Did Anglians Dream of Electric Screens?

Working with the people of Norfolk to write a history of Television in Norfolk.

Tag: media history

An Exciting Week: Part One

As I mentioned in the last update this week is looking like being another exciting one in terms of the project. Starting off with another appearance on Radio Norfolk!

It’s wonderful, and not to mention a little surprising, to be invited back on air to talk about my research and discuss the history of television. Television is one of those topics that seem to have the ability to get people talking (and arguing!) relatively easily – everyone has an opinion on their favourite programmes, what they hate and whether television is ‘dumbing down’, having the opportunity to discuss some of those ideas within the context of the history of television in Norfolk is an absolute privilege and I can guarantee that I’ll learn something new from the process! (Hopefully one day I’ll learn to be less nervous about appearing on the media, but I’m not holding my breath on that one!)

Hopefully I’ll be able to surprise people with a few lesser known facts about the role that television played in Norfolk during the 1950s and 60s, but also the role that Norfolk played in the national history of television! Norfolk is often marginalised in the official histories but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t times when it played a really important role in guiding broadcasting policy!

It should be a fun discussion, so please listen to the Stephen Bumfrey Show on Radio Norfolk (95.1 and 104.4FM as well as online) at around 3pm on Tuesday 8th April and encourage anyone you know to tune in too!

A brief update AKA I’ve bought some books!

Despite the silence on the blog I’ve actually been pretty busy with the project recently, hopefully the fruits of my labours will appear will be able to appear on here soon. It’s certainly the case that next week should be an interesting and exciting time for both myself and for anyone interested in the project.

A lot of my time recently has been spent reading and responding to emails from people who have heard about the project and wanted to tell me their short stories about what they can remember about television during the 1950s and 60s.

All I can say is wow! Everyone who has contacted me has had a fascinating story to tell, all of them have made me smile, reinforced my view that this is exactly the right time to being undertaking this research, and that if I write it in the correct way, then it really does have the potential to be interesting to a really wide range of people!

So thank you to you all! Hopefully I’ve managed to respond back to everyone who has contacted me, so please check your inboxes and spam folders; I’m really keen to interview you all!

In other news I also took delivery of a couple of books that I thought you might all be interested in seeing. The UEA library is a great resource, but I’ve developed a little bit of an addiction to having my own copy of some texts, not to mention that some of the books that I am most interested in just aren’t in the library and are becoming increasingly difficult to get hold of. These two weren’t super expensive, but even if they were, I consider money spent on good books to be money well spent!

The Setmakers and Radio Man

The Setmakers and Radio Man

At first glance ‘The Setmakers‘ and ‘Radio Man: The remarkable rise and fall of C.O. Stanley‘ might not appear to be obviously related to the overall aim of my project, but they’re both treasure troves of incidental information, that is both fascinating in its own right, as well as being useful in establishing the overall historical context that surrounded the introduction of television in Norfolk. Ultimately being an academic researcher is a bit like being a detective; sometimes if you want to find out what really happened you need to look for potential sources of evidence that others have overlooked!

As a fringe benefit both books also contain some amazing prints of the types of adverts and promotional materials used to sell TV to the British public – some of them are incredibly beautiful and I just love looking at them!

I’ll end this entry with a question for any media historians out there. The Setmakers was published by BREMA (British Radio & Electronic Equipment Manufacturers’ Association) and heavily uses material from their archives: Does anyone know where that archive ended up?

Do you know where the BREMA archive is? Did you or a family member or friend work for a PYE factory in Norfolk? Can you remember seeing print adverts for television and thinking that you really would have to get a set soon? If so then please get in contact with me via the ‘Get Involved‘ page!