Grade C Course 1955
C Course - Wood Norton 1955
In 1958 there was an experimental colour telecine channel on 405 line NTSC and in the mid 60’s a 625 line telecine for test transmission paving the way to BBC2.
Also in 1958 I was detailed by Dickie Meakin – S/Tel/E to work with the Research Department for 3 – 4 months to improve film recording operations. We experimented with different film stock and other settings, I must have made about 40 – 50 film recordings of studio outputs over that period.
There were some colour test transmissions from Alexandra Palace with a colour camera for 3 – 6 months and it was decided to run colour film at Lime Grove on a modified telecine, which I helped out with under Eric Spain. It was a 3 channel valve CINTEL which “drifted like the clappers”. Eric then left and I continued with Doug Parsons as my help because I had been made up from Grade C- to Grade C. There wasn’t any money for these colour tests but we managed to get hold of a Polish language film of about 1 hour duration. We sent a ¼ inch tape copy of the sound track to Bush House and begged a transcription in English. So while the film was transmitted mid afternoon and after shut down in the evening, we had a young Judith Chalmers come and read the script Live. When the film finished we were able to continue with Judith’s own colour holiday slides! The tests continued up until the mid 1960s when CINTEL went away in order to develop and build a better machine. Incidentally the colour telecine test at Lime Grove which was in a 405 line NTSC format produced a higher quality image in monochrome than the then current B&W telecines. Commercially BUSH and GEC were also working on experimental colour television sets based on the Research Departments initial apparatus.
It was decided at the end of the 405 line colour tests that BBC2 which was already being planned would be a 625 line service and that standard would incorporated the German PAL (Phase Alternate Line) colour system. Once the Government gave the third channel to the BBC, the telecines at TVC were already being modified for 625 using down convertors in CAR for transmissions and programme work for 405 line compatibility. BBC2 started albeit with a power cut at Battersea, on 20th April 1964 (625 service only) and went colour in July 1967, BBC1 and ITV converting to 625 colour by late 68.

TK Area LG
At the end of summer of 1960, I was sent to Television Centre to set up the telecines newly installed by P&ID. When the main telecine operation moved from Lime Grove to Television Centre, the 1st floor wedge behind the South Hall lifts was the main area and transmissions conducted in TKs 42 – 44 for 35mm and TKs 34 & 35 for 16mm all with maintained supplies, see fig 1.1 above – circa 1966. The TK supervisor’s office was at that time what eventually became the Viewing Room. The 2nd floor was only slowly expanded and developed as the BBC worked towards colour. Telecine transmissions moved up stairs with the advent of colour towards the late sixties. Indeed TKs 30 & 32 were empty cubicles for many years and only installed in the late sixties. Up to the start of colour the right hand half of the second floor (see fig 1.1) was mainly used for studio insert, with TKs25 and 26 more or less tied to TC3 and TC4 respectively and run from the studio by autoset. TKs 29 & 31 were used for local and trade tests. TKs 26, 27 & 28 all CINTEL channels could operate in 405 or 625 and later in colour. TK 21 then became the new coder room and TK 23 was removed to make way for a new control room for the introduction of colour television.