1968 – ANGLIA TELEVISION | SOME MORE PHOTOS
BY DAVID TAYLOR
As I’ve come across some more images, here is an additional post about Anglia Television, culled from a couple of Anglia promotional brochures from 1967 or 1968.
For my first post about Anglia TV, start HERE
Let’s start with the OB Scanner. CVG333D was delivered in 1966 in time for the commencement of the ‘soap opera’ Weavers Green.
Here’s a photo I’ve already added to the earlier ‘Weaver’s Green’ post showing the new truck. As I can’t imagine that we would have really been rehearsing for a scene about to be shot, with the scanner parked so close to the ‘action’, I guess there’s an element of ‘promotion image set up’ about this one.
ON THE ROAD WITH OB’s
One of the aspects about this vehicle that I had ‘failed to remember’ was that it carried it’s own 2 inch QUAD VTR. When I learned this recently I seriously wondered how you could get a very large 2 inch QUAD into such a medium sized vehicle….and still have room for a reasonable Production Gallery. Well that was explained in another photo from one of the brochures:
Promoted in 1966 by RCA under the slogan ‘RCA New Look’, the TR-4 was their attempt at a compact QUAD machine and was considerably smaller than any of the existing Ampex or RCA models . An even smaller TR-5 model then came out for ‘mobiles’, but it was ‘record only.’
Here’s a photo of the interior of the Production Gallery in CVG333D, showing the Engineering Manager’s desk foreground and the Vision Engineer’s seated in front with their CCU’s, waveform and camera monitors.
I contacted Paul Marshall, who owns an ex-Anglia Pye Mk5 camera  for some details of the vision equipment here and and he explained:
“Definitely Pye Mk5s ….with a waveform monitor in the CCU combined with OCP….more normally associated with the very rare Pye Mk4.
I was always told that there were two versions of the Pye Mk5 – the ‘mobile’ and the ‘studio’. The latter used vertical, rack mounted CCU/PSU with a separate OCP. The mobile – very cleverly if you ask me – integrated the CCU, OCP and waveform monitor.”
This camera is out on ‘the boat’. That’s the platform erected ‘mid-field’ for the commentators and at least one camera. This looks like Norwich’s ground at Carrow Road…..but hey I never really ‘got into’ football!
HERE’S ANGLIA’S FIRST OB SCANNER – IN ACTION…..ON THE MOVE.
In 1966 Anglia’s first Pye built scanner NCL721 was replaced, but here she is in, I assume 1960, with it’s front platform ….now this really looks like ‘fun’.
It could tow a small generator so a ‘moving shot’ as here was possible. But I’m not sure what sort of sound the ‘fishpole operator’ on the roof, hefting that STC mic on his pole mic would have been getting though!
Of more concern though would be …. how do you get the signal ‘away’ from the scanner? Although I’ve already shown that Anglia, shortly after it started, had a VR-1000A VTR in a ‘separate’ truck….you couldn’t get a VR-1000A into the ‘compact’ Pye scanner in this photo, so perhaps’live’ then? Towing a cable, might just work….err…well perhaps not. You can see the outline of a ‘yagi’ aerial on the roof…but it looks like it’s lying down….so perhaps that’s not a clever ‘radio link’ out either, although Pye had a demonstration vehicle once with a transmitter.
NCL721 was a similar design to 2 scanners that Pye produced in 1956, three years before Anglia’s, that were for Granada TV .
These carried the logo ‘Travelling Eye’ on the sides and were used in an innovative way, in being able to get to ‘news worthy’ locations and they could then set up fast to transmit any interesting stories for Granada’s local or ITN’s national news. The fascinating TV website ‘Transdiffusion’  has a story about one of the scanners covering the Ringway plane crash in 1957. I found it interesting to read that the news insert that they transmitted was almost held up because the programme sound was, as in my days at Anglia, carried over GPO Post Office lines, and they took some time to get established…whereas the video over microwave link was easier to organise.
BACK TO THE STUDIOS AGAIN
You will remember from my earlier posts, that when I arrived at Anglia in 1966 they were using the Pye Mk5 cameras in both the new scanner and the studios.
Here’s the Vision Gallery of Studio A:
Once again Paul Marshall was able to help me out with the vision equipment here:
“Reckon those must be the Pye Mk4 CCUs – only Anglia bought those (I believe) and they had the ‘mobile’ type CCU with waveform monitor looking very similar to my Pye Mk5 mobile.
Another Marconi MkIV PWM there too, with lots of Pye 2780 monitors.”
Here is the equivalent Vision Control Room for Studio B:
A little more jumbled collection of CCU’s and monitors for the smaller Studio B.
Back to Studio A and here is the Production Control Room, also known as the Production Gallery, viewed from Sound:
And the Studio A Sound Control Room:
Through the window you can see, seated in the centre of the Production Gallery, the Drama Director June Howson, with her ‘PA’ on the left and Vision Mixer on the right. The Vision Mixer always seemed to be positioned on the right of the Director in TV galleries.
Here’s Studio A ‘set’ and ‘rigged’ for a drama. You can see various ‘key and fill light’s’, three cameras and a Mole Boom, with ‘mini’ Mole Boom on it’s left. Just in front of Camera 1, centre of the picture, is a ‘caption stand’, used to produce credit captions. It was ‘manually operated’ of course, by a stage-hand ‘pulling’ the required captions as a camera pointed at the stand.
Here’s another of Studio A Sound:
Here’s another of Anglia’s drama sets – the interior of a Boeing 707:
Not only were captions ‘manually operated’….ie changed by hand on a ‘caption stand’ positioned in front of a suitable studio camera….but the ‘End Roller’ was also ‘operated’ by a stage hand…in front of ‘a suitable camera’. Here’s one being printed and it would be mounted on an powered caption roller stand.
At the appropriate time, the stage-hand started his small hand controller and the roller ‘rolled past’ in front of the camera. Speeds were set so that it lasted as long as was required….but you had to allow for the viewer reading the captions. Not like American movies today then!
Lets get back to the ‘everyday’ at Anglia. Here’s another of weatherman Michael Hunt:
THE ORIGINAL 2 inch QUAD
Here is Anglia’s Ampex VR-1000A, getting what looks like adjustment to that amazing spinning ‘QUAD’ 4-head stack assembly. This photo in a brochure from 1968, shows that the VR-1000A, which must have ‘joined the company’ when it started in 1959….had a long and productive life! I remember watch ‘splicing’, during an editing session takeplace during my three years at Anglia.
All ‘commercials’, the ‘feature films’ and the output of Anglia’s film departments were transmitted from Telecine machines, like this one. They came in ‘two flavours’, 16mm, used for the news material and 35mm, used for the movies, commercials and shows like the wild-life series ‘Survival’.
Films had a ‘leader’ to allow for the ‘run-up’ and films always started with the machine ‘parked’ at 6 seconds…’Six’ in the gate.
Anglia Television went on the air, back in 1959 with the ‘first automated’ presentation play-in controller. An automated device called ‘TOPSIE’, developed by Pye.
Alas ‘TOPSIE’ failed…the very first time it was meant to run, to put the station ‘On-Air’….leaving a ‘Six In The Gate, as the very first thing viewers saw.
The story went that the door on the Telecine machine was accidentaly left open….thus triggering a ‘lock-out’ from ‘Topsie‘!
All programmes passed through the Presentation Suite, where the Presentation Controller could spend long periods of boredom …with moments of shear panic! Well so it seemed to me.
A FEW MORE FROM AROUND THE BUILDING
Finally, here’s a few more that show the building:
Anglia House…of course has a Ford ‘Anglia’ parked outside!
Once inside, there’s the pretty elegant ‘reception’, with the large ‘Anglia Knight’ at the far end.
The supports for the roof were incorporated and here they are with the large air-conditioning metalwork alongside the two studios.
References and Credits:
 For a comprehensive explanation of how a 2 inch QUAD VTR worked, here’s a link to an RCA film showing the TR-4 in action:
 Paul Marshall of the Broadcast Engineering Conservation Group knows a wealth of information about television equipment from the past and also runs ‘Golden Age TV’ that has an enormous collection of vintage television and film equipment, used by TV and film companies requiring authentic television props.
Having restored three large OB vehicles, The Broadcast Engineering Conservation Group are now currently restoring four more major projects of rebuilding historic OB Scanners!
Please visit their website for details and information on how you could help:
 Photo from the book ‘The Pye TVT Story’ by Richard Ellis, with information throughout about Pye and Anglia’s early equipment…including the automated TOPSIE transmission control system.
 The Transdiffusion website has tons of stories of the early days of ITV. For the ‘Granada Travelling Eye’ see:
ALL PHOTOS OF ANGLIA TELEVISION FROM TWO BROCHURES OF 1967-1969.