Local News Takes a Holiday

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Simon Coward
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Local News Takes a Holiday

Post by Simon Coward »

In the 1960s and early 1970s our home was a London-region home, receiving the output of Rediffusion and ATV, and then Thames and LWT. Thames, in particular, did a thing each summer for its first few whole years as a weekday broadcaster. Their daily local news programme Today was given a break and the six to six-thirty-ish timeslot given over to a mixture of repeats and new programmes, usually following a common pattern each week throughout the summer, or part of the summer. For me, one year in particular was especially memorable as they repeated a serial from one of my favourite shows - "Seven Serpents Sulphur and Salt" from Ace of Wands. Each time, there was at least one weekly programme produced by the Today team, and later these quite often involved Monty Modlyn.

The key years, in Thames's case, were 1969 to 1973 and this is what we got, instead of Today, during those summer weeks.

1969

07/07/1969 What’s It All About? Programme 1 / Mad Movies
08/07/1969 What’s It All About? Programme 2
09/07/1969 Do Not Adjust Your Set
10/07/1969 F Troop: Me Heap Big Injun
11/07/1969 That Was Today That Was – a look back at stories from the last year

14/07/1969 What’s It All About? Programme 3 / Mad Movies
15/07/1969 What’s It All About? Programme 4
16/07/1969 Do Not Adjust Your Set
17/07/1969 F Troop: She's Only A Build in a Girdled Cage
18/07/1969 Today - Special from Rainham: The Five-Sixteen from Cannon Street

21/07/1969 What’s It All About? Programme 5
22/07/1969 What’s It All About? Programme 6
23/07/1969 Do Not Adjust Your Set
24/07/1969 [Apollo 11]
25/07/1969 Today - Special Issue: A Case of Selection?

28/07/1969 [Apollo 11]
29/07/1969 What’s It All About? Programme 7
30/07/1969 Do Not Adjust Your Set
31/07/1969 F Troop - Honest Injun
01/08/1969 Today - Special Issue: A High Concentration of Misery

04/08/1969 What’s It All About? Programme 8
05/08/1969 What’s It All About? Programme 9
06/08/1969 Do Not Adjust Your Set
07/08/1969 F Troop: O'Rourke v. O'Reilly
08/08/1969 Today - Special Issue: Home or Away?

11/08/1969 Whicker: The Glorious Twelfth
12/08/1969 What's It All About? Programme 10
13/08/1969 Do Not Adjust Your Set
14/08/1969 F Troop: A Gift from the Chief
15/08/1969 Today - Special Issue: The Planners and the People

18/08/1969 Mad Movies
19/08/1969 The Flying Nun: Flight of the Dodo Bird
20/08/1969 Do Not Adjust Your Set
21/08/1969 F Troop: Don't Look Now, One of Our Cannon is Missing
22/08/1969 Today - Special Issue: Ringway Two

25/08/1969 Report: Somebody Else, Not Me
26/08/1969 Applause! Applause!: Lucan and McShane
27/08/1969 Do Not Adjust Your Set
28/08/1969 F Troop: Corporal Agarn's Farewell to the Troops
29/08/1969 Best of Today

01/09/1969 [Bank Holiday Monday programming]
02/09/1969 [Today restarts]

1970

22/06/1970 You and the World: The Kick Off's at Three / Mad Movies
23/06/1970 Moviemen!: John Huston
24/06/1970 Monty and Kenneth
25/06/1970 Applause! Applause!: Sid Field - 1
26/06/1970 Early Bird (a special summer programme, with no football or politics)

29/06/1970 You and the World: The Kick Off's at Three / Mad Movies
30/06/1970 Moviemen!: Richard Lester
01/07/1970 I Dream of Jeannie: The Lady in the Bottle
02/07/1970 Applause! Applause!: Sid Field - 2
03/07/1970 Early Bird

06/07/1970 You and the World: The Kick Off's at Three / Mad Movies
07/07/1970 Moviemen!: David Lean
08/07/1970 I Dream of Jeannie: My Master, The Rainmaker
09/07/1970 Applause! Applause!: George Robey
10/07/1970 Early Bird

13/07/1970 You and the World: The Kick Off's at Three / Mad Movies
14/07/1970 Moviemen!: Bryan Forbes
15/07/1970 I Dream of Jeannie: Jeannie or the Tiger
16/07/1970 Applause! Applause!: Gracie Fields
17/07/1970 Today Special: A Home in Primrose Hill

20/07/1970 Japan '70: A Personal View by Allan Hargreaves
21/07/1970 Japan '70: A Personal View by Allan Hargreaves
22/07/1970 Japan '70: A Personal View by Allan Hargreaves
23/07/1970 Japan '70: A Personal View by Allan Hargreaves
24/07/1970 His Sins Were Scarlet but his Books Were Read (a programme about Hilaire Belloc)

27/07/1970 You and the World: The Kick Off's at Three / Mad Movies
28/07/1970 Moviemen!: Joseph Losey
29/07/1970 I Dream of Jeannie: My Wild-Eyed Monster
30/07/1970 Applause! Applause!: George Formby
31/07/1970 The Gypsies

03/08/1970 You and the World: The Kick Off's at Three / Mad Movies
04/08/1970 Moviemen!: John Schlesinger
05/08/1970 I Dream of Jeannie: The Greatest Entertainer in the World
06/08/1970 Applause! Applause!: Lucan and McShane
07/08/1970 Early Bird

10/08/1970 The Bitter Years
11/08/1970 The Flintstones: Boss for a Day
12/08/1970 I Dream of Jeannie: The Second Greatest Con Artist in the World
13/08/1970 Branded: Call to Glory - 1
14/08/1970 Early Bird

17/08/1970 Action! / Mad Movies
18/08/1970 Whose Baby?
19/08/1970 I Dream of Jeannie: You Can't Arrest Me... I Don't Have A Driver's License
20/08/1970 Branded: Call to Glory - 2
21/08/1970 Early Bird

24/08/1970 Action!
25/08/1970 Looks Familiar
26/08/1970 I Dream of Jeannie: Fly Me to the Moon
27/08/1970 Branded: Call to Glory - 3
28/08/1970 Early Bird

31/08/1970 [Bank Holiday Monday programming]
01/09/1970 [Today restarts]

1971

05/07/1971 Today Special: It All Happened at the Albert Hall
06/07/1971 The Flintstones: Two Men on a Dinosaur
07/07/1971 Cooking Price-WIse: Dishes from New York, Savoy and Holland
08/07/1971 Smith - 1: Not Nubbed Yet
09/07/1971 Riptide: Bound from California

12/07/1971 Today Special: Early One Morning
13/07/1971 The Flintstones: The Treasure of Sierra Madrock
14/07/1971 Cooking Price-WIse: Dishes from Greece and Morocco
15/07/1971 Smith - 2: Finders Keepers
16/07/1971 Riptide: The Dangerous Pick-up

19/07/1971 Today Specia(?): A Product of Civilisation
20/07/1971 The Flintstones: Curtain Call at Bedrock
21/07/1971 Cooking Price-WIse: Dishes from Great Britain
22/07/1971 Smith - 3: Live and Learn
23/07/1971 Riptide: North of the Headland

26/07/1971 Today Special: Monty's the Name (but shown as 'Soup on Sunday' in newspapers)
27/07/1971 The Flintstones: Fred's Island
28/07/1971 Cooking Price-WIse: Dishes from Great Britain
29/07/1971 Smith - 4: Blind Justice
30/07/1971 Riptide: Surprise, Surprise

02/08/1971 [Apollo 15]
03/08/1971 The Flintstones: Jealousy
04/08/1971 Cooking Price-WIse: Dishes from California, Switzerland and Austria
05/08/1971 Smith - 5: A Long Spoon
06/08/1971 Riptide: The Affair at Mangrove Creek

09/08/1971 Today Special: Monty's the Name (but listed as 'Soup on Sunday' in newspapers)
10/08/1971 The Flintstones: My Fair Freddy
11/08/1971 Cooking Price-WIse: Dishes from the Gulf Coast, Hawaii and Indonesia
12/08/1971 Smith - 6: The Newgate Star
13/08/1971 Riptide: Echoes from a Lost Valley

16/08/1971 Today Special: Kenneth Robinson's London
17/08/1971 The Flintstones: How to Pick a Fight with Your Wife Without Really Trying
18/08/1971 Cooking Price-WIse: Dishes from Italy, America and Turkey
19/08/1971 Smith - 7: The Black Angel
20/08/1971 Riptide: The McQuade Myth

23/08/1971 Today Special: Half a Rebel
24/08/1971 The Flintstones: Fred Goes Ape
25/08/1971 Arnie: Trouble in the Air
26/08/1971 Smith - 8: God Save the King
27/08/1971 Riptide: Sharky

30/08/1971 [Bank Holiday Monday programming]
31/08/1971 [Today restarts]

1972

03/07/1972 You and the World: The Scooter - part 1
04/07/1972 The Dave Cash Radio Programme
05/07/1972 Junkin
06/07/1972 Wreckers at Dead Eye - 1: The Stranger
07/07/1972 Midsummer Monty

10/07/1972 You and the World: The Scooter - part 2
11/07/1972 The Dave Cash Radio Programme
12/07/1972 Junkin
13/07/1972 Wreckers at Dead Eye - 2: Hand of Evil
14/07/1972 Midsummer Monty

17/07/1972 You and the World: Up West - part 1
18/07/1972 The Dave Cash Radio Programme
19/07/1972 Junkin
20/07/1972 Wreckers at Dead Eye - 3: The Legend of Thriabbas
21/07/1972 Midsummer Monty

24/07/1972 You and the World: Up West - part 2
25/07/1972 The Dave Cash Radio Programme
26/07/1972 Junkin
27/07/1972 Wreckers at Dead Eye - 4: Boomer Hole
28/07/1972 Midsummer Monty

31/07/1972 You and the World: Care - part 1
01/08/1972 The Dave Cash Radio Programme
02/08/1972 Junkin
03/08/1972 Wreckers at Dead Eye - 5: Ship in the Night
04/08/1972 Midsummer Monty

07/08/1972 You and the World: Care - part 2
08/08/1972 The Dave Cash Radio Programme
09/08/1972 Junkin
10/08/1972 Wreckers at Dead Eye - 6: Shivering Sands
11/08/1972 Midsummer Monty

14/08/1972 [Today restarts]

1973

09/07/1973 The Doris Day Show: A Fine Romance
10/07/1973 Ace of Wands: Seven Serpents Sulphur and Salt - 1
11/07/1973 Today Special: I Remember When...
12/07/1973 Adventures of Rainbow Country: The Skydirver
13/07/1973 Today Week (a quizzical look at the week from Kenneth Robinson and others)

16/07/1973 The Doris Day Show: Happiness is Not Being Fired
17/07/1973 Ace of Wands: Seven Serpents Sulphur and Salt - 2
18/07/1973 Margaret and Me
19/07/1973 Adventures of Rainbow Country: Lac du Diable
20/07/1973 Today Week

23/07/1973 The Doris Day Show: Mr. and Mrs. Raffles
24/07/1973 Ace of Wands: Seven Serpents Sulphur and Salt - 3
25/07/1973 Today Special: A Monty Collection
26/07/1973 Adventures of Rainbow Country: Pursiot Along the Aux Sables
27/07/1973 Today Week

30/07/1973 The Doris Day Show: And Here's... Doris
31/07/1973 Dennis Wheatley Talking
01/08/1973 Margaret and Me
02/08/1973 Adventures of Rainbow Country: The Kid from Spanish Harlem
03/08/1973 Today Week

06/08/1973 [Today restarts]

As can be seen, after a peak in 1970 the breaks get shorter and the number of Today-related programmes increases. In 1974 Today kept going throughout the summer, but was reduced to three programmes a week, with the gaps being filled by Dr Simon Locke, a Canadian series, and Waterwise a Thames series about boating which had already been shown in some other parts of the country. In 1975, Today remained on-air for four days out of five with just Wednesdays off - and even that was mainly taken by Monty Modlyn's series A Town Called... although one Wednesday slot was given to Miss Thames Television 1975. Finally, in 1976, Today ran straight through the summer.

My main point in posting all of this was to ask: did other regions do this? And, if so, what kind of things did they put on in place of their local daily news programme?

Notes:

1969: What's It All About was a dramatised programme for schools first shown in 1968. The Do Not Adjust Your Set editions were selected repeats from those shown earlier in 1969.
1970: Today's holiday was even longer than it appears here, because of the World Cup football shown in the early evening during the first three weeks of June. You and the World was a dramatised programme for schools first shown in 1969. Moviemen! was a Thames series originally shown in a late night slot in 1970. Applause! Applause! was a Thames series about music-hall artistes, originally shown in 1968 and 1969.
1971: Although not one of Thames' own productions Cooking Price-Wise, with Vincent Price, had been shown in a late night slot earlier in 1971. Smith, a children's serial, had originally been shown in 1970.
1972: These dramatised editions of You and the World had first been shown in 1970 as had the children's serial The Wreckers at Dead Eye. Both Junkin, made by Southern, and The Dave Cash Radio Programme, from HTV, were new to Thames.
1973: Ace of Wands and the best serial of them all, previously shown in 1971.
We all have to eat a peck of dirt before we die.

Brock
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Re: Local News Takes a Holiday

Post by Brock »

Sorry for going off-topic but the first thing that struck me was this:
Simon Coward wrote:01/09/1969 [Bank Holiday Monday programming]
I had either forgotten, or never knew in the first place, that the "August" bank holiday fell in September in 1969 (and also 1968, it seems).

I don't think HTV's regional news programme took a break, but we usually watched the BBC so I'd need to check the TV Times to be certain.

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Simon Coward
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Re: Local News Takes a Holiday

Post by Simon Coward »

Brock wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 2:04 pm
I had either forgotten, or never knew in the first place, that the "August" bank holiday fell in September in 1969 (and also 1968, it seems).
Yes, I'd forgotten that too, although I suppose for two reasons it may not have seemed particularly significant at the time. One being that either way it still fell in the school holidays so didn't provide an extra day off for me. Secondly, that holiday had only been in place for a few years and so perhaps I just thought that was what it did and not particularly remarkable. Wikipedia suggests that initially the Bank Holiday weekend was chosen based on the last Saturday of August, rather than the last Monday but whether that's back-fitting something which wasn't quite that thought through, I don't know.
We all have to eat a peck of dirt before we die.

fatcat
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Re: Local News Takes a Holiday

Post by fatcat »

Hey Simon.

We must have been watching at the same time LOL.

I maybe wrong but I think Smith was also repeated during a later summer break ..maybe 76.
Also IIRC Opportunity Knocks also use to take a summer break and that slot often had The Saint and Riptide* in.
Riptide seemed to jump from one thing to the other...I suspect they had to chop it down to fit the op knocks slot.

*Riptide ...for anyone not familiar was an exciting Australian action-adventure...with some of the Danger Man crew involved.

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Simon Coward
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Re: Local News Takes a Holiday

Post by Simon Coward »

fatcat wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:24 pm
I maybe wrong but I think Smith was also repeated during a later summer break ..maybe 76.
I don't remember that and a quick search hasn't turned anything obvious up, but then searching for 'smith' you do get an awful lot of chaff with the wheat. If you find out dates / details I'd be fascinated to hear what you've got.
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fatcat
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Re: Local News Takes a Holiday

Post by fatcat »

Simon Coward wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:15 pm
fatcat wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:24 pm
I maybe wrong but I think Smith was also repeated during a later summer break ..maybe 76.
I don't remember that and a quick search hasn't turned anything obvious up, but then searching for 'smith' you do get an awful lot of chaff with the wheat. If you find out dates / details I'd be fascinated to hear what you've got.

Er yes ignore it for the time being - I was so sure that OK use to take a summer break from its concreted in Monday slot. but now cannot find anything to substantiate that...now I am also not sure if I saw Smith on a friend's tv in another region.

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