625: Andrew Wiseman's Television Room (2K)
TV Logos (12K)

Dave Jeffery's
Flash-free Files 1

Created  We 1-Mar-17
Updated  Mo 1-Apr-24

Re-creations of symbols, clocks and test patterns used by the BBC. (The ITV and Channel 4 material can be found in part two.)

Dave Jeffery's original work was produced in Adobe Flash, which is no longer supported. The files on this page have all been written to work natively in a web browser, even on tablets and mobile phones.

The 61 files below use SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), which should display on all modern browsers and on all modern devices, without the need for a plug-in. For the clocks and animated idents to work, you'll need to have JavaScript enabled.



BBC 2 - Black and White (11K)

BBC 2 - Black & White

BBC 2 came along in April 1964, broadcasting in higher definition (625 lines instead of 405) and on UHF. It was a new system that BBC 1 and ITV would also later adopt, but for now viewers had to fork out for a new dual-standard TV set to watch all three channels.

BBC 2 - Colour II
BBC 2 - Colour II - Black

In 1972, BBC 1 had a spinning globe ident, with a horizontal dividing line. The station logo and the word "COLOUR" appeared in Roman italics underneath. Everything was light blue on a black background. For BBC 2 a similar mechanical model was made, based on the channel's first spinning "2" ident. The model could be made to rotate as many times as required during announcements. And BBC 2 went one better than the main network - its ident could be displayed with three colours instead of two.

BBC 2 - stripy cylinder ident - blue (2K)BBC 2 - stripy cylinder ident - black (2K)

BBC 2 - Black

In the mid-Seventies, the word "COLOUR" was dropped from the idents of both BBC networks. On BBC 2, the rotating cube was replaced with an upright cylinder sliced horizontally. The magic happened when the slices with white stripes on rotated one way and the slices with the light blue stripes rotated the other, splitting up the "2" and reforming it again. The colours from the previous ident were kept and as before there was a seldom-seen variant with a black background.

Twin-striped orange and white BBC 2 identity (5K)

BBC 2 - electronically generated

In June 1979 a new, electronic BBC 2 ident took to the air. Designed by Oliver Elmes, this was played out from a solid-state device. The animation was created by the BBC Computer Graphic Workshop. The first sequence showed the symbol being drawn onto the screen from left to right. The second showed it disappearing in a similar manner. Both sequences lasted four seconds and the first one shown after a closedown would initially have been accompanied by a jingle.


BBC 2 black-and-white clock with roman numerals on the dial (12K)

BBC 2 Clock - Black & White

BBC 2's first clock had roman numerals on the dial. The Flash version of this was shown at the National Film Theatre (now BFI Southbank) in London when it held a Play School event, with former presenters, to celebrate 40 years of BBC 2. There was also a version of this clock with a grey background.

BBC 2 COLOUR clock with roman numerals on the dial (5K)

BBC 2 Clock - Colour

When BBC 2 started broadcasting some of its programmes in colour, in July 1967, they continued to use the black and white clock above, to which colour was added using a 'synthesiser'. The official launch of colour came in December and with it came a new symbol - a 2 with a dot in it. The clock was updated accordingly.

BBC 2 COLOUR Service Information clock with Roman numerals on the dial - yellow on a blue background (6K)

BBC 2 Service Information Clock

The clock was also used to introduce Service Information, a programme not listed in the schedules, which gave out transmitter information to the television trade. A different colour scheme was used from the main clock.

BBC 1 COLOUR clock from 1969 (5K)

BBC 1 Clock - Colour

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. As with the BBC 2 clock, this was shot using a black and white camera. Colour was then added to the picture. This clock face would continue to be used for over a decade.

BBC 2 Clock from 1969 (5K)

BBC 2 Clock - Colour II

The new BBC 1 clock design was also adopted by BBC 2. But here, as with the station's ident, the BBC logo was absent.

BBC 1 Clock from 1971 (5K)

BBC 1 Clock - Colour II

By 1971, the BBC 1 clock had been modified with the new BBC corporate logo, which now had rounded corners.

BBC 1 Clock from 1972 (3K)

BBC 1 Clock - Colour III

By 1972, the BBC network clocks had been modified again. The "COLOUR" label changed 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.

BBC Midlands Colour Clock (3K)BBC Midlands Colour Clock from Christmas 1973 (4K)

BBC Midlands Clock
BBC Midlands Clock - Christmas

A photograph of the BBC Midlands clock shown over Christmas in 1973 was published in an article in the May 1978 edition of Television magazine. It's re-created here along with the standard version of the clock.

BBC 1 Clock from 1972 without the COLOUR legend (4K)

BBC 1 Clock - Black & White II

On February 7th 1974, Blue Peter was introduced with a clock that had the word "COLOUR" missing, and the announcer told viewers, "today's programme is in black and white." Black and white programmes from the same era could also be introduced with a similarly labelled BBC 1 globe. (Wikipedia notes the first colour edition of Blue Peter aired on September 14th 1970, but the programme was still being shown in black and white as late as June 24th 1974.)

BBC 2 Clock from 1972 (4K)

BBC 2 Clock - Colour III

The BBC 2 clock from 1972, with the corporate identity on display again. There was now a blue background to help distinguish the clock from that seen on BBC 1.

BBC 2 3-colour Clock (3K)BBC 2 Colour clock with no horizontal dividing line (3K)

BBC 2 Clock - Three Colours
BBC 2 Clock - No Line

A third colour was added to the BBC 2 clock to match the station's ident - showing the BBC logo, lettering and line in white. At some point, the horizontal dividing line was dropped from the clock and, at the end of 1974, it was removed from the idents of both channels, too.

BBC COLOUR Service Information Clock - green on a purple background (4K)

BBC Service Information Clock

The clock design seen in the 1970s on BBC 1 and BBC 2 was also used to introduce Service Information. As well as the green-on-purple variant seen here, many other ghastly colour schemes were experimented with such as purple on green, green on white, pink on light blue, light blue on pink, yellow on brown, brown on yellow and green on red.

BBC 1 network clock from December 1974 (3K)BBC 1 network clock from 1975 (2K)

BBC 1 Clock
BBC 1 Clock II

After Christmas 1974, a new design for the BBC 1 globe appeared. Three colours were now used and the channel name was now larger and used the Futura Bold typeface. The new lettering and colour scheme were also applied to the clock. Then, at some point in 1975, the second hand was replaced with a shorter one, so that it no longer extended through the other side of the ring in the middle.

Yellow clock with white BBC CYMRU WALES lettering underneath (6K)

BBC Cymru Wales Clock NEW!  Su 1-Oct-23

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales each had their own globes and clocks based on the three-colour BBC 1 network models. This is the clock used by BBC Cymru Wales.

Blue clock with BBC 1 SCOTLAND lettering underneath, outlined in white, on a black background (6K)

BBC 1 Scotland Clock - Black NEW!

In December 1980, BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland was simulcast on TV in an experiment called Radiovision. The clock leading into the programme used a blue-on-black colour scheme.

BBC 1 Midlands Clock
BBC 1 North West Clock

The BBC English regions also had their own on-screen identities. The BBC 1 Midlands clock kept the longer second hand from the original clock face, but the BBC 1 North West clock followed the network's update to a shorter second hand.

Yellow clock with white BBC 1 SOUTH lettering underneath (5K)

BBC 1 South Clock

The BBC 1 South clock looks the same as the network clock at first glance, but on closer inspection, the clock face is slightly smaller, as is the ring in the middle and the hour hand appears slimmer too.

BBC 2 square clock, white on a blue background with light blue logo in the bottom left-hand corner (3K)

BBC 2 Clock - Square

When BBC 2's new stripy cylinder ident launched after Christmas 1974, a new square clock design came with it. The ident and clock were about the same height and width, allowing for a pleasing transition between the two images.

BBC 2 network clock from December 1974 (2K)BBC 2 network clock with black background (2K)

BBC 2 Clock
BBC 2 Clock - Black

In early 1975, BBC 2's new clock was abandoned in favour of the old design, shared with BBC 1. There was also a lesser-spotted black version of this clock.

BBC 2 Clock - Twin Stripes
BBC 2 Clock - Twin Stripes - Christmas NEW!  Mo 1-Jan-24

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. The colours were tweaked to produce a festive version for Christmas that year.

First electronically generated BBC 2 clock (3K)

BBC 2 Clock - Electronically Generated

Around autumn 1980, BBC 2's mechanical clock was replaced by a box of electronics, designed in house by Richard Russell. This allowed the network symbol underneath the clock to be properly shaded. Similar hardware was rolled out to BBC 1 the following year.

BBC 1 network clock from 1981 with twin-stripe design (6K)

BBC 1 Clock - Twin Stripes

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 across the BBC's two channels. A new globe meant a change from yellow to lime green. And the clock also got some new hands.

First electronically generated BBC 1 clock (3K)

BBC 1 Clock - Electronically Generated

This is BBC 1's first virtual clock, which appeared in late 1981. The mechanical version of this stripy clock had lasted only a few months before this electronically-generated version took over.

Second electronically generated BBC 1 clock (3K)

BBC 1 Clock - Electronically Generated II

This is BBC 1's second virtual clock, introduced in February 1985 to accompany the new virtual, golden globe symbol, known inside the BBC as COW (Computer-Originated World) or OWL (Open World Logo).

Schools & Colleges

BBC 1 Black & White Clock from 1969 (4K)

BBC 1 Clock - Black & White

After the introduction of colour, many programmes were still shown in black and white, including all schools programming. So there was a second BBC 1 clock, seen here, without the "COLOUR" label on it.

BBC 1 Schools Diamond Updated
BBC 1 Schools Diamond II Updated

Once schools programmes were being made in colour, they were introduced by an animated diamond. If the upcoming programme was for primary schools, the two-minute sequence was accompanied by Sara's Tune by David Lord. Secondary schools programmes used a track by Inigo Kilborn. In 1975 the diamond turned yellow to match the BBC 1 globe and clock.

BBC 1 network clock - schools variant - 1975 - version 1 (3K)BBC 1 network clock - schools variant - 1975 - version 2 (2K)

BBC 1 Clock - Schools Variant
BBC 1 Clock - Schools Variant II

The BBC 1 network clock changed at the end of 1974 with the channel name now in white. But around schools programming the lettering was yellow to match the schools diamond. This was perhaps because the diamond model was originally designed to support just two colours.

caption: BBC 1 - The next programme for schools and colleges follows shortly (5K)

BBC 1 Schools - Follows Shortly NEW!

For longer gaps in the schedule, this diamond-themed holding slide would appear before the diamond sequence to explain the next programme was on the way. A second version of this caption had more colours and text that was properly centred against the background!

Mechanical BBC Schools Countdown Clock with rotating middle (3K)Mechanical BBC Schools Countdown Clock with stationary middle (3K)

BBC 1 Schools Dots
BBC 1 Schools Dots II

The 60-second countdown clock that replaced the diamond symbol, used before the BBC's schools programmes from September 1978. The first version had a rotating middle. Later, the middle would remain stationary.

Mechanical BBC Schools Countdown Clock from September 1981 (3K)Last BBC Schools Countdown Clock (3K)

BBC 1 Schools Dots III
BBC 1 Schools Dots - Electronically Generated

In September 1981, the BBC 1 clock, globe and schools countdown switched to using twin-stripe characters, and the yellow parts changed to green. By 1982 there was an electronically generated version where the white dots turned black as the seconds ticked by. This was last shown on Friday, June 24th, 1983 - the final day of schools programmes on BBC 1.

Daytime version of the BBC 2 symbol (11K)

Daytime on Two

On Monday, September 19th, 1983 schools programmes moved to BBC 2. They were billed under the heading Daytime on Two and instead of a countdown, a daytime version of the BBC 2 symbol appeared ten seconds before each programme. With no Schools, BBC 1 closed down after Breakfast Time and started up again for Play School, which had also switched sides. It would be some years before BBC 1 would get its own Daytime schedule.

The Open University

The Open University symbol from the Seventies (2K)

The Open University

From the Seventies, a sight that would have been familiar to insomniacs. This ident signified that it was either very late at night or very early in the morning and you were about to see a programme from The Open University. You can also click a link to remove the colour, which will reveal how a rotating disc and vertical blinds produced the animated symbol. The fanfare is the first five bars of Divertimento for Three Trumpets and Three Trombones composed by Leonard Salzedo, published in 1959.

Open University Clock (13K)

The OU Clock

This was the clock that was used at the beginning of the Open University slot and would be seen before the ident above. Both are mechanical models and the colours would have matched, unlike here where the yellow is much darker. Clicking or tapping on the clock will add and remove a "Follows shortly" caption.

The OU Clock - Electronically Generated
The OU on BBC 2 Clock

This is the first electronically-generated version of The Open University clock. This was later replaced when programmes spread to BBC 1 and the clocks then took on the colour scheme of the channel broadcasting them. The BBC 2 version is shown here. Again, clicking or tapping on these clocks will add and remove a "Follows shortly" caption.

Test Cards

Test Card G with BBC2 legend, a background of grey squares and a circle containing colour bars, frequency gratings (5K)

Test Card G Updated  Su 1-Oct-23

In the early 1970s, the BBC began using an electronically generated test card, known as Test Card G, based on a design by Philips. This is how it looked on BBC 2.

Pulse & Bar (2K)
Frequency Gratings (3K)

Pulse & Bar

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.

Other Related Web Sites