I was set the task to look at the introduction of television by talking to people older than myself and find out their memories about how television came around and how it impacted there lives. I was unable to contact my grandparents and get there memories, though if I was to guess the initial reaction it would be encapsulated by the following image:
My next best option was to have a chat with my parents about their experiences with television and how it contributed to their daily lives (Parents are 43 and 44 years old, at the time of posting this). I started to talk to my Mum but she didn’t believe in her memory so I got Dad to help bounce off memories with Mum so she would be able to remember.
Mum grew up as the youngest of four daughters, the difference being eight years from the second youngest daughter. Mum was always being looked after by her sisters and parents but when it came to being around to play mum was all on her own because of this difference. Television came to be a distraction and a companion for her, depending on how you look at it, so she wouldn’t always be alone and have something to do. There were three television sets in her house: one in the lounge-room, one in the parents bedroom and one in her room. While everyone else was at work or at school mum would be sitting in front of the television and watching Dr. Who. She would always watch it by herself, mainly because no one else liked the show.
Dads memories of television went straight to the type of movies that were on television – a lot of Country, Western, Army and War. Dad described some of his best memories being able to just sit down with his dad and watch the movies hours on end – showing a personal connection to television and providing a more family connection aspect that television provided. Dad was a major sports fan back in those days as there was a lot less restrictions on sports so there was a lot more violence, which was always as expected aspect of watching sports. Horror and Science Fiction movies and shows were a lot more scarier.
My parents described the television as being small, heavy and chunky boxes that would usually always be black and white, with some colour. Once it was colour though there was either too much colour or not enough on the screen – to make out what was actually being watched. There were big dials that needed to be turned and pulled, and not to mention the “dicky” aerial that would be to be constantly moved and rotated to get a picture that you could make out. The television channels wouldn’t run 24/7, they would end for the day and “snow” would be on the channel.
Below is a list of shows my parents were fond of watching:
I dream of Genie
Son’s and Daughters
Original Battle Star Gallatica
Tom and Jerry
Young Talent Time
Hey, Hey It’s Saturday
Some mothers do ‘ave ’em
Are you being Served
Benny Hill show
Lost in Space
The Addams Family
And every night at 6 o’clock the news would come on and they would watch it, even to this day.