A look at what the television version of ATV News and ATV Today was reporting on between February 1956 and December 31st 1981 as revisited across June 2020.

On this Day in 1971:

Sue Jay investigates, for ATV Today, whether too much washing is bad for you following research suggesting it could be. (June 29th, 1971).

“Sue Jay introduces the item with a piece to camera saying that Professor Partick Hare of Edinburgh University has said that too much washing is bad for you. Sue conducts vox pops with children about hygiene.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1972:

ATV Today reported on a Veteran Spitfire that was presented to Stoke-on-Trent. (June 28th, 1972).

“Shots of Spitfire aircraft on display at Stoke on Trent. Brief flypast by two similar aircraft.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this day in 1966:

ATV Midland News took a brief look at 20th Century Fox filming Doctor Doolittle at Castle Combe. (June 27th, 1966.)

The movie was released to cinemas in December 1967. Starred Rex Harrison in the title role as well as other cast including Samantha Eggar, Anthony Newley and Richard Attenborough. The film was directed by Richard Fleischer while the script was adapted by Leslie Bricusse from the novel series by Hugh Lofting.

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1978:

ATV Today and reporter Peter Green were enjoying the Ludlow Festival. (June 26th, 1978.)

“Peter Green introduces his report with a piece to camera from the Ludford Bridge over the River Teme in Ludlow. We then see street scenes in Ludlow and establishing shots of Ludlow Castle, the parish church and the Feathers Hotel. In the grounds of Ludlow Castle, Green interviews the secretary of the festival Leonard Monday and actors Kate O’Mara and Henry Knowles who are performing in the Taming of the Shrew on an outdoor stage at this year’s festival. We also see shots of the pair rehearsing their role.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1975:

ATV Today reported that it had been the ‘Sunniest June for twenty years’ (June 25th, 1975.)

“Shots of people swimming and sunbathing at a lido. Views of Ogston Reservoir in North East Derbyshire where the water level has dropped over seven feet. In Gloucester, Europe’s biggest ice cream plant in Gloucester has been churning out a million gallons of ice cream a week. We see another outdoor swimming pool and a toddler eating ice cream.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1981:

Tony Maycock met Don Simpkins and his miniature models he places inside light bulbs. (June 24th, 1981.)

“Don explains that he used to put models inside bottles but wanted a new challenge and that he takes the base off the bulb to get the model inside. Shots of some of his designs including a Welsh dresser, a plane and a railway wagon.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1979:

ATV Today celebrated the 200th Anniversary of The Iron Bridge over the River Severn in Shropshire. (June 22nd, 1979.)

“Peter Green visits the famous Shropshire town of Ironbridge whose bridge, built by Abraham Darby. Green talks to Eustace Rogers about working conditions, poverty that led to thriving local poaching. Eustace also talks about the decline of Ironbridge during the depression and the abandonment of many of the original cottages.

“We then see shop fronts and tourists of the revived town followed by views of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum including a working steam winding engine. The site has been voted Europe’s Museum of the Year. Interview with Neil Cossons from the museum about their ambitions.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1978:

Helen Piddock reports for ATV Today on the new £32,000 Aston Martin V8 Volante convertible. (June 21st, 1978.)

“The new Aston Martin V8 Volante convertible launched from the Newport Pagnell firm. The report brings special features of the car, interiors, engine, tracking shots along the Aston Expressway.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1966:

ATV Today met Britain’s first black policeman, Mohamet Yusuf Daar on the beat at Coventry. (June 20th, 1966.)

“We see Mohamet Yusuf Daar on the beat in Coventry and directing traffic.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1967:

Gwyn Richards reported for ATV Today about the grave of Gypsy Queen Phoebe Lee, who is buried at Feckenham in Worcestershire. 90-yr-old Martha Shakels was hoping to find Lee’s family to get the headstone restored. It appears her quest was unsuccessful, the grave has deteriorated further since the item was aired nearly sixty years ago. (June 15th, 1967.)

“Gwyn recounts the tale of the 1861 death of Phoebe Lee, known as the Queen of the Gypsies. She is buried in the local churchyard and her grave has fallen into decline. Gwyn interviews 90-year-old Martha Shakels who recounts a story about how her father witnessed the funeral. She is now hoping to track down Phoebe Lee’s family with a view to restoring the neglected grave. We see views of the churchyard and grave.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


 

On this Day in 1958:

ATV News presenter Patricia Cox the first female regional TV newsreader in the UK, and second overall behind Barbara Mandell of ITN, is a star attraction at Highbury Park carnival. (June 14th, 1958.)

“Pat Cox at Highbury Park carnival in King’s Heath, Birmingham. We see a demonstration of a dog herding geese, a man showing off his Wild West lasso skills and ATV presenter Pat Cox signing autographs and drawing a raffle.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1973:

Chris Tarrant met with Mervyn Mattams who has collected over 200,000 jokes as ATV Today reported. (June 12th, 1973.)

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1971:

Peter Plant visits a ‘sex shop for ATV Today; “Would you supply equipment or advice to homosexuals, lesbians, masochists or sadists?” (June 9th, 1971.)

“We see the exterior of the ‘Carefree’ shop on Summer Row in Birmingham. Peter Plant’s voice over says that it has been recently opened by ‘two ex-ladies hairdressers’. Inside the shop we see a man standing behind a counter serving a male customer. Plant then interviews the man (Mr Steer?) asking him a number of questions.

“Mr Steer initially denies that it is a sex shop preferring the description ‘surgical store’ which caters for a ‘special need’ and sells ‘books, stimulants and things that can be worn’. Bluntly Plant asks: “Would you supply equipment or advice to homosexuals, lesbians, masochists or sadists?” After first saying no Mr Steer says that he would as long as it wasn’t anything pornographic. In the street Plant vox pops passers by about the new business.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1979:

Rob Whitehouse’s ATV Today report on the rescue of the many cats who have kept Bilston steel works free from rats for many years and now face starvation since the plant has been closed. (June 8th, 1979.)

“Interviews with security man, Cecil Rea and with Val Tully from the Albrighton Animal Rescue service.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1979:

Muhammad Ali visited Birmingham as Gary Newbon reported for ATV Today Sport. (June 7th, 1979.)

“Muhammad Ali visits Birmingham where he arrived to a tremendous welcome from large crowds in the citys Bullring Centre, to be greeted by Lenny Henry and boxer John Conteh.

“Ali talking to members of the public and signing autgraphs and also his attendance at a Variety Club luncheon. Gary Newbon interview with the world famous boxer about his life and career.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1958:

Its way back to the late 1950s when ATV News looked at the latest attraction to Alton Towers, a miniature railway. (June 6th, 1958.)

“We see an establishing shot of Alton Towers. Inside a room a very large model railway and scenic display is being assembled and is then shown operating.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1975:

ATV Today reporter Bob Warman visited the remains of Witley Court, a ruin since a fire in 1937. It became ‘famous’ as the backdrop to one of Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale promo videos in the late sixties. (June 5th, 1975.)

“Views of Witley Court which is in a poor condition after years of neglect. B/w stills of the house in its glory years and a b/w still of a fire which caused damage in 1937. Interview with Ben Cooper, man-servant to the last owner, Sir Herbert Smith, who recalls the time of the fire which destroyed part of the court, although he claims that it was not as bad as many people believe, and looks back to life at the court. 

“Views of the baroque Great Witley parish church which is in better condition. Bob Warman piece to camera leafing through the catalogue of furniture for sale from the Court when the items were sold off in 1938 and quotes some of the remarkable prices. Bill Padoe recalls the time of the sale of the items from Witley Court and blames its demise on the subsequent owners who stripped things like the lead roof.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1975:

ATV Today’s John Swallow met up with keen fisherman Terry Thomas who carried out his claim that he could always find water with the help of two pieces of wire.

Terry – not the famous actor of the same name – was a regular on ATV programming hosting shows such as Angling Today, a spin-off from the main Midland evening news programme in which Terry had a regular Friday fishing spot. (June 4th, 1975.)

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1966:

ATV Today reported on ABC TV’s Public Eye drama. The series had relocated to the Alpha Studios in Birmingham for its latest episodes. Reporter Reg Harcourt catches up with actor Alfred Burke on location. (June 3rd, 1966.)

“Shots of ABC video cameras recording a location scene for Public Eye alongside a canal in Birmingham city centre. The scene features Alfred Burke and Timothy West. We also see the director Guy Verney. Reg Harcourt then talks to Burke about how the recording is going, the difference between recording in the studio and on location and the decision to move Public Eye to Birmingham.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>


On this Day in 1972:

ATV Today’s Hugh Owens reported from Portmeirion Pottery in Stoke on Trent where ‘a ghost in the factory’ lead to spiritualist Gordon Higginson to investigate. (June 1st, 1972).

“Exterior shot of Portmeirion pottery in Stoke on Trent. Inside Hugh Owens talks to female workers who describe seeing and hearing the ghost. Owens also talks to the spiritualist Gordon Higginson who believes the manifestation to be that of a woman who used to work at the factory.”

See the video at MACE Archive>>