MERCHER

as England except:

9:15-9:35 Gwasanaeth Crefyddol (Service for Schools)

11:00-11:20 Early Stages in Welsh

14:40-15:00 Materion y Dydd (Current Affairs)

DYDD IAU

as England except:

11:40-12:00 Second Stages in Welsh

13:40-14:00 Stori a Chwedl (Story and Tale)

DYDD GWENER

as England.

Notes & New Programmes

Most programmes ran from Monday 24th April to Friday 3rd July 1961, but the English Service for Schools began on Friday 21st April and continued until Tuesday 11th July. Most programmes took a break in the week beginning 22nd May for the Whit week school holidays, but Talks for Sixth Forms continued that week, as did all of the original series from Scotland and Northern Ireland, where the holiday week was not observed.

"April 1961 - Elvis was at number one, lamenting his absence of a wooden heart; Yuri Gagarin was making the first ever orbit of the earth; JF Kennedy was still finding his way around the White House; and 9-11 year olds in classrooms across Northern Ireland were hearing all about the Giant's Causeway in the first ever Today and Yesterday programme."[1]

Until this term Northern Ireland had not been a great disciple of schools broadcasting. As radio broadcasts to schools were developed in the rest of the United Kingdom from 1924, and in the Irish Free State briefly from 1937, Northern Ireland chose not to take the service, aside from a few experimental "schools transmissions" on the BBC's Belfast station 2BE in 1925. Northern Ireland did not even receive the schools broadcasts from London until after the Second World War, and even then it was not until the beginning of the 1960s - this term in fact - that Northern Ireland produced its first regular schools programme, under its first specialist schools producer James Hawthorne.

Today and Yesterday (often in Northern Ireland, to emphasise its local focus) began on Wednesday 26th April at 1:45pm - it was billed from 1:40pm but a short musical interlude preceded the programme itself, and there is some suggestion that it had been planned for broadcast on Thursday afternoons at the same time, replacing Stories from British History rather than Modern History[2]. It then continued in more or less every school term for the next 45 years, until 2006, when it was rebranded as TandY (pronounced simply "tandy", not "T-and-Y") and continued anew.

The other new series this term was Junior Science, a science resources programme for primary school children which was broadcast experimentally in England, Wales & Northern Ireland.

French for Sixth Forms was usually broadcast on all Home Services, but for the summer term only it was replaced in Scotland by the miscellany series For the Fifth and Sixth. The Orchestral Concert Series' journey From Ballad Opera to the Musical took it from performances of The Beggar's Opera in April & May to West Side Story in June, the film version of which would not be released in the UK until the following year.

BBC Television

Schools programmes on BBC TV.

BBC Television (England)

The England schedule, also broadcast in Northern Ireland.

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY
10:00
10:05 Discovering Science 10:05 Natural HistoryMan and Nature 10:05 For Sixth FormsLe Cinéma Français (rpt) 10:05 Natural HistoryMan and Nature (rpt) 10:05 SignpostLaying the Table / Benjamin the Calf, etc (rpt)
10:15
10:30
11:00
11:05 New Landmarks 11:05 Your World (rpt) 11:05 Film and Film-makers (rpt) 11:05 Science and Life (rpt) 11:05 Spotlight (rpt)
11:15
11:30 11:30 For Sixth FormsLe Cinéma Français
11:35 SignpostLaying the Table / Benjamin the Calf, etc 11:35 Natural HistoryMan and Nature (rpt) 11:35 SignpostLaying the Table / Benjamin the Calf, etc (rpt) 11:35 Discovering Science (rpt)
11:45
12:00
14:00
14:05 Your World 14:05 Film and Film-makers 14:05 Science and Life 14:05 Spotlight 14:05 New Landmarks (rpt)
14:15
14:30

BBC Television (Scotland)

MONDAY

as England.

TUESDAY

as England.

WEDNESDAY

as England except:

11:35-12:00 Then and Now

THURSDAY

as England.

FRIDAY

as England.

BBC Television (Wales)

DYDD LLUN

as England.

DYDD MAWRTH

as England.

DYDD MERCHER

as England except:

11:35-12:00 Golwg ar Gymru fu

DYDD IAU

as England.

DYDD GWENER

as England.

Notes & New Programmes

Programmes ran from Monday 24th April to Friday 23rd June 1961. There were no programmes in the week beginning 22nd May due to the school holidays, apart from the Scottish series Then and Now, so there were 8 weeks of general broadcasts. Some series did not last for the whole term - For Sixth Forms, which had a unit on French cinema presented in the French language, was only on for four weeks, and Scotland's Then and Now and Wales's Golwg ar Gymru fu were each only on for five weeks, but due to the different half term arrangements the Welsh series was actually still on air a week after the Scottish series had finished.

In the week beginning 29th May 1961 the BBC had coverage of the Commonwealth Technical Training Week, a scheme supported by the Duke of Edinburgh which sought to encourage young people to take up an apprenticeship or other technical training scheme. The TV coverage consisted of multiple speeches of inauguration, a procession of 1,500 young apprentices and trainees through London, and a service of thanksgiving from St Paul's Cathedral, the latter two events with commentary by Richard Dimbleby. There was also some coverage of these events on the Home Service, but it did not affect the schools broadcasts.

Amongst other things the Commonwealth Technical Training Week displaced the repeat of Signpost on the morning of Thursday 1st June, and Test Cricket coverage displaced the same programme on 8th June. The Thursday episodes continued on a two-week delay over the Tuesday and Friday transmissions, but concluded on Thursday 29th June, with the final episode (a stand-alone visit to the Royal Ballet School) not shown on a Thursday - Cricket and Wimbledon coverage in the following weeks prevented any further schools transmissions.

There was no topical Spotlight broadcast on Thursday 8th June due to coverage of the Royal Wedding (the Duke of Kent married Katharine Worsley). On Friday 9th June the second episode of the term was repeated again.

There must have been some problem with the scheduled Friday transmission of Discovering Science on 12th or 19th May, as subsequent episodes were delayed by a week and the Friday transmissions concluded on 30th June 1961.

On Monday 1st May 1961 BBC Television carried live coverage of the May Day Parades and Demonstrations from the Soviet Union, again with commentary by Richard Dimbleby. This was scheduled to run from 7:25am to 10:00am but the exact timing was unknown in advance and the Radio Times warned that the event was "likely to continue for several hours and may affect advertised Schools programmes. An announcement has been made in the 'Notes for Teachers' explaining alternative arrangements." These alternative arrangements generally involved postponing any programme which may be cancelled for the USSR coverage by a week. In the event I don't think that any schools programmes were affected, as there were no postponements in subsequent weeks. The recording of this event held in the BBC archives is approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes long, which is exactly the predicted duration, but with a note that there was a failure of live pictures at 9:58am, although sound coverage continued, and pictures resumed from 10:00am - which puts it very close to 10:05am when Discovering Science was due to start.

Film and Film-makers was a new series which only ran in this term, a follow-up to Looking at Film from summer 1959. Also new this term was Your World, a part-dramatised series about the problems faced by teenagers in the adult world, which would continue for several years.

Altogether this term there were 8 different series (for England), all of which were repeated in a different timeslot within the week. Two of the series were given a further weekly repeat, so there were 20 weekly schools broadcasts on BBC TV this term.

Independent Television

Schools programmes on ITV.

Associated-Rediffusion (London)

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY
14:30
14:45 14:43 A Changing World 14:43 The World Around UsFinding the Way 14:43 The British Isles 14:43 The World Around UsFinding the Way (rpt) 14:43 Arms and the Man (rpt) 14:32 Preparing a Play
15:00
15:08 Chez les Dupré 15:08 Chez les Dupré (rpt)
15:15 15:15 Arms and the Man 15:15 Preparing a Play
15:20 A Changing World (rpt)
15:25 The Story of Medicine 15:25 The Story of Medicine (rpt) 15:25 The British Isles (rpt)
15:30
15:45

Associated Television (Midlands)

ATV in the Midlands.

MONDAY

as London plus:

11:35-11:55 French from France

TUESDAY

as London plus:

10:00-10:30 Ici La France

11:35-11:55 French from France (rpt)

WEDNESDAY

as London.

THURSDAY

as London plus:

10:00-10:30 Ici La France (rpt)

11:40-12:10 Discovery (as Granada)

FRIDAY

as London.

Granada Television

Broadcasts to the north of England.

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY
10:00 10:00 Discovery (rpt) 10:00 Ici La France (rpt)
10:15
10:30
11:30
11:40 Ici La France 11:40 Discovery
11:45
12:00
12:15
13:00 13:00 Ici La France (rpt) 13:00 Discovery (rpt)
13:15
13:30

Television Wales and the West

TWW in south Wales and the west of England.

MONDAY

all programmes from London, the Midlands and Granada.

TUESDAY

all programmes from London and the Midlands, except Ici La France.

WEDNESDAY

all programmes from London and Granada.

THURSDAY

all programmes from London and Granada.

FRIDAY

all programmes from London and Granada.

Other regions

Southern Television, Anglia Television, Ulster Television and Tyne Tees Television all broadcast the London programmes only.

Westward Television began broadcasting at the end of the first week of term, and immediately took the London programmes only. I believe they picked up the programmes from the 2nd episode and made no attempt to catch up with the first episodes.

Scottish Television broadcast the London programmes only. During the week beginning 22nd May 1961, when the rest of the country was taking a break from schools programmes, Scottish broadcast two original 20-minute programmes of their own: Time for Play on Tuesday at 3:25pm, repeated on Thursday at 2:45pm; and Time for Work on Wednesday at 2:45pm, repeated on Friday at the same time.

There were no other ITV broadcasters active this term.

Notes & New Programmes

All programmes began in the week of Monday 24th April 1961. Most programmes finished by Friday 16th June 1961, but Granada Television continued their series Discovery for one additional week so their broadcasts finished on Monday 26th June. Associated-Rediffusion's afternoon programmes were all cancelled on Thursday 8th June to make way for coverage of the Royal Wedding - Rediffusion's Thursday broadcasts were postponed by a week and finished on Thursday 22nd June.

Associated-Rediffusion did not offer any programmes in the weeks beginning 22nd and 29th May - the first because it was Whit week and half term, the second because it was the week of the Derby and associated horse racing events which were televised live during the afternoons. But the racing coverage did not begin until after 2pm and the programmes produced by ATV and Granada were screened before this and did not clash with the horse racing, so they continued as normal in the week beginning 29th May (BBC TV also covered the Derby and their schools programmes were similarly scheduled earlier in the afternoon so there was no clash). All of this meant that there were 6 episodes of Associated-Rediffusion's programmes, 7 episodes of ATV's, and 8 episodes of Granada's.

In a late schedule change covered by the daily newspapers but not by the weekly TV Times magazine, most schools programmes on Thursday 1st June 1961 were replaced by coverage of President Kennedy's State Visit to Paris. Only ATV's 10:00am broadcast of Ici La France went ahead that day (Granada and TWW has scheduled the same programme later in the day at 1:00pm, so it was cancelled). The visit was also covered the previous day but this did not interfere with the schools schedules. Granada and TWW did not make any adjustments to their future schedules to allow for this disruption, so episodes in the remaining weeks of term went out as scheduled (as noted above, Rediffusion had already cancelled their schools broadcasts for the whole week so they were not affected).

This was the last term of such a fragmented ITV schools schedule, with Granada offering a completely separate service from Rediffusion and ATV & TWW sitting between the two. In late May 1961 the companies announced that they would be offering a joint service from the autumn term, with a general network schedule common to all areas and additional regional series interspersed[3].

New this term were A Changing World, a current affairs series for older pupils, and the two drama series Arms and the Man and Preparing a Play. All of the other series from all companies had been running for at least one term previously. Scottish Television's two one-off programmes Time for Play and Time for Work were also new, in fact these were the first wholly original schools programmes offered by Scottish Television, previously they had contributed episodes to Associated-Rediffusion's established series.

Sources & References

  • A-R (1960) Independent Television Programmes for Schools 1960-61. London: Associated-Rediffusion.
  • A-R (1962) School Report - the first four years. London: Associated-Rediffusion.
  • BBC (1960) BBC Sound and Television Broadcasts to Schools 1960-1. London: BBC.
  • BBC (2009) BBC Northern Ireland Learning Television and Radio Guide April 2009. Belfast: BBC Northern Ireland Learning.
  • Fawdry, Kenneth (1974) Everything But Alf Garnett: A Personal View of BBC School Broadcasting, London: BBC. ISBN 0 563 12763 5, pp.123-4 (on schools radio in Ulster)
  • Radio Times (London Edition) radio & television listings 1961
  • SBC (1962) After Five Years: A report on BBC School Television Broadcasting by the School Broadcasting Council for the United Kingdom. London: SBC.
  • The Times television listings 1961, via The Times Digital Archive
  • TV Times (London Edition) television listings 1961, via TV Times Project database
  • TV Times (Midland Edition) television listings 1961
  • TV Times (Northern Edition) television listings 1961
  • Weltman, Joseph (1978) 21 Years of Independent Television for Schools, 1957 to 1978 as published with Independent Broadcasting no 16, May 1978, London: IBA, p.11
  1. "First ever Today and Yesterday programme" quote from BBC (2009) page 18, an excellent catalogue offering many archive (but relatively recent) schools radio & TV programmes produced in Northern Ireland.
  2. Today and Yesterday was listed in BBC (1960) p.40 for transmission on Thursdays at 1:45-2:00pm, but the wallchart distributed with the same publication (reproduced at the top of the page) mentioned Wednesdays at 1:40-2:00pm, so this was either a typesetting error or a change made between the printing of the main booklet and the wallchart.
  3. The announcement of the joint ITV service from autumn 1961 was covered in The Times on Friday 26th May ('Joint Independent TV for Schools', page 7 column e), with a large advertisement run jointly by A-R, ATV and Granada in the same newspaper on Monday 29th May (page 9 column a). It was covered with some excitement in the TV Times dated 9th June 1961 (page 4 column a: "An important new ITV decision will mean greater opportunity for thousands of schoolchildren in Britain to learn through the medium of television"). The TV Times article promised that "the Autumn ITV schools term will cover the entire Independent Television network," but in fact this was not to be as Border Television started up in September and did not immediately take the schools service.