Created We 1-Mar-17
Revised Fr 1-Sep-17
BBC 1 Clock - Colour NEW! Tu 1-Aug-17
This was the BBC 1 clock used from the launch of the channel's new colour service in November 1969. It was reportedly the work of senior designer Alan Jeapes, who used hour markers of increasing thickness. This clock face would continue to be used for over a decade.
BBC 1 Clock - Black & White NEW! Tu 1-Aug-17
In 1969, many programmes were still shown in black and white, including Blue Peter (then introduced by a clock rather than a globe) and all schools programming, so there was a second BBC 1 clock used here, without the "COLOUR" label on it.
BBC 2 Clock - Colour NEW! Tu 1-Aug-17
This was BBC 2's first version of the new clock, featuring the station's symbol, a 2 with a dot in it. As with all of the BBC's mechanical models, it was shot using a black and white camera and colour was then added by a 'synthesiser'.
The BBC network clocks as seen in 1972. The BBC logo now had rounded corners and the "COLOUR" label went from a sans-serif font to a Roman font and was now in italics. "BBC COLOUR" in this style would now also appear at the end of the credits for most BBC productions. To help distinguish BBC 2 from BBC 1 it now sported a blue background, also used on its new ident.
A third colour was added to the BBC 2 clock to match the station's ident - both featuring the logo, lettering and line in white. At the end of 1974, new idents were launched for BBC 1 and BBC 2, which no longer had the word "COLOUR" on screen and also no longer featured the line running across the screen. As the dividing line went out of fashion, it was dropped from BBC 2's clock.
After Christmas 1974, BBC 1 had a new globe and clock, with three colours and much larger lettering for the channel name, appearing in white Futura Bold. The Schools Diamond changed too, but here the lettering was yellow. Perhaps the lighting on the model couldn't be modified to support three colours? The BBC 1 clock shown around schools programming also had matching yellow lettering.
BBC 2 also had a new ident after Christmas 1974: a large, stripy "2" wrapped around a cylinder. As with BBC 1, the horizontal dividing line was gone as was any reference to colour. And on 2, there was no longer any sign of the BBC name, except on the new clock, where the corporate logo was retained. There was also a lesser-spotted black version of this clock.
In 1979 a new BBC 2 ident took to the air, the first to be played out from a solid-state device. The new clock, though, remained a mechanical model with a camera pointing at it, for now.
It wasn't until 1981 that BBC 1 finally adopted the twin-stripe design first used on its programme slides and Christmas idents in the previous decade. The stripy lettering also brought back some consistency to the BBC's two channels. A new globe meant a change from yellow to lime green. And the clock also got some new hands. This was the last mechanical clock used on the network. Before the end of the year, an electronically-generated version would be introduced.
These are BBC 1's first and second virtual clocks. The images were generated by a box of electronics designed in-house by Richard Russell. The first clock replaced its mechanical counterpart in late 1981. The second clock appeared in February 1985 to accompany the new golden globe symbol or COW (Computer-Originated World), as it was known at the BBC.
This was the London Weekend clock introduced at the same time as its famous River ident. It was unusual in that despite being a mechanical clock there was no judder perceptible on the second-hand.
TSW promoted itself as "Television Simply Wonderful" on its opening night in 1982. It ceased broadcasting ten years later, having lost its licence at the next franchise round. This computer-generated clock was TSW's only timepiece throughout its decade on air.
This was Yorkshire's first computer-generated clock and features the station's familiar yellow chevron symbol. It was a replacement for a mechanical clock of a similar design.
Martin Lambie-Nairn and his company were responsible for Channel 4's identity when the station launched in 1982. This is the Channel 4 clock, which features the 4 logo made up of coloured shapes. For some reason they decided to use a dark blue rather than the main logo's light blue.
From 1961, the "chopsticks in a bowl" symbol that appears to me to be a stylised "B". It is said to loosely represent the Border TV region, with the horizontal line showing the boundary between Scotland to the North and England below, with the fork on the left perhaps depicting the Solway Firth estuary.
Exactly ten years, to the day, after Border began broadcasting, its first UHF transmitter came into service, bringing with it programmes in colour and a new Border ident. Eventually, the word "COLOUR" was dropped. Sadly, none of these early idents were animated, nor did they come with any jingles.
In 1968, Granada introduced a new ident featuring only the company name between horizontal lines. It was animated, but only for regional programmes, and the trademark arrow pointing North, used previously, was gone.
In June 1969, the arrow was back, now incorporated into a new symbol. It looks like a man on a unicycle carrying an umbrella, but served the company for over thirty-five years. Here you can see how it looked on Granada's first two colour idents. Sadly there was no clever animation nor memorable jingle to go with either. It seems idents were grim up North!
This silent, still STV ident was seen before programmes from Scottish Television right up to the early 80s, when a computer-generated thistle took over.
This is Ulster's second colour ident. An animated version is said to exist, but it's the more common still caption that is seen here. The zigzag pattern was in the logo from the first day of broadcasting and survived until 1993 when the company rebranded as UTV.
As well as the standard test cards with grey squares and/or coloured bars, there were a couple of other test cards used by the BBC. The first is a pulse and bar pattern, which included a burst of lilac. The two vertical lines on the right-hand side show that the card was transmitted from Cardiff. Different arrangements meant sixteen different regions could be identified in this way. The second pattern is called a multi-burst and features frequency gratings.
This is one of the colour bars used by HTV.