AP

DIRECT TELEVISION from ALEXANDRA PALACE

by Arthur Dungate

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The Back Page

This page is rather like the back flap of a book's dust jacket on which is often printed extracts from reviews (but it would need a rather large back flap.....) So, if you will kindly forgive me, here are some of the nice things that have been said about this television section.

star (1k) I spent an extremely enjoyable two hours going through the site - it was everything a good site should be, informative, entertaining and superbly designed. Particularly enjoyable and interesting were the passages devoted to telerecording in its various forms, a subject which has always interested me for some reason ... The incidents and anecdotes were priceless too - something sadly missing from many of the drier accounts of the BBC's pioneering days. In short, if I'd have paid 15 for it in book form I'd have been more than happy; the fact that I got it for the price of a local phone call makes me ecstatic! Many congratulations on a great site. An informative and entertaining account of the pioneering days at AP and The Grove and if you haven't visited it yet, you're missing out on one of the best TV-related web-sites around.     (Rory C.)

star (1k) Absolutely fascinating, yes I would certainly have been watching the "Watch with Mother" shows when you were operating the telecine!     (Wenlock B.)

star (1k) I think it is simply marvellous and if the BBC had any sense they would put a link into it from their own pages. You must have spent a long time gathering information about these !!! I particularly enjoyed the Telecording pages, which are excellent. In fact the whole presentation is immaculate. Congratulations, it's a triumph of it's kind and the best single site I've seen on 'old television'.     (Andy H.)

star (1k) Very interesting and well presented. It must have been an extremely interesting time to work in Television.     (Steve)

star (1k) Thank you so much for creating what I regard as one of the very best Web Sites on the Internet! I have just read your "Direct Television from Alexandra Palace" article with astonished delight. A 1949 baby, I became a lifelong television fanatic in the early 1950s (at first in Llandrindod Wells - difficult reception) and have many vivid and happy reminiscences of those days (Mummie, why do we see the Alexandra Palace aerial on the newsreel when it's coming from Wenvoe?).     (Jon G.)

star (1k) I thought I would write and say your web site is fantastic. Such a deep and personal insight into a place where he obviously enjoyed working.     (Martin D.)

star (1k) All that I can say is that it's truly and absolutely astoundingly brilliant and that praise is long overdue. Need I say more?     (Dave)

star (1k) Having just read through your entire Alexandra Palace story, I must say it's the most fascinating, well-displayed and consistently gripping set of pages to come my way for a VERY long time. What an archive! Such a pity the Coronation rehearsals are missing. And as for the sound that normally gets trotted out with the Coronation telerecording... why did they destroy the sound tape? That would surely have been much higher quality than the telerecording sound made by the primitive method you described.     (John H-W.)

star (1k) ... saving an entire website (which is rare but I did it with yours!) ... I found your site fascinating. By trade and training I'm a cameraman/editor ... but I wish I'd been born some years earlier as I would have loved to have worked at the BBC in the 50's and 60's.     (Ian W.)

star (1k) Many many thanks for putting up such a superb site of fascinating images and information on life in television which seems so different then from what it is now. I have just spent the whole afternoon reading each and every page as I found I had completely lost track of time.     (Iain R.)

star (1k) I'd like to say how much I enjoy your Alexandra Palace site. It has brought back a lot of childhood memories. In 1948, when I was 10, the Olympic Games were held in Wembley, where I lived. This was, of course, a big occasion for BBC Television. ... The TV production van was located alongside the pool, and I used to sneak into the van. ... After graduating from Manchester University in 1959, I went to work at EMI in Hayes ... the Research Labs where I worked on colour TV. Just outside our lab was the remains of a mast just like the one at Alexandra Palace. ... Again thanks for a great site.     (Anthony J. N.)

star (1k) Having just found your website and am now in a reverie! I remember watching spellbound at the demonstration films during the 50s, in a darkened room at my aunt's house in Croydon. It is wonderful to read the details about them, as it brings back memories I had quite forgotten.     (Norman)

star (1k) I sat up until half-past-midnight last night absolutely glued to your wonderful website. What a treasure-store it is! I was born in 1945 and remember most of those programmes well -particularly "Quatermass II". Thank you so much for telling us what the end-title music was. ... It was in fact Quatermass and the use of Holst's "Mars" that first sparked my interest in classical music which eventually led to my entering the music profession and working for some years as a composer and musical director in television (see, it was all your fault!). I did all my BBC TV recording at Lime Grove in a studio on the first floor we knew as "TMS" - I'm sure you could identify it. Very many thanks for a most entertaining and informative website and a delightful trip down memory lane.     (Rodney N. Music Consultant, London International Film School)

star (1k) I have just been looking at your pages and felt so entranced that I just had to drop you a note so say how much I enjoyed them. I've been a fan of the BBC since I was little and was lucky enough to get to work there for a short while in 1999-2000. The old BBC has always held fascination for me and reading your pages was pure joy!     (Ray B.)

star (1k) I am 73 years old and lived in Wood Green until 1964. Pre-war I remember going "up the Palace" to play with older children (not allowed often because of 'bad men'). We used to hang around the TV studio and get autographs. I wish I still had that autograph book. I well remember the gardening programme as we used to watch C.H.Middleton perform. ... Later, I met all my boy friends at the roller skating rink - even my husband. and we used to row on that small lake. ... looking up the Ally Pally on the Internet has brought memories and tears and I felt I wanted to share this with you.     (Betty K., Australia)

star (1k) I have much enjoyed dotting through this. I haven't seen it all yet. I found it by chance while looking for a picture of a BTR 2 on which I was 'editing trained' in 1972 as a Radio SM (or POA as we were called for a while).     (Andrew M., ex-senior music producer, Radio 3)

star (1k) Just a quick thankyou for the interesting web-site... I was one of the viewers that watched Andy Pandy, The Flower Pot Men and all the other children's programmes. I must have been about six years old at the time, and I seem to remember that we had a nine inch Bush television.     ("Mr Trevor")

star (1k) Thank you Arthur for a lot of memories. I grew up in Essex during the times you have discussed and I agree with you that things like that will not ever happen again. I was idly thinking this morning what to look up on the web and I thought of Sylvia Peters and stumbled on your website. An excellent "nuts and bolts" look at what happened in those pioneering days of television. ... I make my living these days in Oregon, USA.     (Jim G.)

star (1k) I just can't say how much I love your site - seeing the interludes and clocks etc brings back my childhood - I have made the 'Batwings' into a desktop background. ... 'thank you' for a most wonderful site.     (Alan G.)

star (1k) I would just like to take this brief opportunity to congratulate you on your most interesting website. Being in my late thirties, I remember most of the early '60s television (the likes of Watch with Mother - Andy Pandy and The Flowerpot Men). Having trained in an engineering environment and since moved on to an IT environment, the mechanics of television - particularly the early days - has always interested me. It's great to see such a detailed and interesting website as yours, that particularily outlines the type of equipment that you used - and the troubles that you had with it!     (Alan W.)

star (1k) I have just been reading the material on your website - how very enjoyable it all is.. I don't know whether you were still there then, but I worked at AP as a newsreader in 1963 and "did" the Kennedy assassination news bulletins in November of that year. Waldo Maguire was the Editor of TV News and Desmond Taylor was his deputy. I was very young and newly arrived from New Zealand but I remember the wonderful atmosphere and camaraderie of Ally Pally. What a pity that these days, the BBC has lost so much of its quality - "dumbed down" - as they now call it.     (John R.)

star (1k) I have just been looking at your AP website and it brought back many memories of watching TV as a young boy in the 1950's and 60's. We had an Ekco console model and when I saw the clock and tuning signals and test card C on your website I was transported back. Macdonald Hobley was one of my childhood heroes and TV must have affected me since I now work as a freelance TV sound supervisor.     (Bob D.)

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