On this Day: October 28th 1969:

John Swallow walking through Birmingham with an owl on his head as passers-by look on in amazement.

MACE note that this was probably a reference to an on-going story in October 1969 about a pigeon that lived on a man’s head in Birmingham.


On this Day: October 19th 1981:

Despite the recession, Cadbury’s made a record profit in 1980. The ATV Today report shows a series of filmed stills tracing the history of the firm.

Virginia Lee’s report on the 150th anniversary of Cadbury’s sees her interview Cadbury’s spokesman, David Brooks, who describes their product as the best in the world.

Brooks also talks about the new technology that Cadburys have introduced into the Birmingham factory. Virginia also talks to a worker on the production line about the job losses which will see 900 workers leaving over the next two years.


On this Day: October 15th 1963:

Chairman of the ITA, Charles Hill spoke of ITV from ATV’s offices in central Birmingham. He notes ITV could have been a national station from London – but is better served as a regional network.

The ATV News report also shows Dr Hill being met outside the ATV offices on Edmund Street in Birmingham by Philip Dorte, Midlands controller for ATV.


On this Day: October 14th 1969:

ATV Today featured regular angling reporter Terry Thomas in a field with a donkey.

“He tries to ride the animal but is thrown off.” – Media Archive for Central England


On this Day: October 13th 1981:

ATV Today headed to Long Marston airfield where Crossroads producer Jack Barton was preparing to burn down the Crossroads Motel foyer set.

Anne Leuchars interviews Jack about the forthcoming dramatic scenes in the soap, soon to be 17-years on ITV. Various shots show the ATV outside broadcast unit shooting a number of possible endings for the character of Meg Mortimer. (Noele Gordon)

Barton sacked Noele in the summer of 1981, to make ‘improvements’ to the saga, it was the beginning of the end of the show, with viewers never fully forgiving for the loss of Meg. The series ended in 1988. Jack Barton was disposed of in 1984 with two short-running producers taking over until its demise.


On this Day: October 12th 1981:

Wendy Nelson reported for ATV Today on some of the Midland entries for the Sprightliest Pensioner competition.

Some of the OAPs featured include eighty-year-old Charles Ellis from Sutton in Ashfield who does sponsored long-distance walking, eighty-four year old Sybil Canadine from Cheltenham, who was a pioneer of Girl Guide movement and Reg Fenner, aged seventy, from Hereford, does charity swimming, beekeeping and makes wine.


On this Day: October 11th 1971:

An experimental use of a vision phone has been launched, ATV Today’s Sue Jay interviews a spokesman for the device about its applications.

The video phone idea could be of particular use to the deaf or hard of hearing it is suggested while a group of children try out the video and telephone set up.


On this Day: October 10th 1967:

At an unidentified industrial location, ATV Today cameras discovered how a company was refining silver from unwanted used film material containing movies and television programmes.

Large amounts of scrap film is seen being collected and shovelled into a furnace. The resulting ashes are then processed for their silver content which is shown in both molten and bullion forms.

The facility is destroying in the sequence 35mm films as well as television material indicated as BBC and Rediffusion items.


On this Day: October 9th 1980:

A small factory in Birmingham is making toilet roll holders in the form of Margaret Thatcher’s head – the paper is dispensed through her mouth.

John Swallow talked to the designer, Mike Bliss, who said they are selling extremely well and suggests that he’d do well with a Tony Benn version.


On this Day: October 8th 1965:

The ‘New Post Office Tower’, known these days as the BT Tower, opened in London. The Prime Minister talks to the Lord Mayor of Birmingham over closed-circuit television to celebrate the grand opening of the GPO Telecommunications landmark.


On this Day: October 7th 1968:

ATV Today met a deaf and blind man who works in an engineering factory.

The item shows the unnamed deaf-blind man undergoing training to operate a milling machine in a factory. An instructor signs instructions onto the palm of his hand.


On this Day: October 5th 1964:

ATV Today went on air for the first time, as a magazine show. ATV Midland News continued as a separate entity for sometime before the two programmes were merged together.

This featured report comes from edition one of ATV Today and joins reporter Jennifer Gay who conducts a vox-pops with a group of children about politics and the forthcoming General Election on October 15th.


On this Day: October 3rd 1962:

ATV News had ‘Neigh’ time to waste with some police horses.

Following their win at a London horse event, the very proud police horse riders demonstrate some of the award-winning moves the nags can make.


On this Day: October 2nd 1970:

ATV Today reported on the end of a transport era as Trolleybuses were to be no longer to be used in Walsall. Lionel Hampden meets with bus crews to see how they feel about the departure of the vehicles from service.

Lionel also has a chat with some of the passengers who have used the electric-run Trolleybuses, that operate like trams just without the aid of laid road tracks, as they now switch to diesel-fuelled buses.


Further OTD can be seen on the following page.