ABC Television

Midlands and North (Saturdays and Sundays)

ABC Television's Teddington Studios
ABC Television’s Teddington Studios

ABC is the company which, under agreement with the Independent Television Authority, provides the television programmes in the North and Midlands on Saturdays and Sundays.

comp-abc1 Hanover Square, London W.1.
HYDe Park 7222
City Centre House, 30 Union Street, Birmingham 2
Television House, 12 Mount Street, Manchester 2

Area         ITA      Channel   Vision    Sound    Opening Date  Population ITA Homes
          Transmitter          Frequency Frequency                  000's     000's
                                 Mc/s      Mc/s

Midlands  Lichfield       8     189.75    186.25   17th Feb 1956     8,850    1,765

North     Winter Hill     9     194.75    181.25    3rd May 1956  }
          Emley Moor     10     199.7372  196.2605  3rd Nov 1956  } 12,452    3,282

Sir Philip Warter (Chairman); E G M Fletcher LL.D, MP (Deputy Chairman); Howard Thomas (Managing Director); C J Latta; R Clark, LL.B; D J Goodlatte; G A Cooper.


C J Orr, FCA (Secretary); B R Greenhead (Technical Controller); R H Norris (Advertisement Controller); B Tesler (Programme Controller); D Southwood (Northern Executive and Chief of Outside Broadcasts); E G Harris (Midlands Executive); L Shirley (Features Supervisor); R Taylor (Light Entertainment Supervisor); Penry Jones (Religious Adviser).


Total members of staff 957 (excluding Alpha Television).

Visits to Studios

A limited number of tickets are available for audiences at certain shows. Applications, enclosing stamped addressed envelopes, should be made to the Ticket Controller at the address of the studio from which the programme originates. The minimum age is sixteen.


Enquiries about artistes and programmes should be addressed to Viewers’ Correspondence, ABC Television, Broom Road, Teddington, Middlesex.

Submission of Scripts

Present requirements are for 60-minute plays, 30-minute children’s serials and 60- or 45-minute series scripts. But programmes change, and authors should contact story editors for the appropriate category to learn of future trends before submitting outlines or scripts.

Programme Journal

TV Times publishes separate editions for the North and Midlands areas giving details of the available programmes.


DIDSBURY STUDIO CENTRE, Manchester (Didsbury 8181). Winter Hill and Emley Moor transmitters receive their weekend programmes via the ABC master control rooms at Didsbury. Here too is based the Outside Broadcast fleet. The main studio has a stage area of 5,000 sq. ft. and has seating for an audience of 600. The second studio has an area of approximately 1,000 sq. ft., and there is a presentation studio attached to the dual master control rooms, plus an announcer’s booth for sound only.

BIRMINGHAM. Alpha Television Studios, Aston, Birmingham (Aston Cross 3091), are jointly owned by ABC and Associated TeleVision Limited. There are three studios of 3,000, 1,200 and 380 sq. ft., and master control and technical areas which were housed in a new building during 1962.

TEDDINGTON STUDIO CENTRE, Broom Road, Teddington (Teddington Lock 3252). This modern studio centre has been established close to London, where the main body of artistes is available. It specialises in the recording of drama, light entertainment and feature programmes. Studio 1 has an area of 7,500 sq. ft.; Studio 2, 4,750 sq. ft.; and Studio 3, 2,500 sq. ft. The technical equipment covers an area of 8,000 sq. ft. and is fully multi-standard with immediate switching between 405, 525 and 625 line standards. The new central block, opened in 1962, has in addition 13,000 sq. ft. of rehearsal rooms, an acoustically treated recording studio of 1,700 sq. ft., and scenery assembly and handling facilities.

Outside Broadcast Units

ABC have three Outside Broadcast units based at Didsbury, all with 4½” cameras and a smaller vidicon unit. In addition, the mobile videotape recorder can be equipped with one or two cameras, there being a total of twelve available between the units, There are seven microwave link units with portable power generators, and a hydraulic platform tower truck.

Videotape Recording

There are two machines based at Didsbury, together with the mobile unit. At Teddington there are four standards-switchable transistorised recorders together with standards converter equipment. At Alpha Studios, Birmingham, there are two machines.

Colour Television

One of the flying spot telecine channels at Teddington is equipped for the generation of colour signals, and programmes from Teddington have been experimentally radiated by the Croydon transmitter. In addition, numerous public demonstrations have been given over the GPO network, notably those using the continental SECAM system.

Technical Developments

A considerable amount of apparatus was specially developed for the Teddington Studio Centre in order to achieve full multi-standard operation. All this newly developed equipment is transistorised, and, in particular, vision switching matrices and pulse and vision distribution amplifiers have been used in considerable numbers.


ABC productions include: News and News Magazines: ABC At Large. Talks, Discussions and Documentaries: The Other Man’s Farm, The Bookman. The Arts: Tempo. Science and Natural History: You’d Never Believe It! Religion: The Sunday Break, Living Your Life, Journey of a Lifetime, Sunday Morning Service, Epilogues. Adult Education: Headway. Sport: extensive outside broadcast coverage of all sporting events, including such minority sports as tenpin bowling, motor cycle scrambles, indoor soccer and amateur boxing. Children’s Programmes: Once Upon A Time. Drama Programmes: Armchair Theatre, The Avengers, Dimension of Fear (four-part thriller serial), Secret Beneath the Sea (six-part children’s serial), Ocean Liner series (untitled). Variety, Light Entertainment and Music: Thank Your Lucky Stars, Sing Along, The Best of Friends, Comedy Bandbox, Candid Camera, The Dave King Show, Life and Al Read. Entertainment Films: several film series produced in collaboration with ABC include The Human Jungle, Sir Francis Drake. Dramatised Documentaries: The Sword in the Web.


London (Weekdays)

The cast and production crew for a drama production in Studio 5
The cast and production crew for a drama production in Studio 5

Associated-Rediffusion Limited is the company which, under agreement with the Independent Television Authority, provides the television programmes in London from Monday to Friday.


Television House, Kingsway, London W.C.2.
HOLborn 7888
Norfolk House, Smallbrook Ringway, Birmingham 5.
MIDLAND 9151/2
Peter House, Oxford Street, Manchester 1.
CENTRAL 9867/8

    ITA      Channel   Vision     Sound    Opening Date   Population  ITA Homes
Transmitter          Frequency  Frequency                   000's       000's
                        Mc/s       Mc/s

Croydon         9    194.75675   191.266   22nd Sep 1955   12,910      3,023

John Spencer Wills, M.Inst.T. (Chairman); Sir Edwin S Herbert, KBE (Deputy Chairman); P Adorian, FCGI, MIEE (Managing Director); The RT Hon The Viscount Colville of Culross; JB Rickatson-Hatt; Sir Bracewell Smith, Bt, KCVO, LL.D, BSc.


General Manager: TM Brownrigg, CBE, DSO, RN (Rtd). principal officers: John McMillan (Controller of Programmes); Guy Paine (Controller of Advertisements); AW Groocock, FCIS (Secretary); CF Elms (Business Manager); Brian Begg (Publicity Controller); JT Davey, FCA (Chief Accountant); executives: Five Assistant Controllers of Programmes: Ray Dicks (Production and Programme Services); Cyril Francis (Planning); Guthrie Moir (Religious, Education, Features, Children); GCF Whitaker (Technical Operations); Milton Shulman (Film Acquisition, Special Assignments).

Religious Advisory Panel

Rev. Austen Williams; Father Michael Hollings Rev. Derrick Greeves.

Education Advisory Council

Chairman: Sir Ifor Evans, D.Lit., Provost, university College, London.

Schools Liaison Officer

John Mackay.

Submission of Scripts

Material required: 60- or 90-minute plays, written for the medium and suitable for “live” production, are in constant demand. Shorter plays, fantasy, costume pieces and plays with a sordid or distasteful theme are not required.

Completed dialogue scripts should be submitted and we cannot give consideration to synopses and/or treatments unless from writers whose work we already know. Requirements for series and serials, light entertainment material, children’s and feature programmes vary considerably from time to time and a preliminary letter is advised. There is little requirement for panel games and quizzes. Address drama scripts and related correspondence to the Head of Drama. Other material and correspondence to Script Services Section. Leaflet outlining requirements available on request.

Visits to Studios

A limited number of tickets are available to the public for admission to Light Entertainment and Quiz Shows performed at Wembley Studios. Application should be made in writing to the programme concerned, care of the Ticket Office. For example: “Take Your Pick”, Ticket Office, Associated-Rediffusion Limited, Television House, Kingsway, W.C.2. The minimum age is 15 years.


Enquiries about artistes and programmes should be addressed to Miss Eileen Sands at Television House.

Programme Journal

TV Times publishes a London edition giving weekly details of the available programmes.


WEMBLEY STUDIOS, Wembley Park, Middlesex (WEM 8811). Senior Engineer: George Sherman. Studio 1: 80′ × 55′ (4,400 sq. ft.); Studio 2: 80′ × 41′ (3,280 sq. ft.); Studio 4: 74′ × 42′ (3,108 sq. ft.); Studio 5: 140′ × 100′ (14,000 sq. ft.); Studio 5a: 100′ × 67′ (6,700 sq. ft.); Studio 5b 100′ × 67′ (6,700 sq. ft.). Technical Facilities 4,928 sq. ft.; Maintenance Workshops 12,152 sq. ft.; Restaurant 2,826 sq. ft.; Property Store 7,488 sq. ft.; Scenery Bay 6,912 sq. ft.; Dressing Room and Make-up 7,000 sq. ft.; Car Park 12,800 sq. ft.; VTR: 4 Ampex Machines; Telecine: 1 RCA Vidicon; 1 Cintel Flying Spot; 2 EMI Flying Spot.

TELEVISION HOUSE STUDIOS. Studio 7: 33′ × 24′ (702 sq. ft.); Studio 8: 38′ × 25′ (950 sq. ft.); Studio 9: 64′ × 40′ (2,416 sq. ft.); Studio 10: 26′ × 12′ (312 sq. ft.). Master Control 900 sq. ft.; Maintenance Workshop 1,150 sq. ft.; VTR 2 Ampex machines, 320 sq. ft.; T/C, 2 Cintel, 1 RCA Vidicon, 1 EMI Flying Spot, 1,150 sq. ft.; Six Rehearsal Rooms 7,500 sq. ft.; Three Projector Theatres; Fifteen Film Cutting Rooms; 1 Dubbing Theatre.

Outside Broadcasts

Associated-Rediffusion has three mobile control rooms each with four cameras.


Drama: regular contributions to Television Playhouse and Play of the Week; No Hiding Place; Tales of Mystery; Boyd QC; It Happened Like This; Crane; Somerset Maugham Hour; When the Kissing Had to Stop; Electra. Features: This Week; Decision; Here and Now; Collector’s Piece; Challenge to the Editor; Looking Abroad With Brian Connell; Insight; Bridgehead; The ABC of Democracy; Birth; Watch on the Mekong; Article 237; and the Intertel exchange programmes. Light Entertainment: Dickie Henderson Show; Double Your Money; Take Your Pick; Close Up; Hippodrome; Kingsley Amis Goes Pop; Dan Farson Meets… Schools: The World Around Us; Notre Ville; Story Box; Romeo and Juliet; Science and Understanding; Theatres and Temples (The Greeks). Children: Tuesday Rendezvous; Small Time; Badger’s Bend; Animal Care; and several plays and light musical programmes in the Summer. Religion: Epilogues; Laudes Evangelii; Black Nativity. Sport: horse-racing, football, tennis, boxing, swimming, etc. Entertainment Films: many feature films and filmed television series.


The company was a founder member of Intertel, the International Television Federation, whose other members are the Australian Broadcasting Commission; the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; National Educational Television and Radio Center, USA; and Westinghouse Broadcasting Co. Inc., USA. A first series of twelve television documentaries has been completed and a further series is planned. Available programmes include The Quiet War, The Heartbeat of France, Postscript to Empire, Living with a Giant, America Abroad, 40 Million Shoes, Unfinished Revolution.

Independent Television News

The ITN news studio in Kingsway, W.C.2
The ITN news studio in Kingsway, W.C.2


ITN, Television House, Kingsway, London W.C.2.
HOLborn 7690


ITN is a non-profit-making company which provides daily programmes of national and international news to all stations throughout the Independent Television network. It also produces a number of other programmes for individual companies and operates a daily newsfilm agency service for overseas television stations.


ITN is a subsidiary of the six oldest programme companies, and is controlled by a Board of Directors nominated by those companies. The Chairmanship of the Board is held by representatives of the companies in turn. The Director-General of the ITA normally attends ITN Board meetings and the appointment of the Editor of ITN must be approved by the ITA. The costs of the ITN daily news service are divided among all independent television companies on the basis of the official ITA coverage for their area.


Alfred Francis, OBE (Chairman) (TWW); P Adorian, MIEE, MBrit, IRE, Captain Brownrigg, CBE, DSO, RN (Rtd), (Associated-Rediffusion); Norman Collins, E Roth (ATV); Victor Peers, Bernard Floud (Granada); Sir Philip Warter, Howard Thomas (ABC); James M Coltart (Scottish TV); Geoffrey Cox, CBE (Editor).


The Editor is Chief Executive. Other senior officers are: Denis Thomas (Deputy Editor); Ian Trethowan and L Thompson (Assistant Editors); W Hodgson (General Manager); MC Chapman, FCA, ACIS (Secretary); N Clark (Newsfilm Manager).


Daily news bulletins, news headlines, special events such as orbital flights or international crises; weekly foreign news programme Roving Report; annual Party Political conference reports; late night news analysis programme Dateline; and a weekly sports report, Sportscast.


ITN has its newsroom and editorial offices, a film processing plant, film cutting rooms, dubbing facilities, tele-recording apparatus, and studios on the seventh and eighth floors of Television House, Kingsway. The main studio is 39′ × 28′ and is equipped with four Marconi Mk. IV 4½” Image Orthicon cameras. It has three Pye 16/32 multiplexed telecine Staticon channels, capable of being interlocked to four Rank-Kalee 16- and 35-mm. magnetic/optical sound reproducers.

Sound recording and transfer facilities include two Rank-Kalee 16-mm. and one 33-mm. magnetic recorders, and a variety of tape and disc recorders.

ITN has its own newsfilm camera teams, and an extensive network of local film “stringers” throughout the British Isles and in all important overseas centres.

Newsfilm Service

ITN operates, in association with C.B.S. of America, one of the world’s leading newsfilm agencies. Daily shipments of newsfilm are made by ITN from London, and more than thirty overseas television stations subscribe to the ITN service. Many others, including more than seventy stations in the USA, also receive ITN film through the C.B.S. Newsfilm service.

Independent Television Companies Association

comp-itcaTelevision House, Kingsway, London W.C.2
CHAncery 9861

Chairman 1962/63: Howard Thomas; Secretary: Laurence G Parker, MA, LL.B; Information Officer: Hugh M Matthews; Advertising Copy Executive: Bryan Rook.


I.T.C.A. is the Trade Association of the Programme Companies which were appointed by the Independent Television Authority under the Television Act 1954, and all fifteen Companies so appointed are members. The Association is incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee and is financed by subscriptions from the member Companies.

Committee Structure

The affairs of the Association are governed by the Executive Council which, in practice, delegates all matters of a routine nature to the Finance and General Purposes Committee. The wide and growing interests of the Association are indicated by the following list of other Committees: (a) Advertising Committee, (b) Advertising Copy Committee, (c) Agency Recognition Committee, (d) Children’s Programme Committee, (e) Overseas Committee, (f) Public Relations Committee, (g) Research Committee, (h) Rights Committee, (i) Technical Committee.

Secretarial services are also provided for two further Committees of the Companies which are not, however, I.T.C.A. Committees. These are the Committee of Review of Grants to the Arts and Sciences and the Labour Relations Committee.

Scope and Functions

The Association is a voluntary, non-profit-making organisation which does not take part in any form of trading – either on its own account or on behalf of its members. It provides a forum for discussion and a channel for joint action over a wide range of subjects of common interest and concern to the Programme Companies. These subjects include the maintenance of high general standards in the industry, consultation and advice on legal and technical matters, negotiations with royalty collecting bodies representing authors, composers and publishers, and relations with an representation on other organisations, both in this country and overseas; for example, the Association, jointly with the I.T.A., is a full active member of the European Broadcasting Union.

Any matters directly concerning the business dealings of individual Companies are, however, specifically excluded and the Association does not discuss or in any way deal with, for example, programme networking arrangements or advertisement rates. Nor does the Association as such deal directly with labour relations. There is a Labour Relations Committee, composed of representatives of the Companies and with its own full-time Labour Relations Adviser, which negotiates with the various Trade Unions representing staff, performers and writers but, while it is serviced secretarially by the Association, this is not an Association Committee and all Labour Agreements are concluded direct between the Trade Unions and the individual Companies themselves.

Advertisement Copy Control

One of the activities of I.T.C.A. which should be specially mentioned is the work of the Advertisement Copy Committee, whose responsibility it is to ensure that all television advertisements conform to the Independent Television Authority’s “Principles for Television Advertising” and to the other codes of standards and rules governing advertising generally. For this purpose, the Association operates, on behalf of all Programme Companies, a central “clearing house” to which advertisers submit scripts and completed advertisements for approval before they are transmitted. This is a major task, involving the careful scrutiny of some 6,000 advertisements a year.

Information Office

The most recent addition to the activities of I.T.C.A. is a central information office designed to be a source of quick and accurate factual information on Independent Television for the National and Provincial Press. It will also be used by the current Chairman of I.T.C.A. for the issue to the Press of authoritative statements concerning the industry.