Wednesday, 3 August 2016

From Black & White to Colour

I was nine years old, but I can remember it like it was yesterday. I arrived back at home for my tea after playing out. I'd taken my bike, so had to wheel it up the alley by the side of the house and in through the back gate. Closing the gate and looking to my right, I could see through the living room window to where my parents were watching the TV. But.........hold on a minute........something was different. The flickering images on the screen. Yes, it was Crossroads alright - one of Mum's favourite programmes. There were Meg Richardson, Mr Lovejoy, Tish Hope, Amy Turtle and Miss Tatum, all present and correct......, but the pictures were in colour! Dad had upgraded our rented black & white TV for a colour set! Overcome with excitement, I threw the bike down, ran inside and probably didn't budge again all evening. It's hard now to get across just what an seismic event this was at the time, which no doubt explains why I still remember it so very vividly. It was the Summer of 1969, but for me, the 1970's started that day.

What triggered this particular memory of one piece of technology being superseded by another? Well, over at Before The Streets Were Aired, my ever-growing repository for old photos, I've paused the usual daily black and white fare to feature strictly vintage colour images throughout the month of August. Take a look.


Before you go, check out Higher Authorities, a new band comprising Ade Blackburn and Jonathan Hartley from Clinic, with the mighty Adrian Sherwood behind the mixing desk. Their debut LP, 'Neptune', is a dubby-psych curio that I've returned to time and again since picking it up a couple of months ago. Excellent stuff.

6 comments:

Walter said...

I also remember the day my dad upgrated our TV in a colour set. It was magnificent for a kid to watch the regular series in colour. But Laurel and Hardy was still televised in black and White.

TheRobster said...

We never upgraded until the mid 70s, but it was still a massive event for us. Mum picked my brother and I up from school and made us wait in the hallway as she went into the living room. She called us in, and there it was, in full, glorious technicolour. I can't tell you how much better Scooby Doo seemed!

charity chic said...

Scooby Doo was one of my first colour memories too but the first thing I saw was a programme about Christchurch in New Zealand

The Swede said...

It appears to have been a massive cultural event for all of us. Try explaining that to the kids of today!

C said...

We were very late getting a colour TV; for ages we still had an old valve b&w one that regularly overheated and had a wooden shutter to pull across the screen when not in use! But I do remember seeing other people's new colour TV screens through their open living room windows when it was all still a novelty... the colours were really garish at first though, weren't they?! Envious of this bright new world on their screens, my sister and I found we could achieve a not dissimilar effect by watching ours from behind cellophane Quality Street wrappers. Our Crossroads was pretty psychedelic....

Old Pa's Corner said...

Yes nice little tech colour story. I do remember it being a momentous event but do not have a clear memory of it. Amy Turtle in colour can it get better. Like the track and must pay them a visit.

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