AP mast (2K)

DIRECT TELEVISION from ALEXANDRA PALACE

by Arthur Dungate

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Tuning Signals

A Tuning Signal for All Seasons !

 
8pm Clock ts (5K)
8pm Tuning Signal

For the standard Opening Routines at 3pm, 5pm and 8pm, the clock on the film would show the actual time. For the occasional starting times different from usual, a clockless version would be shown. At one minute to the hour, the tuning signal would dissolve to the BBC Coat of Arms, and after 20 seconds this in turn would dissolve to a daylight scene of the Houses of Parliament and River Thames.

8pm Clock ts (5K)
Clockless
BBC Coat of Arms (8K)
Coat of Arms
HOP Day (4K)
HOP Day

In winter, when it would be dark at those times, a night scene version taken from a similar viewpoint would be used. Thus we had alternative versions to use as appropriate. These would have identification names such as "3pm HOP Day", "Clockless HOP Night", "Kids 5pm" etc.

Kids 5pm (4K)
Kids 5pm
HOP Night (3K)
HOP Night

Tuning Signal, 4.49pm (5K)

The children's programmes would start at 5pm so at 5 minutes to 5 we'd run the Kids 5pm Tuning Signal, but this time the music on the film's soundtrack (which you can see on the left of the film frame) was the Children's Scherzetto.

I always used to feel, while watching the hands of the clock creep nearer and nearer to 5pm that the music wasn't going to finish in time! But since it was on the soundtrack of the film, it couldn't possibly get out of sync, and of course it always did finish just in time!

At one minute to the hour the clock would fade out and the BBC Coat of Arms faded in. After 57 seconds this would in turn dissolve to the stars and Childrens TV title.

Childrens Tv title (4K)
3 tv masts (6K)

If the sequence was allowed to run it would end with a dissolve to an animation depicting the masts of the three tv transmitting stations at the time - Alexandra Palace, (serving London and south-east England), Sutton Coldfield (serving the Midlands) and Holme Moss (serving the north of England).

By the time Kirk O'Shots (southern Scotland) and Wenvoe (south Wales and West of England) transmitters had been built, the sequence had been changed, and so 4- and 5-mast titles were never seen.

An alternative start to Childrens Television was this slowly revolving carousel.

Childrens TV carousel title (6K)

At 6pm at the end of the childrens programme, television would close down again until the start of the evening's transmission at 8pm. The Closing Routine was the star bursts dissolving into the end title.

kids tv end (4K) kids tv end titles (5K)

Childrens Tv end title (4K)

If time was short, however, the Closing Routine would just be a frame of film in the Mechau.

Then we had a Monoscope installed in CTR. This was a cathode ray tube with test Card C engraved on the target, thus producing this test signal continuously. One day, while we were doing something else, there was a dull explosion. For a while we didn't think anything of it, since there was no smoke from any of the equipment! It wasn't until Presentation required a feed of the Test Card from the Monoscope, and didn't get one, that we discovered its tube had imploded for no apparent reason....

More test cards and patterns etc are in the Gallery

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