THE TEST CARD CIRCLE
Test card music has a following all of its own, rather like film and TV themes. Of course you may find it difficult to work up an enthusiasm for the test card music that is played (occasionally) on television today but in times gone by the music played was of a different calibre. Thirty years ago for instance ITV played popular and classical music from commercial albums, whilst the BBC played light music which was recorded specially for test card performance. Because the BBC's music was not for sale in the shops a cult following grew and enthusiasts now trade recordings (and reminiscences) keenly.
A specialist society, the Test Card Circle, has been formed to channel the interest in this subject and allied matters such as the films shown for trade test transmission purposes in the early days of colour TV in this country. They issue a regular magazine and also hold an annual weekend convention.
Find out more on the Test Card Circle Page
TEST CARD CLUB
The quarterly magazine is the official journal of the BBC Test Card Club which has been established for all enthusiasts of BBC Trade Test Transmissions and other related topics associated with BBC Television. The magazine also features some of the technical achievements made over the years by the BBC Engineering Department.
The magazine is edited by Keith Hamer and Garry Smith, who have written numerous articles for leading British and European journals including the EBUs "Technical Review". Even the BBC occasionally contact them for details about Test Cards, the accompanying music and the identification symbols! Keiths collection of test card music now amounts to well over 3,000 items. Keith would be interested in hearing from anyone who has an interest in Test Cards and/or the accompanying music.
Join today, annual subscription (4 issues) is £10.00 (UK) or £13.00 (World-wide Airmail). Personal cheques (sterling only), International Money Order, Eurocheque, British Sterling Bank Notes acceptable.
HS Publications, 7 Epping Close, Mackworth Estate, Derby, DE22 4HR. Telephone +44 (0)1332 51 33 99.
TV GRAPHICS REVIEW
This quarterly publication covers all aspects of graphic design used by television and radio services around the world with special emphasis on the output of British television. This includes trade test transmissions, station identification symbols, programme logos, programme menus and trails, exhibitions, advertising and general publicity.
By subscribing to << TV Graphics Review >>, over a very short time you will build up a fascinating library of facts, general information and photographs which you are unlikely to find in any other publication.
Join today, annual subscription (4 issues) is £10.00 (UK) or £13.00 (World-wide Airmail)
A sample issue is available for £l.95 (UK) or £2.95 (World-wide Airmail)
HS Publications, 7 Epping Close, Mackworth Estate, Derby, DE22 4HR. Telephone +44 (0)1332 38 16 99
DINOSAUR DESIGNS "TESTCARD-u-LIKE"
Please note the Dinosaur Designs Test Card Generator is no longer available.
The following are available from:- HS
Publications, 7 Epping Close, Mackworth Estate, Derby, DE22 4HR
(Telephone +44 (0)1332 51 33 99).
Full details are available by sending a stamped-addressed envelope (or 1 International Reply Coupon from overseas). A fully illustrated catalogue is available by sending 3 First Class stamps (or 3 IRCs).
|BBC WALL CLOCKS
Real clocks, reproducing the old style BBC "on-screen" Clock captions
|TEST CARD "F" JIGSAW PUZZLE
80 piece TCF jigsaw plus full colour photgraph.
|TABLE MATS (set of 2)
Featuring BBC Globe symbol and electronic Test Card G
|BBC DRINK COASTERS
Set of six full colour coasters featuring identification symbols from the archives
405 Alive is a not-for-profit magazine published by Andy Emmerson. The 96-page issues
appear quarterly and cover a wide range of subjects on old TV, including test card music,
old programmes and restoring old TV receivers. It is the only magazine in the world
devoted to the vintage television hobby in all its forms. It has a lively reader base and
seems to satisfy their interests.
Subscription for 1997 costs £16. Around 90 per cent of subscribers renew every year, so most people do like it.
405 LINE GROUP: Andrew Emmerson, 71 Falcutt Way, Northampton, NN2 8PH
TV COMPANY ARCHIVES
Greg Taylor provided the following useful information in Jan 1998 for obtaining old material direct from TV company archives.
From my experience here's a list of companies that will supply for a price. Of course, continuity is rarely kept, but you never know unless you ask...
TSW Film & Television Archive
Derry's Cross PLYMOUTH PL1 2SP (Tel: 01752 202650)
Contact: Elayne Downing
Owners of the entire surviving collections of Westward (WTV) and TSW. Various people
from this list have purchased material from the Archive.
I don't know what they are charging these days, but I'd expect to pay around twenty five pounds a tape. Some of the interesting material available includes TSW Opening Show (1982), 20 Years Of Westward (1981), the final TSW Today (1992), the Westward TV 0925 startup film, all the TSW/WTV logos, and the WTV/TSW network contributions including "That's My Dog", the play "Doubting Thomas" and the wonderful "Secrets Of The Coast" which was directed by David Cobham (Woof!, Seal Morning, Brendon Chase) etc. Also, I recently recovered some late-1981 Westward lunchtime birthdays with Gus Honeybun and Judi/Ian onto Betacam SP. TSW now have this and copies should be available to buy. I currently have some N1500 tapes to replay which belong to TSW (these inc. a complete "Westward Diary" and a Saturday morning off air from the late 1970s), when these have been done copies should be available from TSW.
Carlton Television Film Library
Carlton Studios Lenton Lane NOTTINGHAM NG1 2NA (Tel: 0115 986 3322)
Contact: Janet Pitts
Owners of the Carlton (CAR) and Central (CEN) collections, and the schools programme/news library of ATV. In 1996 I purchased a few programmes on VHS from this source, including some episodes of "Woof!" and a 1976 edition of the schools programme "Good Health". I paid twenty pounds each. I strongly doubt the existence of continuity and presentation items, but if you're after any Central programmes you might be in with a chance.
Yorkshire Television Film Library
Television Centre LEEDS LS3 1JS (Tel: 0113 222 8052)
Contact: Dale Grayson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I'm unsure of the current directive, but certainly in 1994 Yorkshire were selling a VHS of any Y-TT programme for twenty five pounds. Most of the Yorkshire programme catalogue exists, although there are some omissions. As for presentation/promotions there are various tapes of idents in the library, and the only recording of the regional breakfast time experiment ("Good Morning Calendar", 1977) is off-air and includes the morning start-up, with march, continuity and commercials. The recording is broadcast quality, having been made on 2" and now dubbed onto 1" and Beta SP. Oh and Bob Warman, now anchor of CEN News West, hosts this "Good Morning Calendar.
76 Oxford Street LONDON W1N 0HQ (Tel: 0171 307 7515)
Contact: Brendan Kelly
PolyGram don't make a habit of selling VHS material, but there have been instances in the past. PolyGram have the ATV network programme collection, although there are many gaps. Much of the collection remains on film or 2" VT, but a steady archiving policy is now in progress. Where programmes have been sold for clips previously, viewing copies exist so transfers should be easy.
Seymour Mews House Seymour Mews Wigmore Street LONDON W1H 9PE (Tel: 0171 935 9000)
Contact: Richard Leworthy
Controllers of what is left of the Southern programme library. I honestly don't know if they sell VHS copies ad-hoc, but if anything is required it's got to be worth a go. Note however that Richard Leworthy is the Managing Director, so letters should be worded accordingly!
Last Updated 29 Mar 2000