The Jacksons is a BBC schools radio series from the 1950s and 1960s, covering Citizenship and PSHE for secondary school pupils.
The Jacksons was one of the first series specifically designed to interest and inspire struggling school children by harnessing the entertainment value of broadcasting.
It was a family serial all about Mr and Mrs Jackson, their children, and their neighbours the Webbs, as they encountered day to day problems and social issues such as getting a job (Ken Thinks of a Job, autumn 1960), a dance at the youth club (Fancy Dress Night at the Youth Club, summer 1962) and the marriage & subsequent moving house of Betty Jackson (Betty Gets Married, summer 1961), all designed to help children feel more confident about dealing with such issues in their own lives.
The Jacksons also tried making and doing things that children could try for themselves (Ken Starts a Garden, spring 1957; Judy Joins The Library, summer 1962).
The series was produced as an on-going drama serial, and the characters grew older and make lasting changes in their lives, even though the children listening in at school would have grown out of the series after a year or two, and new listeners would not know what had happened before. Harry Jackson wacs a schoolboy who had his 15th birthday in the second ever episode (Happy Birthday, autumn 1956), and by the end of the series he was a 21-year-old factory worker (Harry's Twenty-First, autumn 1962). There were recurring characters such as the travelling Uncle Bert, and storylines were continued across the year, just like a modern soap opera. As the series went on and the Jackson children grew up, the series focussed more on the younger children of their neighbours the Webbs.
All the programmes were presented as "BBC recordings" in the Radio Times, and according to records on the free online version of the BBC Programme Catalogue they were recorded several months in advance of broadcast, for instance an episode broadcast in March 1963 was recorded in the previous December.
The series was apparently drawn from an experimental term of radio programmes broadcast in Scotland, which may have been Round and About. The concept and format of The Jacksons gave inspiration to a schools television series called Friday Magazine in 1960, which then developed into the successful family serials of Television Club, lasting for another decade.
The series is set in the fictional small country town of Fenton, where the Jacksons live at 23 Willow Street. They have a garden with a greenhouse.
The town is on the River Fen and has its own railway station and hospital amongst other amenities. There is a Youth Club in the town where the children gather, and the local newspaper is the Fenton Gazette. One of the neighbouring towns is called Canfield.
A map of the town was printed at the end of the teacher's notes each term, and is reproduced below.
Here is a list of the characters who appeared in The Jacksons, either regularly or from time to time. In order to offer a standardised list, the ages given for the characters are their ages in the summer term of 1962, as this is when I have the most comprehensive information available.
The Jackson family
- Mr William Jackson ("Bill"), aged 45
Mr Jackson works at Netley's Garage.
- Mrs Margaret Jackson ("Meg"), aged 44
Mrs Jackson worked in an office before her marriage.
- Betty Jackson, aged 22
The Jacksons' only daughter works in a large shop called Truman and Hope's in the neighbouring town of Canfield. She got engaged to Johnnie Bates in September 1960 and married him in June 1961 at the local St John's Church, to become Betty Bates. She moved out of the family house to live in a flat with Johnnie.
- Harry Jackson, aged 20
After leaving school Harry works at Willett's typewriter factory in Fenton as a mechanical engineer.
- Ken Jackson, aged 16
Ken attended secondary modern school until 1961, and in the autumn of that year enrolled as a Police Cadet.
The Webb family
The Webbs are the next-door neighbours of the Jacksons and have younger children. They live at 21 Willow Street.
- Mr Webb ("Jack")
Mr Webb is a town councillor.
- Mrs Webb ("Rosie")
- Mary Webb, aged 17
- Judy Webb, aged 16
- Tom Webb, aged 12
Tom has pen friends including Jean Dubois from France. He went in to hospital to have his tonsils out in 1962.
- Richard Webb ("Ricky"), aged 6
These are other characters who appear with the Jacksons from time to time.
- Mr Joseph Chapman ("grandfather")
Mrs Jackson's father.
- Mrs Mary Jackson ("grandmother")
Mr Jackson's mother.
- Uncle Bert
A relative of the Jacksons who travels widely and returns to tell the Jacksons of his adventures. During the series he visited Australia, Canada and America, amongst other places.
- Johnnie Bates
Got married to Betty Jackson in 1961.
- Charlie Best
Another of Harry's friends.
- John Grant
- Tom Seward
Another of Ken's friends, an explorer.
- Dave Brewster
Drives the lorry at Netley's Garage where Mr Jackson works.
- Mr Netley
Owner of the garage where Mr Jackson works.
- Mr Caswell
His allotment backs on to the Jacksons' garden. He keeps bees.
- Mr and Mrs Nicholls
Next-door neighbours of the Jacksons, on the other side from the Webbs. They live at 25 Willow Street.
- P.C. Dent
A local constable.
- Mr Pollitt
Keeps a shop in Fenton.
The actors who appeared in the programmes were never credited in the Radio Times or the teacher's notes to the series, so I have very little information about who played whom. The listings in the free online version of the BBC Programme Catalogue for the few surviving episodes identify Stanley MacKenzie as the narrator.
Other actors listed as participating in the episodes are Michael Spice, Katherine Parr, Hamilton Dyce, Jean England, Peggy Butt, Terry Raven, Nigel Anthony, John Bull, Alaric Cotter, Susan Richards and Ann Totten, however the cast lists of the two listed episodes are completely different and only Terry Raven appears in both episodes.
If anybody has any more concrete information about actors in the programmes, please get in touch.
The series editor / producer in the 1960s was Rita Udall. She first wrote for the series in 1959-60, this may be when she took on the producer role too.
A large number of episodes, including the first six episodes of the series, were written by Philippa Pearce who would go on to become the acclaimed author of children's books including Tom's Midnight Garden.
There seems to have been a team of regular writers who provided most of the scripts for the series. The following list shows the regular writers, how many episodes they were responsible for, and when their episodes were first broadcast.
- Garry Lyle (39 episodes, 1957 - 1963)
- Philippa Pearce (24 episodes, 1956 - 1960)
- Charles E. Stidwill (23 episodes, 1957 - 1962)
- D. J. Saint (22 episodes, 1956 - 1961)
- Margaret J. Miller (18 episodes, 1959 - 1963)
- Phillip Mann (16 episodes, 1958 - 1960)
- Hugh David (13 episodes, 1957 - 1960)
- Jeffrey Segal (13 episodes, 1960 - 1963)
- Edward Blishen (12 episodes, 1960 - 1963)
- Ronald Smurthwaite (7 episodes, 1961 - 1963)
- Richard Wortley (6 episodes, 1960 - 1962)
- Rita Udall (5 episodes, 1960 - 1961)
Other writers (and their number of scripts in brackets) were: John Allen (2), L. P. Ball (1), Alan Boucher (1), John Brodie (1), Peter Claughton (1), Alaric Cotter (2), Moira F. Doolan (1), Beryl King (1), Sam Langdon (3), Guy Lethbridge (1), Charles Mason (1), Cameron Miller (1), Rose Segal (4) and Honor Wyatt (1).
Please note there are three episodes whose writer credits are not known to me.
Here is a list of every episode of the schools radio series The Jacksons, mainly based on the Radio Times listings with a few additions from the sources listed on the main page about the series.
There are some cases where two episodes have the same title, especially towards the end of the series. I am pretty sure they are really separate episodes and it is just coincidence that the same title was used, because the writers are different. The only exception is At The Pantomime, a title used in January 1961 and January 1963, both times written by Jeffrey Segal - so it's possible this was the same episode both times.
There are three episodes in the list with no information about who wrote them. If you can fill in the missing information, please get in touch by email.
|1.||Settling In||Philippa Pearce||17 Sep 1956|
|2.||Happy Birthday||Philippa Pearce||24 Sep 1956|
|3.||The Surprise Present||Philippa Pearce||1 Oct 1956|
|4.||Building a Shed||Philippa Pearce||8 Oct 1956|
|5.||Home From The Sea||Philippa Pearce||15 Oct 1956|
|6.||Fog||Philippa Pearce||22 Oct 1956|
|7.||The Lost Dog||D. J. Saint||29 Oct 1956|
|8.||Decorating the Bedroom||D. J. Saint||5 Nov 1956|
|9.||A Night at the Theatre||D. J. Saint||12 Nov 1956|
|10.||Anogra Rabbits||D. J. Saint||19 Nov 1956|
|11.||Preparing for Christmas||Philippa Pearce||26 Nov 1956|
|12.||The Carol Concert||Sam Langdon||3 Dec 1956|
|13.||Mr Jackson Buys a Car||Hugh David||14 Jan 1957|
|14.||Harry Meets the Youth Employment Officer||Hugh David||21 Jan 1957|
|15.||Mrs Nicholls Breaks Her Leg||Philippa Pearce||28 Jan 1957|
|16.||The Postman's Story||Philippa Pearce||4 Feb 1957|
|17.||The Boys Build a Boat||Hugh David||11 Feb 1957|
|18.||A Fire at the Manor||Garry Lyle||18 Feb 1957|
|19.||Uncle Bert Comes Back from Canada||John Allen||25 Feb 1957|
|20.||A Story From Canada||John Allen||4 Mar 1957|
|21.||Ken Starts a Garden||Garry Lyle||11 Mar 1957|
|22.||A Night Listening In||Philippa Pearce||18 Mar 1957|
|23.||Harry Gets a Job||Charles E. Stidwill||25 Mar 1957|
|24.||Planning a Summer Holiday||Garry Lyle||1 Apr 1957|
|25.||Food from the Garden||Garry Lyle||6 May 1957|
|26.||The Lost Library Book||D. J. Saint||13 May 1957|
|27.||Betty Changes Her Job||Philippa Pearce||20 May 1957|
|28.||The Jacksons go for a Picnic||Philippa Pearce||27 May 1957|
|29.||Ken Breaks a Window||Philippa Pearce||3 Jun 1957|
|30.||A Visit to the Manor House||D. J. Saint||17 Jun 1957|
|31.||Ken Learns to Swim||Garry Lyle||24 Jun 1957|
|32.||Fenton Flower Show||Philippa Pearce||1 Jul 1957|
|33.||23 Willow Street||Philippa Pearce||23 Sep 1957|
|34.||Betty Learns to Drive||D. J. Saint||30 Sep 1957|
|35.||Fenton Fair||Charles E. Stidwill||7 Oct 1957|
|36.||Mrs Jackson Goes Away||Charles E. Stidwill||14 Oct 1957|
|37.||Betty's Dance Dress||D. J. Saint||21 Oct 1957|
|38.||The Hallowe'en Ghost||Philippa Pearce||28 Oct 1957|
|39.||Uncle Bert Comes Home Again||Alan Boucher||4 Nov 1957|
|40.||Mr Jackson Builds a Garage||Garry Lyle||11 Nov 1957|
|41.||Chip Goes to the Vet||D. J. Saint||18 Nov 1957|
|42.||The Christmas Concert||Sam Langdon||25 Nov 1957|
|43.||The Fancy Dress Party||Charles E. Stidwill||2 Dec 1957|
|44.||Family Budget||Philippa Pearce||13 Jan 1958|
|45.||Burst Pipes||Hugh David||20 Jan 1958|
|46.||Key of the Door||Philippa Pearce||27 Jan 1958|
|47.||Floods at Fenton||Hugh David||3 Feb 1958|
|48.||At the Post Office||Charles E. Stidwill||10 Feb 1958|
|49.||The New Greenhouse||Garry Lyle||17 Feb 1958|
|50.||Ken's Collection||D. J. Saint||24 Feb 1958|
|51.||Breaking and Entering||Phillip Mann||3 Mar 1958|
|52.||Rehearsing a Play||Phillip Mann||10 Mar 1958|
|53.||Spring Cleaning||D. J. Saint||17 Mar 1958|
|54.||A Day in London||Charles E. Stidwill||24 Mar 1958|
|55.||Grandfather Comes to Stay||Philippa Pearce||21 Apr 1958|
|56.||What's Under the Road?||Charles E. Stidwill||28 Apr 1958|
|57.||The Boat Adventure||Hugh David||5 May 1958|
|58.||The Awkward Customer||Sam Langdon||12 May 1958|
|59.||The Lost Child||Charles E. Stidwill||19 May 1958|
|60.||The Fishpond||Garry Lyle||2 Jun 1958|
|61.||Harry's New Camera||Phillip Mann||9 Jun 1958|
|62.||Ken Minds the Baby||D. J. Saint||16 Jun 1958|
|63.||Fenton Roman Villa||Garry Lyle||23 Jun 1958|
|64.||Fenton Pageant||Philippa Pearce||30 Jun 1958|
|65.||Wedding Anniversary||Philippa Pearce||22 Sep 1958|
|66.||Harry Gets a Rise||Charles E. Stidwill||29 Sep 1958|
|67.||Accident in the Kitchen||Charles E. Stidwill||6 Oct 1958|
|68.||Councillor Webb||Hugh David||13 Oct 1958|
|69.||Ken Plays the Recorder||D. J. Saint||20 Oct 1958|
|70.||Hidden Treasure||Garry Lyle||27 Oct 1958|
|71.||Uncle Bert Home Again||Phillip Mann||3 Nov 1958|
|72.||Spaceman Ken||Phillip Mann||10 Nov 1958|
|73.||Pigeon in the Chimney||Charles E. Stidwill||17 Nov 1958|
|74.||Open Night at the Youth Club||Hugh David||24 Nov 1958|
|75.||Christmas Candles||Phillip Mann||1 Dec 1958|
|76.||The Jacksons at the Circus||D. J. Saint||12 Jan 1959|
|77.||Tree Trouble||Phillip Mann||19 Jan 1959|
|78.||Betty Learns to Skate||Charles E. Stidwill||26 Jan 1959|
|79.||P.C. Dent Visits Ken||Charles E. Stidwill||2 Feb 1959|
|80.||The New Reservoir||Hugh David||9 Feb 1959|
|81.||Laying the Lino||Phillip Mann||16 Feb 1959|
|82.||Betty Takes the Family for a Drive||D. J. Saint||23 Feb 1959|
|83.||Painting the Fence||Garry Lyle||2 Mar 1959|
|84.||Betty's Spring Outfit||Philippa Pearce||9 Mar 1959|
|85.||Chickens in the Garden||Charles Mason||16 Mar 1959|
|86.||Locked Out of 23 Willow Street||Garry Lyle||20 Apr 1959|
|87.||Ken's Museum||Garry Lyle||27 Apr 1959|
|88.||Choosing a Picture||Moira F. Doolan||4 May 1959|
|89.||Trouble at Truman and Hope's||Charles E. Stidwill||11 May 1959|
|90.||Fenton from the Air||Phillip Mann||25 May 1959|
|91.||The Lost Brooch||D. J. Saint||1 Jun 1959|
|92.||Island in the Fen||Phillip Mann||8 Jun 1959|
|93.||The Wasp's Nest||D. J. Saint||15 Jun 1959|
|94.||Harry and Ken Go To Camp||Hugh David||22 Jun 1959|
|95.||Fenton Sale of Work||Margaret J. Miller||29 Jun 1959|
|96.||Family Photograph||Phillip Mann||21 Sep 1959|
|97.||The Puppet Show||28 Sep 1959|
|98.||Harry Finds a Friend||Hugh David||5 Oct 1959|
|99.||Chimney on Fire||Charles E. Stidwill||12 Oct 1959|
|100.||Family Misunderstanding||Hugh David||19 Oct 1959|
|101.||The Pen Friend||Phillip Mann||26 Oct 1959|
|102.||Cat up a Tree||Charles E. Stidwill||2 Nov 1959|
|103.||Fireworks at Fenton||Garry Lyle||9 Nov 1959|
|104.||Ken Meets an Explorer||Garry Lyle||16 Nov 1959|
|105.||The Bad Patient||D. J. Saint||23 Nov 1959|
|106.||Presents for Christmas||D. J. Saint||30 Nov 1959|
|107.||The Band Concert||Margaret J. Miller||7 Dec 1959|
|108.||Betty Gets a Rise||Rita Udall||18 Jan 1960|
|109.||Tom Webb's Aquarium||Garry Lyle||25 Jan 1960|
|110.||Ken Joins in a Quiz||Edward Blishen||1 Feb 1960|
|111.||Secretary of the Youth Club||Charles E. Stidwill||8 Feb 1960|
|112.||The Awkward Invitation||Phillip Mann||15 Feb 1960|
|113.||Betty's Bargain||D. J. Saint||22 Feb 1960|
|114.||Accident at Work||Garry Lyle||29 Feb 1960|
|115.||The Lost Budgerigar||Charles E. Stidwill||7 Mar 1960|
|116.||Painting the House||Peter Claughton||14 Mar 1960|
|117.||Fenton Council Meeting||Phillip Mann||21 Mar 1960|
|118.||Youth Hostel Weekend||Garry Lyle||28 Mar 1960|
|119.||Developing a Photograph||Phillip Mann||2 May 1960|
|120.||Pigeons on the Roof||9 May 1960|
|121.||Ken Makes a Speech||L. P. Ball||16 May 1960|
|122.||The Car Accident||Richard Wortley||23 May 1960|
|123.||Television Competition||Phillip Mann||30 May 1960|
|124.||The Boat Picnic||Hugh David||13 Jun 1960|
|125.||Ken and Harry Help with the Harvest||Garry Lyle||20 Jun 1960|
|126.||Planning a Trip Abroad||Edward Blishen||27 Jun 1960|
|127.||A Dog at Boulogne||Edward Blishen||4 Jul 1960|
|128.||Betty's Engagement||Philippa Pearce||19 Sep 1960|
|129.||The Jacksons Start Saving||Margaret J. Miller||26 Sep 1960|
|130.||Ken Thinks of a Job||Rita Udall||3 Oct 1960|
|131.||Ricky Webb in Trouble||Jeffrey Segal||10 Oct 1960|
|132.||Emergency Telephone Call||Garry Lyle||17 Oct 1960|
|133.||The Rabbits on Show||Charles E. Stidwill||24 Oct 1960|
|134.||House-Hunting||Philippa Pearce||31 Oct 1960|
|135.||Ken Rides a Pony||Garry Lyle||7 Nov 1960|
|136.||Books or Magazines?||Edward Blishen||14 Nov 1960|
|137.||Judy Webb and the Stick Insects||Edward Blishen||21 Nov 1960|
|138.||The Youth Club Makes a Plan||Rita Udall||28 Nov 1960|
|139.||Toys for Christmas||Richard Wortley||5 Dec 1960|
|140.||At the Pantomime||Jeffrey Segal||16 Jan 1961|
|141.||Frost in the Greenhouse||Garry Lyle||23 Jan 1961|
|142.||Exploring Fenton||Garry Lyle||30 Jan 1961|
|143.||Sending a Parcel Abroad||Margaret J. Miller||6 Feb 1961|
|144.||Ken Sees the Youth Employment Officer||Rita Udall||13 Feb 1961|
|145.||A Visit to Grandad||Charles E. Stidwill||20 Feb 1961|
|146.||Ken Turns Cook||27 Feb 1961|
|147.||Accident to Chip||Richard Wortley||6 Mar 1961|
|148.||The Borrowed Tape Recorder||Edward Blishen||13 Mar 1961|
|149.||Rummage Sale||Margaret J. Miller||20 Mar 1961|
|150.||Tom Webb Goes to the Dentist||Margaret J. Miller||24 Apr 1961|
|151.||Wedding Preparations||D. J. Saint||1 May 1961|
|152.||Harry Makes a Sundial||John Brodie||8 May 1961|
|153.||Treasure Hunt||Garry Lyle||15 May 1961|
|154.||Ken Applies For His Job||Ronald Smurthwaite||29 May 1961|
|155.||The Canoe Race||Richard Wortley||5 Jun 1961|
|156.||Betty Gets Married||D. J. Saint||12 Jun 1961|
|157.||The Fenton Gazette||Edward Blishen||19 Jun 1961|
|158.||Swarm in June||Garry Lyle||26 Jun 1961|
|159.||Harvest Festival||Garry Lyle||18 Sep 1961|
|160.||The Youth Club Has an Idea||Margaret J. Miller||25 Sep 1961|
|161.||Tom and Ken and Football
(working title: The Football Match)
|Jeffrey Segal||2 Oct 1961|
|162.||Ken - Police Cadet||Ronald Smurthwaite||9 Oct 1961|
|163.||Watching Television||Jeffrey Segal||16 Oct 1961|
|164.||A Visit to the Motor Show||Garry Lyle||23 Oct 1961|
|165.||Guy Fawkes' Night||Richard Wortley||30 Oct 1961|
|166.||A Present for Uncle Bert||Ronald Smurthwaite||6 Nov 1961|
|167.||Betty Moves In||Rita Udall||13 Nov 1961|
|168.||Tom's White Mice||Charles E. Stidwill||20 Nov 1961|
|169.||Newcomers to Fenton||Margaret J. Miller||27 Nov 1961|
|170.||The Christmas Treat||Honor Wyatt||4 Dec 1961|
|171.||A Visit to the Airport||Garry Lyle||15 Jan 1962|
|172.||Uncle Bert Comes Home||Jeffrey Segal||22 Jan 1962|
|173.||Judy Enters a Competition||Margaret J. Miller||29 Jan 1962|
|174.||Tom Helps Out at the Garage||Garry Lyle||5 Feb 1962|
|175.||Fancy Dress Night at the Youth Club||Rose Segal||12 Feb 1962|
|176.||Judy Joins the Library||Edward Blishen||19 Feb 1962|
|177.||Betty's Housewarming||Margaret J. Miller||26 Feb 1962|
|178.||Planning the Garden||Garry Lyle||5 Mar 1962|
|179.||Making a Bird Table||Charles E. Stidwill||12 Mar 1962|
|180.||Pocket Money||Jeffrey Segal||19 Mar 1962|
|181.||Easter Eggs||Margaret J. Miller||26 Mar 1962|
|182.||A Barbecue||Garry Lyle||30 Apr 1962|
|183.||Camping Out||Richard Wortley||7 May 1962|
|184.||Fenton Museum||Edward Blishen||14 May 1962|
|185.||Ken Learns to Drive||Ronald Smurthwaite||21 May 1962|
|186.||A Visit to the Swimming Baths||Garry Lyle||28 May 1962|
|187.||Judy Thinks About a Job||Margaret J. Miller||4 Jun 1962|
|188.||Tom Starts Collecting Stamps||Charles E. Stidwill||18 Jun 1962|
|189.||Jean Dubois Visits Tom||Edward Blishen||25 Jun 1962|
|190.||Fenton Carnival||Jeffrey Segal||2 Jul 1962|
|191.||Harry's Twenty-First||Garry Lyle||17 Sep 1962|
|192.||Ken on a Police Cadet Course||Ronald Smurthwaite||24 Sep 1962|
|193.||Tom Takes Charge||Margaret J. Miller||1 Oct 1962|
|194.||Litter Problem||Garry Lyle||8 Oct 1962|
|195.||Ricky in Hospital||Edward Blishen||15 Oct 1962|
|196.||Chimney Fire||Rose Segal||22 Oct 1962|
|197.||Fenton Fire Station||Jeffrey Segal||29 Oct 1962|
|198.||Hallowe'en||Beryl King||5 Nov 1962|
|199.||Judy at the Office||Ronald Smurthwaite||12 Nov 1962|
|200.||Ken Becomes an Uncle||Margaret J. Miller||19 Nov 1962|
|201.||Fog||Jeffrey Segal||26 Nov 1962|
|202.||Preparing for Christmas||Cameron Miller||3 Dec 1962|
|203.||Christening Party||Margaret J. Miller||14 Jan 1963|
|204.||At the Pantomime||Jeffrey Segal||21 Jan 1963|
|205.||Uncle Bert Comes Home||Garry Lyle||28 Jan 1963|
|206.||Burst Pipes||Jeffrey Segal||4 Feb 1963|
|207.||Betty's Dinner Party||Margaret J. Miller||11 Feb 1963|
|208.||A Suspicious Incident||Ronald Smurthwaite||18 Feb 1963|
|209.||Ken Buys a Scooter||Guy Lethbridge||25 Feb 1963|
|210.||The Youth Club Makes a Plan||Garry Lyle||4 Mar 1963|
|211.||Tom Learns About Photography||Alaric Cotter||11 Mar 1963|
|212.||Spring Cleaning||Rose Segal||18 Mar 1963|
|213.||A Visit to the Zoo||Edward Blishen||25 Mar 1963|
|214.||Filming in Fenton||Jeffrey Segal||29 Apr 1963|
|215.||Road Safety Rally||Alaric Cotter||6 May 1963|
|216.||Club Night||Rose Segal||13 May 1963|
|217.||Tom Goes Fishing||Garry Lyle||20 May 1963|
|218.||A Visit to London||Margaret J. Miller||27 May 1963|
|219.||Tom Takes a River Trip||Garry Lyle||10 Jun 1963|
|220.||Minding the Baby||Margaret J. Miller||17 Jun 1963|
|221.||Helping in the Garden||Garry Lyle||24 Jun 1963|
|222.||Farewell to Fenton||Jeffrey Segal||1 Jul 1963|
In the Archives
There was a new episode of The Jacksons every week throughout the school year for seven years, from 1956-7 to 1962-3, during which time over 200 episodes were produced.
According to the free online version of the BBC Programme Catalogue, recordings of only 2 episodes - less than 1% of those produced - have been kept by the BBC, the rest may be lost forever. I am not aware whether recordings of other episodes are held by the National Sound Archive or other collections, if anybody has any information about this please get in touch by email.
The episodes in the BBC archive are:
Episodes that were never made
Every year the BBC used to send an annual programme guide out to schools, listing all the programmes they planned to broadcast in the coming school year. When these were printed, scripts were being prepared for the episodes of The Jacksons to be broadcast in the autumn term, but there were only provisional plans for the rest of the school year.
Several of the 'potential' episodes of The Jacksons listed in the annual programmes were never made. Here are some of the titles which were planned but abandoned:
- Harry Goes to a Concert (spring 1961)
- Sailing a Boat (summer 1961)
- A Visit to the Docks (summer 1961)
- Ken Meets a Writer (summer 1961)
- Buying a Television Set (spring 1962)
- Train Spotting (summer 1962) - Tom started collecting stamps instead
- Hamsters (summer 1962)
- The Cricket Match (summer 1962)
- The School Trip (summer 1962)
The Jacksons was always broadcast at 2:30pm on Monday afternoons on the Home Service. However it was never heard in Scotland - the series Scottish Heritage was broadcast in the timeslot instead.
Scottish listeners had their own series for "less able" children of about 13: Round and About was broadcast in Scotland only on Mondays at 11:20am. Episodes of Round and About were only 15 minutes long, shorter than The Jacksons programmes, and offered a range of documentary or magazine programmes including some dramatisations of famous texts - for instance The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle, produced in 3 episodes in summer 1961, and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickins in autumn 1957..
Sources & References
Sources used in compliing this page. I have never heard any of the programmes themselves.
- BBC (1960) Broadcasts to Schools Annual Programme 1960-1
- BBC (1961) Broadcasts to Schools Annual Programme 1961-2
- BBC (1962) The Jacksons Notes for the Teacher Summer 1962
- Fawdry, Kenneth (1974) Everything But Alf Garnett: A Personal View of BBC School Broadcasting, London: BBC. ISBN 0 563 12763 5 Page 94.
- Information about the origins of the series from Fawdry (1974).
- Radio Times listing said Betty and Johnnie got married at "the local church", I am inferring from the map that this was St John's Church.
- Rita Uddall credited as editor in BBC (1962) and as producer on records for both surviving episodes in the free online version of the BBC Programme Catalogue, from 1962-3.
- Information about Scottish broadcasts, and about Scottish Heritage and Round and About, from BBC (1960), BBC wallcharts summer 1962 and programme listings in the regional variations of the Midlands & London edition Radio Times.