Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Aaaahhhhh ... The Peaceful Potters Wheel

Too much going on to blog - not bad stuff, just busy stuff and Internet stuff - and in fact I am looking forward to telling you about an amazing nearly-abandoned village which I feel I've been wanting to find for years! But right now I need to make time for an Interlude. And here is one, which I've been keeping handy in my draft folder for an occasion like this... .

In the 1950s and 1960s, the BBC didn't broadcast all the time - they only had programmes in the evenings. They ran "Interlude" films for a while before the day's programmes began. This one shows a potter playing with shapes on a wheel. Please, take a few minutes break and gently hypnotise yourself watching it.



They also had test cards for the truly desperate to watch.

This is the BBC's (But what are IBA and BREMA? Does anyone know?)
And the ITA apparently had the card below. I think the initials probably stand for "Independent Television Authority."

I'll be back soon, like the programmes....

43 comments:

  1. We only had intermittent programming in South Africa right up to the late 80s! I hope you have a fruitful intermission. I have been thinking of one myself as my studies commence again in a week or so but I have grounds for believing that if I left now, I would never return.

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  2. Oh, I remember often falling asleep watching a late film and waking up to a high pitched whine and that girl and her creepy clown looking at me!

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  3. Sometimes we all need an interlude to hypnotize us into some tranquility.

    My children have never seen a test pattern, they've had programming available at all times. No tranquility unless we turn the box off.

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  4. Here was a test pattern on the screen very ugly and classical music broadcast for hours. Enjoy your people "abandoned" now not so much because you are. A hug and good rest.

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  5. Wonderful Interlude - just what I needed, thanks!

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  6. Ah interludes. They took the space now filled with multitudes of trailers! The one that annoyed me was Mrs Mills and her piano! Grrrr! Soub will explain the test card info. Keep busy but enjoy what you do.

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  7. I remember falling asleep often while watching an old movie and waking up to the test pattern and that one note sound.

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  8. I absolutely LOOOOOVE this sort of stuff. Seriously. I've written (or, as some would put it, rabbited on) about test patterns, etc., on my blog. Would it be rude of me to tell you where you could find it (in case you have a spare half-hour and wish to completely numb your brain during that time by reading my reminiscences concerning things nobody cared about even when they were current?)

    What the hell...

    http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com/2011/08/dinosaurs-living-room-basketball-and.html

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  9. Surely this was only yesterday? And the potters wheel just the day before?

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  10. The potter's wheel certainly was mesmerizing. A lovely interlude early on a busy workday. Thanks! Hope your interlude is as welcome.

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  11. I remember it well, Jenny. At a guess I would say IBA stands for Independent Broadcasting Association but I could be completely wrong.

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  12. Yes, I remember them too...they meant I'd missed something!
    And thanks to Adullamite for bringing back memories of one of the true horrors of the box...Mrs. Mills at the piano!

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  13. http://www.iba.mu/
    Independent Broadcasting Authority

    http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/ra/topics/convergence/forum/brema/3aug00.htm
    British Radio and Electronic Equipment Manufacturers' Association

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  14. We too had that dreadful sound...mostly at late night...too bad that someone somewhere turned clowns into such scary and creepy people...my daughter still has a dislike for clowns...and I grew up loving them....and never knew a clown to ever be anything but a happy person...to brighten our day..... Thanks for your post....

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  15. like you , I have no time enough to do all I'd like to do, like visiting blogs and write comments; in France too, we have such old programms. And we also have an institution, called INA (institut national audiovisuel) that kept EVERYTHING that was on tv since its beginnings in France. Do I need to say that this is a real treasure? and we can use it by web , and see all good tv memories;

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  16. Here in Germany, some of the regional TV stations (back then the "third" channels, as opposed to the two official ones ARD and ZDF) had interludes starring animals who became veritable celebrities in their own right, for instance NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk, hailing from Hamburg) with Antje, a walrus living in Hamburg's famous Hagenbeck zoo, or on Hessen 3, a bunch of young kitten playing in a landscape of three-dimensional letters made of cardboard.
    From my own childhood, I remember the Kinderstunde ("children's hour") very well. It really wasn't much more than an hour a day, before dinner time, and after that, a short "Mr. Sandman" clip, and off to bed!

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  17. These are great! I wonder about when they started to fall out of style? Wouldn't mind having them to look at now, but it seems media has gotten more frenetic over time, not less, sigh.

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  18. How fun. Now networks broadcast 24/7. Maybe it was better back then.

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  19. I don't remember the Potters Wheel but I do remember the test card. Wow that makes me sound old. :D

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  20. I remember the test card!! Hope all your stuff isn't too stressful.

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  21. We have those similar intermittent programs too when I was growing up!

    ANd I was desperate enough to watch the test broadcast! LOL

    Hope stress is manageable at your side. :)

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  22. And do you remember when if TV and radio programmes were unexpectedly unavailable for showing, they'd play some light music?

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  23. OK...you go, do your duties...come back and we will be ready to read and see more.

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  24. Thanks for the interlude. I was fascinated by the turning of that pottery. Interesting. Yes, I remember the fledgling TV broadcasts here in NZ too. Our first and (then) only channel always closed about 10pm with a short cartoon called the "Goodnight Kiwi" who represented the station manager closing down the broadcast with his cat and going to bed in the studio. Fun to watch - Dave

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  25. I could never work out what that pot was - it always looked like something my old aunts would store under their beds. Come back soon.

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  26. I remember those! Yes, the wheel was very calming.

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  27. Jenny,
    Tonight I will check TV what test patterns or interlude appear. I haven't seen them for a long time. Maybe all day programs go on the air?? Cable TV has vivid colored pattern with keen and uncomfortable sound while maintenance.
    " a potter playing with shapes" is good for people with insomnia. I am already sleepy while looking at interlude.
    Have a great week!
    keiko

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  28. The test cards here were usually accompanied by an annoying pitch. I think they do that on purpose so everyone will turn off their tv and go to sleep.

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  29. This is an interesting topic, Jenny. Test Pattern has been thought to be a face of each TV station. Not only the design but also music was special to each station, pops like “Holiday”, “Gerogy Girl”, jazz, or classical music, etc.. In later years the pattern got mechanical pattern. I haven’t seen test patterns for a long time. I wonder how it is with all the digital terrestrial broadcasting now in Jpan.

    Yoko

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  30. Your potter's wheel made me think of the movie Ghost. And smile.

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  31. With the muscle damage to my left arm I can't do pottery myself, but I went with my daughter-in-law to her class one night just to watch her. It was something I had always wanted to learn.
    In Minnesota I remember late at night when the national anthem came on and then the test pattern remained until pre-dawn. Ours just had an annoying high note.
    I sure hope you will be back. ;)

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  32. Jenny - IBA and BREMA were supposed to be research and development companies, but historical opinion seems to indicate they were fakes.

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  33. I've always wanted to learn how to make pottery. I hope everything will be well with you, and we'll enjoy your unique posts again.

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  34. OMG! The test cards look exactly like the French ones! Come back soon!

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  35. AHHH that was refreshing- thank you!

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  36. These totally crack me up, especially the test patterns. Given that I work at a TV station, I find them especially delightful. Do stop by when you can. I'm covering the Netherlands now, and I suspect there is much you can add in context!

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  37. This post brought back memories. We didn't have TV until I was eleven and I was so thrilled on its eventual arrival I even found the test cards exciting!

    Anna :o]

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  38. I miss the testcards......I really do, they were a fundamental part of my early childhood and I adored them. In fact I wanted to marry the girl, at least I did when I was five.!

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  39. Ha, you are doing what my husband always advised me to do (picked up from the days when he used to have to write a weekly piece) -- have something spare in your folder to pull out when you are too busy for anything else! Good for you. I seem to have lapsed in the practice. Anyways, I WAS mesmerized by the potter's wheel and felt my eyes exhibiting those spiral patterns portrayed in cartoons. Interesting interlude, and I am looking forward to learning about that abandoned village!

    - Jenny

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  40. YES! Your post re: the Green children inspired me! I thank you- it is a great story and I love the idea of green children,though they were actually ill...

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  41. I remember them only too well!

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