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Gerry George's Memories - 11
The nostalgic memories of a television kid of the '50s

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Dear Whirligig,

Just imagine it, 52 years ago, tonight - well tomorrow (Monday, October 12, 1951), to the day - the magic of television came into my home.

The arrival of that magic box - which transformed our dining room into a darkened cinema - was no accident: really it coincided with the opening of the BBC Transmitter mast, of Holme Moss, which had sets, all over the North of England, switching on, and tuning in, to a service, which, hitherto, had really only been the exclusive preserve of those living in London and the South East, and more recently, viewers living in Birmingham and the Midlands.

They got their pictures via Alexandra Palace, and Sutton Coldfield respectively.

Gracie Fields did the honours, throwing the switch in a special ceremony, which preceded the showing of a variety show, aptly entitled *Hello, Up There !*, and, of course, it was Northern viewers' first chance to glimpse the unforgettable BBC TV Newsreel, the film clip of which, you have on your home page.

Oh Happy Days ! From then on, my whole life was focussed on that tiny *box of delights*, and on the endless magic that streamed forth, via its much revered 10-inch cathode ray tube.

So, thanks Auntie Beeb, for 52 years of memorable viewing, which thankfully I continue to enjoy, even as I write.

Oh, and thanks, also, to you *Mr. Turnip*, who gave me an opportunity to air my two penneth, in this very democratic way, via the further magic of the internet.

Every good wish, to you, and all who read, watch and listen.

Sincerely, always, Gerry George.


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If you have any comments or further information of interest, please e-mail memories@whirligig-tv.co.uk