Look and Read: Bob and Carol Look for Treasure

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started9th Jan 1967
ended13th Mar 1967
last rpt4th Dec 1970
5 school years
duration20 mins
subject 📚EnglishLanguage & Reading
age rangeAge 7-9
languageenIn English
Look and ReadHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious story: Tom, Pat and FridayNext story: Len and the River MobHierarchyNext.gif

Bob and Carol Look for Treasure is a unit of the BBC schools TV series Look and Read from the 1960s, covering Language and Reading for primary school pupils.

The very first Look and Read story is a simple kids' adventure story featuring a scattering of recognisable plot devices. The unit is clearly split up into two separate sections of the same story: The Lost Treasure is all about thinking and solving clues, while The Stolen Treasure is much more action-packed, involving real villains, chases and dramatic goings-on.

The two villains are absolutely glorious: the bad-tempered Fat Man with his singular expletive "creeping cat!" and the strange Number One, constantly clad in black glasses. Some of the scenes are completely evocative of late-60s weirdness: the two baddies meet to exchange loot in the same park, but insist on communicating via a little toy boat; Number One charges off up a quiet Midlands canal in a fast motorboat and gets stuck in the locks; the secret hiding place which fooled treasure-seekers for centuries was under a big stone in the garden; a message in a bottle sent off into a canal happens to be picked up by the person it was meant for less than half-an-hour later...


List of episodes

# Title Broadcast
1. The Lost Treasure Part One 9 Jan 1967
2. The Lost Treasure Part Two 16 Jan 1967
3. The Lost Treasure Part Three 23 Jan 1967
4. The Lost Treasure Part Four 30 Jan 1967
5. The Lost Treasure Part Five 6 Feb 1967
6. The Lost Treasure Part Six 13 Feb 1967
7. The Stolen Treasure Part One 20 Feb 1967
8. The Stolen Treasure Part Two 27 Feb 1967
9. The Stolen Treasure Part Three 6 Mar 1967
10. The Stolen Treasure Part Four 13 Mar 1967

And now a quick episode guide...

Num Title Broadcast
1. The Lost Treasure Part One 9 Jan 1967
  Carol goes to visit a big, old house and sees a statue of a Chinaman. Bella the goat eats some of the flowers and Carol has to chase her away.
2. The Lost Treasure Part Two 16 Jan 1967
  Carol meets a boy called Bob who lives on a boat. Carol sees another statue Chinaman on Bob's boat and Bob says it is a clue to a lost treasure.
3. The Lost Treasure Part Three 23 Jan 1967
  Miss Brown tells Bob and Carol about a rich man who long ago hid his treasure and left clues to find it written on a pair of statues.
4. The Lost Treasure Part Four 30 Jan 1967
  Bob and Carol begin following the clues to find the treasure. They find a stone, cross the canal and enter a mill. But the mill is too new to be the one in the clues.
5. The Lost Treasure Part Five 6 Feb 1967
  Bob and Carol realise that King's Mill is a village and go to investigate. Bella the goat makes trouble again by eating their map, but Bob still solves the final clues and the children discover an old piece of paper.
6. The Lost Treasure Part Six 13 Feb 1967
  The children finally uncover the lost treasure. They meet a rude, fat man with a motorbike and give him back the portable radio that he drops. Miss Brown discovers that an old picture has been stolen, and then the treasure is stolen too.
7. The Stolen Treasure Part One 20 Feb 1967
  Bob and Carol go up the canal and meet a man called Mike and a boy called Dan. They hear the Fat Man on the radio talking about stealing the picture and the treasure.
8. The Stolen Treasure Part Two 27 Feb 1967
  Bob and Dan go off to search for the "Red Dragon" while Carol overhears the Fat Man talking to Number One on the radio. Carol is locked in the boat house and has to try to get help.
9. The Stolen Treasure Part Three 6 Mar 1967
  Mike and the children go to Bell Park to try to catch the villains. Bob and Dan find Number One while Carol and Mike spot the Fat Man, but he runs away.
10. The Stolen Treasure Part Four 13 Mar 1967
  The Fat Man gets away so Mike and the children follow the Red Dragon and spot Number One. They get the police and the villains are finally caught in the locks. Bob and Carol recover the treasure and the picture.

... and finally here is a much more detailed episode guide!

Num Title Broadcast
1. The Lost Treasure Part One 9 Jan 1967
  Carol goes to deliver some eggs to Miss Brown, who looks after a big, old house. While she is waiting for Miss Brown to finish showing some visitors around, Carol admires a small china Chinaman with a green coat. Miss Brown is about to reveal that the green Chinaman has a secret, but is distracted by the sight of Bella, Carol's goat, eating her flowers. Carol goes to chase after her errant caprine and is joined by a boy she meets sitting in a tree.
2. The Lost Treasure Part Two 16 Jan 1967
  The boy reveals that his name is Bob and he lives on a boat on the canal. The two children eventually find Bella down by the canal, munching through Bob's chocolate and his coat. Bob invites Carol onto his boat and starts showing her around. Carol spots a small Chinaman exactly like the statuette in the big house except that this one has a blue coat. The children make out some strange writing under the base of the figurine, which seems to consist of incomplete fragments of words and sentences. Bob calls this a clue and reports that his Dad says if they can find out what the writing means, they will find a lost treasure.
3. The Lost Treasure Part Three 23 Jan 1967
  Bob and Carol take the blue Chinaman and go to see Miss Brown. She tells them a story about a man called Adam Kent who lived in the house a long time ago. Adam Kent had two children, the kindly Robert and the unkindly Will, and promised to split his vast fortune in half between them. Will crossly demanded it all for himself prompting Robert to leave home and go far away. Adam didn't want Will to end up with all of his treasure so he hid it all where noone would ever find it. Adam gave Will the green Chinaman and sent the blue one to Robert, the two together providing the clues necessary to finding the treasure. However Robert never came home so the treasure has never been found. When the children and Miss Brown examine the green statuette they find the clue written under its feet, so now they have the two clues to the lost treasure.
4. The Lost Treasure Part Four 30 Jan 1967
  Starting from the prompt that A.K. must be Adam Kent, the person who hid the treasure and wrote the clues, the children put the two clues together side by side to read the instructions for finding the treasure. Mrs Brown gives them a map of the area to help them to find the treasure, then goes off. The first clue requires a stone with 'AK' on it, so they split up to search round the gardens. Carol finds a stone with "Time Will Not Stand Still" [remember that; it may become important later] on it, but Bob discovers what they're looking for - 'AK' on the wall of the house above the front door. They next have to turn their backs to the stone and cross the canal. The next line - G O N W from K - they can't understand so they move on to the next and go to search for 'Ing's Mill'. The spot a mill on the map they were given: Bob thinks it's the one from the clue, Carol isn't sure. When they go to the mill a man lets them look round inside. Carol notices that the date on the wall is 1959, so it is a new mill and not old enough for Adam Kent to have known about it. So they sit down to reconsider the latest clues.
5. The Lost Treasure Part Five 6 Feb 1967
  Bob and Carol read and re-read the clues but cannot understand them. Then Carol looks up at the signpost that they are sitting against and notices that it points to King's Mill. So King's Mill is a village and not a mill at all and they set off to find it. They're supposed to be looking for a wishing well in the village, but decide to buy some chocolate first. Bella the goat has made her way down to King's Mill as well, but the children don't notice her behind them until she has eaten half of their map. Carol goes to take Bella back home, leaving Bob on his own to consider the clues. He changes 'G O N W' to 'go NW' and using the compass that he happens to have in his pocket, goes off to the North-West. Meanwhile Carol leaves Bella at home and heads back to King's Mill, where Bob isn't. He soon comes running up to tell Carol that he's found the Wishing Well, and they both do dashing off. It's a long way to the wishing well and involves lots of climbing and jumping. When they get there the final clue is 'E 5 S 6', so Bob gets his compass out again and they take five steps East and six South. They arrive at a large stone with 'AK' on it, which they remove, and discover a box behind it. Inside is a bit of paper saying "Time Will Not Stand Still" [you see] - what could that mean?
6. The Lost Treasure Part Six 13 Feb 1967
Inside the house
Carol remembers the stone that she saw in the garden of the big house with 'Time Will Not Stand Still' written on it, so the kids go back to have a look. Carol can't remember exactly where she saw the stone so they have to search again. Whilst searching they find Bella making mischief again, eating a hat. A fat man comes running up to retrieve his hat and they all run after Bella, but the Fat Man falls over. Bob and Carol help the Fat Man to get up and give him back his hat, but he's very cross and just says "Goats! Children! Creeping cat!" instead of "Thank you." Bob spots a little black box that fell out of the Fat Man's pocket and they realise it's a radio. They take it back to the Fat Man - who again doesn't say "Thank you" - and notice his motorbike with the registration number BCW 3456 [remember that; it may become important later]. Then they finally find the right stone and go to tell Miss Brown. Miss Brown thinks all the house's visitors have left and goes off with the children, but the Fat Man is still lurking behind a door. Miss Brown asks Bert the gardener to dig under the stone. Bert digs for a long time, with some help from Bob and Carol, and eventually they discover a big brown bag. Inside is a lot of gold and silver plus two big golden cups. Miss Brown and Carol take the treasure inside the house while Bob goes to look after Bella. As soon as they get in, Miss Brown discovers that the picture of Adam Kent has been stolen. Miss Brown goes to ring the police while Carol runs off to tell Bob. When Bob and Carol get back to the house, they find that the treasure has been stolen too!
7. The Stolen Treasure Part One 20 Feb 1967
Carol and the boat
The next day the newspapers report that the picture and treasure had been stolen and that the police are looking for them, Bob and Carol wish they could help but can't think what to do. Bob's dad has to take his boat - which is called Bluebell - up the canal, and Carol is allowed to accompany them. They come to a lock and Bob starts explaining how locks work. Bob and his dad know the man who lives in the house next to the lock, Mike, and he helps them work the gates. When they get out of the locks they stop the boat at the canal bank and all have dinner. Bob and Carol go for a walk and discover a motorbike on the river bank with the registration number BCM 3456 [you see], which Bob declares to be the fat man's. The children think the fat man may have stolen their treasure and so hide in a nearby shed to wait for him to turn up. Carol is distracted by a huge radio mechanism inside the shed, but Bob is watching out and sees someone coming back to the motorbike. It's not the fat man, but Mike. Someone comes out of the shadows from behind Bob and Carol and tells them they're not allowed in the shed. The boy, who is called Dan, calls for Mike and the two ask Bob and Carol what is going on. Bob and Carol tell them everything, even about the fat man and the motorbike, but Dan insists that the motorbike they've just found belongs to Mike, and Bob realises he must have made a mistake over the registration numbers. Carol asks about the big radio, and Mike lets Dan demonstrate it to Bob and Carol while he goes off. Dan is just explaining how they can send and receive messages when a voice comes over the radio: "Calling Number One, calling Number One," and the three children start to transcribe the message. The voice on the radio uses the curse "Creeping cat!" and tells 'Number One' that he has got the "pic----" from the house. He is told that Number One will "send the Red Dragon" and then the message stops. Bob, Carol and Dan are left to wonder what all of that could mean.
8. The Stolen Treasure Part Two 27 Feb 1967
  The children realise that it was the Fat Man talking on the radio and that he has the stolen picture and probably the treasure too. Dan offers to help Bob and Carol get the treasure back, and the first thing they decide to do is look for the Red Dragon. They think it must be a boat and so go to look along the canal, but there are an awful lot of boats all along it. They find two bikes in the shed and Dan and Bob take them to ride along the canal, leaving Carol behind in case another message comes on the radio - which Carol is not happy about. Instead of waiting about, Carol decides to walk along the canal herself to look for boats. She goes inside a boat house to see if there's anything inside and hears the Fat Man talking. She quickly hides and spies on the fat man as he talks into his little portable radio. The Fat Man is getting told off by Number One for having stolen the treasure instead of just the picture, and is also given an appointment in Bell Park at four o'clock to put the picture in the Red Dragon. The Fat Man eventually turns his radio off and leaves the boat house - locking it behind him. Carol can't get out of the boat house, and it's 2:30. Meanwhile Dan and Bob ride a long way along the canal but are unable to find the Red Dragon. At 3 o'clock Carol gets desperate and puts a message in a bottle asking for help and sends it out on the canal. Bob and Dan get back to the shed and can't find Carol anywhere, but then Bob gets the bottle out of the canal and reads the message from Carol. The boys spot the boat house, run to it, unlock it and let Carol out. By now it is 3:30 and Carol quickly explains what's happening with the Fat Man. The children all dash off to tell Mike their story because he probably knows where Bell Park is. He knows that it's next to the canal, so Bob and Dan set off for the park on their bikes, with Mike and Carol following on the motorbike.
9. The Stolen Treasure Part Three 6 Mar 1967
The Fat Man on the radio to Number One
Unknown to the children and Mike, the Fat Man is on his radio again, reporting that he is in position in Bell Park. When the children arrive at the park they decide to split up to look for the Fat Man, so Bob and Dan go one way and Carol and Mike go the other. The boys see a man with black glasses by the water with a red and green toy motorboat. Dan wants to go on looking for the Fat Man, but Bob asks the man with black glasses to show him how the boat works. They see the name on the side of the toy boat: The Red Dragon. The boat sails away across the water. Meanwhile Carol and Mike have spotted the Fat Man's motorbike and soon come across the fat man himself. The fat man takes the toy motorboat out of the water, puts something inside it and puts it back in the canal, where it sails off. The Fat Man spots Mike and Carol, and runs off taking a big blue bag with him. Mike and Carol chase after him, and are soon joined by Bob and Dan who have spotted them from the park.
10. The Stolen Treasure Part Four 13 Mar 1967
  Mike and the children chase after the Fat Man, who climbs and jumps and hides and eventually manages to get away. Just as everybody is wondering what to do next, they spot the Red Dragon coming along the canal and start to chase after that. But in the end it goes across to the other side of the canal where they can't get it, and Number One takes it. Number One gets into a big motorboat and goes racing off up the canal. Mike realises that they can stop the boat at Five Locks, and he goes off to alert the police. When Number One arrives at the locks, the Fat Man comes running up, still scared that the children are after him, and begs Number One to help him get away. Number One isn't interested in the treasure and tells the Fat Man to clear off in case the police find the picture. But when the Fat Man explains that it's not the police he's running from but some children, Number One decides to help him, provided he helps out with the lock gates. As the Fat Man goes to let the water into the lock, he spots the children, Mike and a policeman running up the canal bank towards him. The Fat Man tries to run away and gets into a hole in the wall next to the canal, but gets stuck there and can't get out. Number One's boat is still down in the lock and can't go anywhere. The policeman arrests both the Fat Man and Number One, and gets the picture out of the Red Dragon and the treasure out of the big blue bag.

Bob and Carol, Mike and Dan had found the picture and the stolen treasure.


Introduced by Tom Gibbs
Starring Jean Anderson as Miss Brown

Veronica Purnell as Carol
Stephen Leigh as Bob
Charles Leno as Adam Kent
Sean Barrett as Will Kent
Simon Lanzon as Robert Kent
Robert Bridges as the Fat Man
Peter Hempson as Mike
Carl Gonzales as Dan
Frank Duncan as Number One
Trevor Lloyd as the policeman
a goat as Bella the goat
a bay gelding as the horse

Written by Joy Thwaytes
Devised by Joyce M. Morris
Producer Claire Chovil
Production assistant Helen Nicoll
production secretary Doreen Olding
cameraman Sid Davies
assistant cameraman John Foley
sound recordist Dave Brinnicombe
assistant Frank Kirk
stills cameraman Ronan Raikes
wardrobe supervisor Dee Kelly
dresser Colin Skeels
make-up supervisor Christian Morris
chaperone to Veronica Purnell & Stephen Leigh Mrs Kemp, Barbara Speake School

Who was in which episodes?

   C A S T   D E T A I L S

starring                             EPISODES
JEAN ANDERSON                 1 2 3 4 5 6
VERONICA PURNELL              1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
STEPHEN LEIGH                 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
CHARLES LENO                      3
SEAN BARRETT                      3
SIMON LANZON                      3
ROBERT BRIDGES                          6   8 9 10
PETER HEMPSON                             7 8 9 10
CARL GONZALES                             7 8 9 10
FRANK DUNCAN                                  9 10
TREVOR LLOYD                                    10

Response from viewers

The BBC School Broadcasts Bulletin covering the story

The response of many children and teachers who watched the first broadcast of this story was surveyed in a BBC School Broadcasts Bulletin entitled Television and Backward Readers in the Junior School, written by Ellen C. Mee a consultant to the School Broadcasting Council.

Here are two genuine letters from child viewers of the story, sent to the Look and Read production office in Spring 1967, as quoted in the Bulletin:

Dear Tom Gibbs,

We have enjoyed your programme and it is very kind of you. You have taught Mrs Todds class to read. We have got a book of Bob and Carol and on the first page we have Bella the goat and on the second page we have the canal boat. I like the fat man saying 'Jumping Jack'. I wish I had a boat like the Red Dragon. It is a wonderful boat. We know the colours, red and green. We have a Red Dragon and we have coloured our bottle with messages with beautiful colours. We have Bob and Carol books each and we have enjoyed reading them. I like Bob and Carol and Dan and I think they did well catching the fat man.

We are sorry the programme has finished and hope you will soon give us another "Look and Read" programme.

Dear Mr Gibbs,
I hope you are well. This is a wee letter saying that the programme of the Lost Treasure was good. I hope you will put another programme on that will be the Found Treasure. I hope Adam Kent has his Treasure back. I hope Bob and Carol and Dan and Mike are well and I hope you are well.

Here is a review of this story written for the journal Visual Education by a teacher who used Look and Read's very first broadcast in Spring 1967. It carefully avoids mentioning anything about the actual story, but it does include a little about the pupils' and teachers' material, and reveals that the programme committed one of the greatest mistakes of black-and-white television.

LOOK AND READ (B.B.C. TV - Spring term)

This series was designed to help Junior children who have some facility in word recognition but who nevertheless find reading difficult.
In this school the series was followed by a less able class of 20 children with chronological ages 7-9, but with reading ages from 6-7½.
As a different approach to the teaching of reading, it is felt that the programme was stimulating and very worth while. The story was well within the children's comprehension and each new instalment was looked forward to with eagerness.
The follow-up provided ample work, but as there was so much that could be done one wonders whether some improvement could be made to the children's pamphlets for their future use. Each week the appropriate section had to be removed from the pupils' pamphlets and put into the children's own work book. This took a long time and did not make a satisfactory book.
It might be better to present each section bound as a separate unit with a few blank sheets attached for follow-up work, which could then be stored in a loose leaf folder.
Some weaknesses in presentation were eradicated as the series went along, e.g. some difficulty was experienced in the early programmes when white printing appeared on a light background. This was remedied in the later programmes, when a black band was used as a background for the lettering.
Timing also presented some difficulty for this particular class. The children found that the reading could be done easily in the alloted time, but the flashing of the little men letters and sounds was much too fast for them.
As an experiment this was very successful and one would feel that the series realised its aims and is worth repeating.

R. H. C. Fice, Hooe Junior School, Hooe, Plymstock, Devon in Visual Education, May 1967, pp.35-7


A Bob and Carol Look for Treasure reunion! Veronica Callow who played Carol back at Packwood House where much of the story was filmed, in 1999.
Behind the Scenes on Bob and Carol Look for Treasure

Bob and Carol look for treasure was filmed from 12th to 23rd September 1966 in the Birmingham area. Click here to view a page from the shooting schedule, mainly covering the flashback story of the Kent family from episode 3.

The major location used was the National Trust property Packwood House Violet-marker.png at Solihull, and scenes were also filmed at Lowsonford village Violet-marker.png near Packwood, Brearley Mill Violet-marker.png at Snitterfield, the Gas Street Basin Violet-marker.png in central Birmingham and on the 'Birmingham canal'.

Packwood House is open to the public and can still be visited today, here is an independent website about the house including lots of pictures (archived 2006). Gas Street ("just beyond the BBC canteen in the centre of Birmingham") can be visited by going to Birmingham and driving along it.

Loading map...

Veronica Callow (née Purnell - Carol herself!) had a great time filming the programme, but had some trouble acting alongside the stubborn animal playing Bella the goat. Veronica was 15 when the story was made, but says she "looked about 12" (!) and Stephen Leigh, playing Bob, was slightly younger: "he could be a bit annoying sometimes but we got on quite well"! The blundering villain known as the Fat Man, played by Bob Bridges, did not apparently come across as especially evil; Number One seems to have been the nasty one, though Veronica had hardly any scenes with him and doesn't remember him at all.

The actors from the drama were invited down to London to view a short-film version of their scenes after filming had completed, though they never had the chance to see the finished programmes including the teaching segments. Veronica tried taking a morning off school, claiming she was going to the dentist, to sneak a look at the broadcasts, but unfortunately got found out!


Pupil's Pamphlet

The pupil's pamphlet

Teacher's Notes

The teacher's notes

In the Archive

According to the BBC archive catalogue, all that remains from this story in the BBC archives are two specially shot film sequences ("SP S FILM") from episode 4: one six minutes long, perhaps one of the drama sequences, and the other just under two minutes long, perhaps a song & animation sequence?

The BBC began making filmstrip copies of some of its schools programmes available for loan to educational establishments in the early 1960s. Look and Read was never included in this scheme and no loan or hire rights to the programmes were ever arranged. However, a 16mm telerecording of episode 4 (coincidence?) of this story was offered by the Schools Broadcasting Council for use in teacher training colleges (but not normal schools) accompanied by copies of the teacher's notes and pupil's book plus a special set of lecturer's notes, to help encourage newly qualified teachers to use television programmes.

I wonder if any copies of this film might have survived as an example of early Look and Read?


Wallchart listing for the 1967 broadcast of "John and Carol Look for Treasure" (sic)

If you remember this story from primary school, then you would have seen it in one of these terms. See the schedules section for precise dates and times.


Sources & References


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