Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Westward Television

Westward Television

Overview
Westward Television was the first ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 franchise holder for the South West of England
South West England
South West England is one of the regions of England defined by the Government of the United Kingdom for statistical and other purposes. It is the largest such region in area, covering and comprising Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. ...

 from 29 April 1961 until 31 December 1981. After a difficult start, Westward provided a popular, distinctive and highly regarded service to its region, until public boardroom squabbles led to its franchise not being renewed by the IBA
Independent Broadcasting Authority
The Independent Broadcasting Authority was the regulatory body in the United Kingdom for commercial television - and commercial/independent radio broadcasts...

. Westward launched the career of many broadcasters who became well known nationally, won numerous awards for its programming, and heavily influenced its successor, TSW
Television South West
Television South West was the ITV franchise holder for the South West England region from 1 January 1982 until 31 December 1992, broadcasting from the former Westward Television studios in Plymouth, Devon.-Origins and Launch:...

.

The company's first chairman was Peter Cadbury
Peter Cadbury
Peter Egbert Cadbury was a British entrepreneur.He was the son of Sir Egbert Cadbury, a World War I flying ace and managing director of Cadbury Brothers, the chocolate enterprise...

, who had left the board of Tyne Tees Television
Tyne Tees Television
Tyne Tees Television is the ITV television franchise for North East England and parts of North Yorkshire. As of 2009, it forms part of a non-franchise ITV Tyne Tees & Border region, shared with the ITV Border region...

 in order to bid for the south-west franchise.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Westward Television'
Start a new discussion about 'Westward Television'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Westward Television was the first ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 franchise holder for the South West of England
South West England
South West England is one of the regions of England defined by the Government of the United Kingdom for statistical and other purposes. It is the largest such region in area, covering and comprising Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. ...

 from 29 April 1961 until 31 December 1981. After a difficult start, Westward provided a popular, distinctive and highly regarded service to its region, until public boardroom squabbles led to its franchise not being renewed by the IBA
Independent Broadcasting Authority
The Independent Broadcasting Authority was the regulatory body in the United Kingdom for commercial television - and commercial/independent radio broadcasts...

. Westward launched the career of many broadcasters who became well known nationally, won numerous awards for its programming, and heavily influenced its successor, TSW
Television South West
Television South West was the ITV franchise holder for the South West England region from 1 January 1982 until 31 December 1992, broadcasting from the former Westward Television studios in Plymouth, Devon.-Origins and Launch:...

.

History


The company's first chairman was Peter Cadbury
Peter Cadbury
Peter Egbert Cadbury was a British entrepreneur.He was the son of Sir Egbert Cadbury, a World War I flying ace and managing director of Cadbury Brothers, the chocolate enterprise...

, who had left the board of Tyne Tees Television
Tyne Tees Television
Tyne Tees Television is the ITV television franchise for North East England and parts of North Yorkshire. As of 2009, it forms part of a non-franchise ITV Tyne Tees & Border region, shared with the ITV Border region...

 in order to bid for the south-west franchise. Cadbury named the company after the golf course
Golf course
A golf course comprises a series of holes, each consisting of a teeing ground, fairway, rough and other hazards, and a green with a flagstick and cup, all designed for the game of golf. A standard round of golf consists of playing 18 holes, thus most golf courses have this number of holes...

 at Westward Ho!
Westward Ho!
Westward Ho! is a seaside village near Bideford in Devon, England. The A39 road provides access from the towns of Barnstaple, Bideford and Bude...

, in Devon
Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

, where he played. Ironically, Westward Ho!
Westward Ho!
Westward Ho! is a seaside village near Bideford in Devon, England. The A39 road provides access from the towns of Barnstaple, Bideford and Bude...

 was the part of Westward's region that found reception most difficult, until the construction of the Huntshaw Cross relay transmitter in 1968. Westward's region was surrounded on three sides by the sea, and that was strongly reflected in Westward's output and its symbol — a silver model of the Golden Hind
Golden Hind
The Golden Hind was an English galleon best known for its circumnavigation of the globe between 1577 and 1580, captained by Sir Francis Drake...

.

Franchise loss


On 28 December 1980, while the ITV network was showing Drake's Venture
Drake's Venture
Drake's Venture is a 1980 film depiction of Francis Drake's voyage of circumnavigation. Produced by Westward Television to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the event, it nevertheless focuses on the voyage's most controversial aspect, the execution of the gentleman Thomas Doughty for mutiny...

, Westward Television's two-hour filmed drama to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Sir Francis Drake's
Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era. Elizabeth I of England awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He also carried out the...

 circumnavigation
Circumnavigation
Circumnavigation – literally, "navigation of a circumference" – refers to travelling all the way around an island, a continent, or the entire planet Earth.- Global circumnavigation :...

 of the globe (starring John Thaw
John Thaw
John Edward Thaw, CBE was an English actor, who appeared in a range of television, stage and cinema roles, his most popular being police and legal dramas such as Redcap, The Sweeney, Inspector Morse and Kavanagh QC.-Early life:Thaw came from a working class background, having been born in Gorton,...

), ITN broke into a commercial break to announce that ATV
Associated TeleVision
Associated Television, often referred to as ATV, was a British television company, holder of various licences to broadcast on the ITV network from 24 September 1955 until 00:34 on 1 January 1982...

 was to undergo major changes and Southern
Southern Television
Southern Television was the first ITV broadcasting licence holder for the south and south-east of England from 30 August 1958 until the night of 31 December 1981. The company was launched as Southern Television Limited and the title Southern Television was consistently used on-air throughout its life...

 and Westward had not had their licences renewed by the IBA
Independent Broadcasting Authority
The Independent Broadcasting Authority was the regulatory body in the United Kingdom for commercial television - and commercial/independent radio broadcasts...

; the south-west franchise was awarded to TSW
Television South West
Television South West was the ITV franchise holder for the South West England region from 1 January 1982 until 31 December 1992, broadcasting from the former Westward Television studios in Plymouth, Devon.-Origins and Launch:...

 (Television South West
Television South West
Television South West was the ITV franchise holder for the South West England region from 1 January 1982 until 31 December 1992, broadcasting from the former Westward Television studios in Plymouth, Devon.-Origins and Launch:...

).

Following the loss of its franchise, Westward's management decided to sell up quickly, and the company (including its staff, premises and programme library) was purchased by TSW, early in 1981, for £2.38 million. TSW continued using the Westward name and galleon on screen until 31 December 1981, before it was replaced at midnight by the hills and river of TSW.

A special programme, 20 Years Of Westward, was broadcast on 21 December 1981 to look back on the company's achievements. It was presented by Roger Shaw, and recorded in front of a studio audience. Hastings Mann's Westward Ho! was used as the theme music. Studio guests included Angela Rippon
Angela Rippon
Angela M. Rippon, OBE, born 12 October 1944, Plymouth, Devon, England, is an English television journalist, newsreader, writer and presenter. Rippon presented radio and television news programmes in South West England before moving to BBC One's Nine O'Clock News, becoming a regular presenter in 1975...

, Kenneth McLeod and Sheila Kennedy. There were filmed contributions from Alan Freeman
Alan Freeman
Alan Leslie "Fluff" Freeman, MBE was a British disc jockey and radio personality in the United Kingdom for 40 years.-Career:...

, Jan Leeming
Jan Leeming
Jan Leeming is a British TV presenter and newsreader.-Career:Born Janet Atkins in Kent, England, and educated at the St. Joseph's Convent Grammar School, she worked as an actress and presenter in Australia and New Zealand before becoming a well-known face on British television in regional and...

 and David Vine
David Vine
David Martin Vine was a British television sports presenter. He presented a wide variety of shows from the 1960s onwards.-Early life:...

 and many clips of Westward programmes were shown. The programme ended with a message from Peter Cadbury
Peter Cadbury
Peter Egbert Cadbury was a British entrepreneur.He was the son of Sir Egbert Cadbury, a World War I flying ace and managing director of Cadbury Brothers, the chocolate enterprise...

, in which he wished Westward's successor well.

Closure


Unlike the other ITV stations that lost their franchises in this round, Westward (having been run by successor TSW for the last couple of months) opted to hand over at midnight. On 31 December 1981 at 11:58pm, after a truncated repeat of Scottish Television
Scottish Television
Scottish Television is Scotland's largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. It is the second oldest ITV franchisee still active...

's Hogmanay show from the year before, Roger Shaw closed Westward Television with this pre-recorded announcement:
TSW then began with a still caption of the TSW ident (accompanied by a short version of the station theme That's Soul, Write) and their first announcement, made live by Shaw:
This was followed by the full version of TSW's ident.

Studios


Based at purpose-built studios at Derry's Cross in Plymouth
Plymouth
Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

, with a London office (sited at various locations including New Bond Street, Marble Arch
Marble Arch
Marble Arch is a white Carrara marble monument that now stands on a large traffic island at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane, and Edgware Road, almost directly opposite Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park in London, England...

 and Sloane Square
Sloane Square
Sloane Square is a small hard-landscaped square on the boundaries of the fashionable London districts of Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Chelsea, located southwest of Charing Cross, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The square is part of the Hans Town area designed in 1771 by Henry...

) and a sales office in Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

.

The Derry's Cross studios were designed by the architects Treadgold and Elsey, who had previously designed the TWW
Television Wales and the West
Television Wales and the WestTelevision Wales and the WestTelevision Wales and the West , accessed 19 August 2006, accessed 19 August 2006 was the British "Independent Television" contractor for the franchise area serving 'South Wales and West of England' 1956–68 Television Wales and the...

 Studios at Pontcanna
Pontcanna
Pontcanna is a western district of the city of Cardiff, Wales. Its area is bounded approximately by Llandaff Fields to the north, the Riverside district and Cowbridge Road to the south, the River Taff to the west and the district of Canton to the east.Pontcanna is a very well to do area of wide...

, Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

 and Arno's Court, Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

 (Howett 1994).

During Westward's tenure, Derry's Cross boasted three studios. Studio 1 was 2500 sq ft (232.3 m²), Studio 2 was 400 sq ft (37.2 m²) and used for news, sport and interview programmes and an announcer's studio was located beside Master control.

The studios were originally fitted out by Marconi
Marconi Company
The Marconi Company Ltd. was founded by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897 as The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company...

, using top of the range studio equipment. Westward engineer Peter Rodgers recalled "From the start, where we could afford it, we bought the best" (Howett 1994). By the time Westward began broadcasting Derry's Cross had cost Westward over £500,000, with the company committed to spending another £20,000 on the studios by April 1962.

In 1981 the studios (along with the company) were purchased by TSW; in 1993 the building was sold to a firm of solicitors and converted into offices. In 2010 the buildings were demolished to make way for a new retail development.

Identity


Westwards identity focused around that of the sea, and mainly used a ship emblem for their on screen look. The first ident featured an image of a boat on the water, before replacing the image with a stylised ship image in a circle, complete with Westward legend and channel nine and twelve identifiers, to a tune of four bongs. This was replaced in the mid 1960s by model of the Golden Hind
Golden Hind
The Golden Hind was an English galleon best known for its circumnavigation of the globe between 1577 and 1580, captained by Sir Francis Drake...

, shot against a black background with a simple Westward caption beneath accompanied by the Holly and the Ivy tune on brass instruments. This ident was altered slightly in the late 1960s to update the font to Compacta Bold.

When colour came to the region in 1972, the Golden Hind was re-shot against a blue background with the caption altered to include a small stylised ship image in a box in the lower left corner, followed by an outlined 'Westward TV' caption, with TV in red. The tune that accompanied the ident was originally a trumpeted, nautical fanfare but was changed c.1978 to an eight note electrical fanfare. This was Westwards final ident and remained with the company until the end.

In addition to these idents, Westward used a clock contained in a curved box with both analogue and digital displays, alongside the Westward stylised ship logo and name. In addition to this, Westward were frequent users of in-vision continuity, with many of the stations personalities becoming well known in the region.

Programming


Westward's small size and the structure of ITV (which, at the time, deliberately made it hard for small- and medium-sized ITV companies to contribute to the network) meant it produced comparatively little output for the network. Instead, Westward concentrated on regional programming. From 1968 until the end of Westward's life, the ITA
Independent Television Authority
The Independent Television Authority was an agency created by the Television Act 1954 to supervise the creation of "Independent Television" , the first commercial television network in the United Kingdom...

/IBA
Independent Broadcasting Authority
The Independent Broadcasting Authority was the regulatory body in the United Kingdom for commercial television - and commercial/independent radio broadcasts...

 gave Westward a target of providing 6.5 hours of new regional programming a week; Westward always exceeded this target.

Westward's programming was always published as a magazine for the public to access. Initially, Westward published weekly programme listings in its own programme journal, Look Westward. The first edition cost 5d
£sd
£sd was the popular name for the pre-decimal currencies used in the Kingdom of England, later the United Kingdom, and ultimately in much of the British Empire...

, and featured a special article by Westward board member Daphne du Maurier
Daphne du Maurier
Dame Daphne du Maurier, Lady Browning DBE was a British author and playwright.Many of her works have been adapted into films, including the novels Rebecca and Jamaica Inn and the short stories "The Birds" and "Don't Look Now". The first three were directed by Alfred Hitchcock.Her elder sister was...

. Many Westward personalities, such as announcer Sheila Kennedy, contributed articles to Look Westward. However, as part of the 1968 franchise round, the ITA
Independent Television Authority
The Independent Television Authority was an agency created by the Television Act 1954 to supervise the creation of "Independent Television" , the first commercial television network in the United Kingdom...

 created Independent Television Publications (ITP), and Westward's weekly listings would be obliged to appear solely in the Westward edition of the national listings magazine TV Times
TV Times
TVTimes is a television listings magazine published in the United Kingdom by IPC Media, a subsidiary of Time Warner. It is known for its access to television actors and their programmes. In 2006 it was refreshed for a more modern look, increasing its emphasis on big star interviews and soaps...

, which was published by ITP. In 1971, ITP launched a junior version of TV Times
TV Times
TVTimes is a television listings magazine published in the United Kingdom by IPC Media, a subsidiary of Time Warner. It is known for its access to television actors and their programmes. In 2006 it was refreshed for a more modern look, increasing its emphasis on big star interviews and soaps...

called Look-In
Look-in
Look-in was a long running children's magazine centred around ITV's television programmes in the United Kingdom, and subtitled "The Junior TVTimes". It ran from 9 January 1971 to 12 March 1994...

, which featured weekly listings of Westward programmes for younger viewers (including Gus Honeybun), along with listings for the other ITV regions.

Local programming


Westward had a dual policy for its local programming: it produced a wide range of programmes of particular interest to the south west's rural and agricultural
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 communities, whilst simultaneously producing programming designed to stimulate its audience's interest in new areas.

News and current affairs


By 1969, Westward had more than 100 correspondents across the region informing Westward of newsworthy local events and eight film cameramen who would travel the region gathering news. Westward's flagship programme was Westward Diary, which began life as a regional magazine programme that broadcast three times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) between 6:15pm and 7pm. There were three presenters, Barry Westwood, Reginald Bosanquet
Reginald Bosanquet
Reginald Bosanquet was a British journalist, best known for presenting ITN news in the 1970s.-Early life:He was the son of the cricketer Bernard Bosanquet, inventor of the "googly" and a cousin of the public relations executive Christopher Bosanquet...

 and Kenneth MacLeod, who rotated on a weekly basis. The regional news was contained in a separate bulletin called Westward News, which was broadcast every weekday from 6.05pm and 6.15pm.

Westward Diary was soon merged with Westward News, to become what was known at the time as a 'regional news magazine', and was broadcast every weekday between 6.00pm and 6:30pm. Kenneth MacLeod was asked to join Westward and present the new weekday programme permanently. The news would be read by the duty announcer, so MacLeod's role on the Diary was not that of a newsreader, but of a presenter holding the whole package together.

The five-day-a-week Westward Diary had two halves, separated by a commercial break. The first half concentrated on the regional news, whereas the second half included other items of interest to local viewers. A number of experts would visit to present regular features: Ted Tuckerman would present a fishing spot called "Tight Lines" , Jon Miller (the zoologist, and also presenter of Southern Television
Southern Television
Southern Television was the first ITV broadcasting licence holder for the south and south-east of England from 30 August 1958 until the night of 31 December 1981. The company was launched as Southern Television Limited and the title Southern Television was consistently used on-air throughout its life...

's How!) would present a spot about nature, architect David Young would examine local architecture of interest, and Topline Broadhurst would present regular gardening spots. There was a regular spot called "Help!" (for charity and voluntary groups), a slot called "Pick Of The Post" (in which viewers' letters would be read) and the popular "Picture Puzzle" (in which viewers had to try and guess the location shown in a photograph taken somewhere in the region.

Westward staff returned to work a few days before the end of the ITV National Strike of 1979. However, Kenneth MacLeod had to present Westward Diary in what looked to viewers like almost total darkness, as the union only permitted the house lights to be switched on in the studio.

In the early 1970s, A Date With Danton was a stand-alone weekly programme that provided a round-up of local arts and entertainment events. This later became a spot entitled "What's On", in Friday's edition of Westward Diary. The Friday edition of Sports Desk was a stand-alone programme in the early '70s, but this too had become part of the Diary towards the end of that decade. To accommodate this, the length of Friday's edition of Diary was extended to an hour.

The local weather forecast in Westward Diary (with an emphasis on information useful to fishermen and farmers) was given by a popular local personality, Graham Danton, who presented several programmes for Westward, including Holiday Times (an events listings programme aimed at people holiday-making in the region) and Late With Danton (a consumer programme).

Westward was one of the first ITV regions to broadcast a late evening regional news bulletin (Westward Late News).

On April Fools Day, 1973, Westward broadcast a film about the village of Spiggot, which had boycotted decimalisation
Decimal Day
Decimal Day was the day the United Kingdom and Ireland decimalised their currencies.-Old system:Under the old currency of pounds, shillings and pence, the pound was made up of 240 pence , with 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings in a...

 and were still using pre-decimal currency. Many viewers wrote to Westward in support of the villagers' stance, oblivious to the date the film was broadcast.

Children


An early programme for young people was Spin Along, a regional pop music programme presented by Alan 'Fluff' Freeman
Alan Freeman
Alan Leslie "Fluff" Freeman, MBE was a British disc jockey and radio personality in the United Kingdom for 40 years.-Career:...

. The first edition was broadcast on Tuesday 12 September 1961 between 6:15-6:45 pm (Westward Diary was not broadcast on a Tuesday in 1961). A second series began on 24 September 1962 between 7:00pm and 7:30pm.

Another local music programme was Move Over Dad. In November 1963 The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 had to be smuggled into Derry's Cross through a tunnel to record an interview with Stuart Hutchison for this programme, due to the number of fans outside the studios.

Other 60s music programmes included Pop And Leslie and The Westward Beat Competition from 1964. The Westward Beat Competition had a panel of judges that included Brian Epstein
Brian Epstein
Brian Samuel Epstein , was an English music entrepreneur, and is best known for being the manager of The Beatles up until his death. He also managed several other musical artists such as Gerry & the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Cilla Black, The Remo Four & The Cyrkle...

 and Dick Rowe
Dick Rowe
Richard Paul Rowe was an A&R man at Decca Records from the 1950s to the 1960s.He was one of the most important producers and record executives in the United Kingdom in the 1950s and early 1960s and is the man who signed The Rolling Stones, Them , The Moody Blues, The Animals, The Zombies, John...

 and was won by The Rustiks.

In 1969, Angela Rippon
Angela Rippon
Angela M. Rippon, OBE, born 12 October 1944, Plymouth, Devon, England, is an English television journalist, newsreader, writer and presenter. Rippon presented radio and television news programmes in South West England before moving to BBC One's Nine O'Clock News, becoming a regular presenter in 1975...

 joined Westward from BBC South West
BBC South West
BBC South West is the BBC English Region serving Devon, Cornwall and the Channel Islands.-Television:BBC South Wests television service consists of the flagship regional news service Spotlight, the opt-out service BBC Channel Islands, the topical magazine programme Inside Out and a 20-minute...

, as a producer of children's and women's programmes; she also produced a monthly show during the summer of 1972 which laid claim to being the first "Open Access" TV show for young people in the UK. This was called The Show Without A Title, and was the brainchild of the station's then Programme Controller Terry Fleet. The monthly show was presented by members of an editorial team that included David Rodgers - who later went on to become a familiar Westward TV staff presenter. Angela Rippon was the programme's Editor, with Roger Gage being its director. Unfortunately, the show's run (which was broadcast at 5.20pm on Fridays after being pre-recorded in Studio One on the preceding Wednesday) was short-lived. A year later, in 1973, another series aimed at young people called Young Eyes took to the WTV airwaves; this was co-presented by Andy Price and a young actress fresh out of drama school named Lesley Manville (who since went on to greater fame in UK television drama). David Rodgers was again one of the regular contributors.

Another popular long-running programme featured a puppet rabbit, Gus Honeybun
Gus Honeybun
Gus Honeybun was the station mascot for Westward Television, and later Television South West, from 1961 to 1992. A puppet rabbit, and star of Gus Honeybun's Magic Birthdays, he achieved a longevity for a TV puppet second only to Sooty....

, who appeared with the duty announcer who read out birthday greetings to the region's children: The story went that Gus was found wandering Dartmoor
Dartmoor
Dartmoor is an area of moorland in south Devon, England. Protected by National Park status, it covers .The granite upland dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history. The moorland is capped with many exposed granite hilltops known as tors, providing habitats for Dartmoor wildlife. The...

 by a Westward Outside Broadcast unit. Children could request that Gus waggle his ears, wink, stand on his head, count their age in "bunny-hops", or turn off the lights. Gus's behaviour tended to be excellent for Roger Shaw, but for Judi Spiers and Iain Stirling he could be rather unpredictable. Gus was retained by TSW
Television South West
Television South West was the ITV franchise holder for the South West England region from 1 January 1982 until 31 December 1992, broadcasting from the former Westward Television studios in Plymouth, Devon.-Origins and Launch:...

 when they took over the franchise.

On Sunday mornings there was Look and See, a five minute religious slot for the under-8s broadcast from the continuity studio. Its presenters included Norah Thomas, Jill Mapson, Pat Webber and Ann Davey.

In 1980, Westward produced Maggie's Moor, a seven part networked children's drama series about a young girl living on Dartmoor
Dartmoor
Dartmoor is an area of moorland in south Devon, England. Protected by National Park status, it covers .The granite upland dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history. The moorland is capped with many exposed granite hilltops known as tors, providing habitats for Dartmoor wildlife. The...

 during the Second World War. It starred Tamar le Bailly as Maggie. It was produced and directed by John King, the father of wildlife photographer and presenter Simon King
Simon King (television)
Simon Henry King OBE is a British television presenter and cameraman, specialising in nature documentaries.King has been working in the field of natural history film making for over 30 years...

. Simon King featured as "The Buzzard Boy" in Episode 5, The Buzzard Boy.

Agriculture


Agriculture was an important industry in South West England during Westward's franchise. Approximately 80% of land in South West England is in agricultural use (19.6% of England's total). Westward TV had an Agricultural Advisory committee chaired by R. G. Pomeroy to advise the company on its agricultural output. For 9 months of the year, Westward broadcast Farming News (later retitled Farm and Country News) on Sunday lunchtimes presented and edited by Peter Forde. Westward also produced an adult education series aimed at farmers called Acres For Profit.

Network contributions


Westward's contributions to the network were very rare at first, mainly consisting of one-off programmes and editions of the Morning Service (later renamed Morning Worship).

Initially, Westward had an arrangement with ABC Weekend Television
Associated British Corporation
Associated British Corporation was one of a number of commercial television companies established in the United Kingdom during the 1950s by cinema chain companies in an attempt to safeguard their business by becoming involved with television which was taking away their cinema audiences.In this...

 (ABC) to provide its network programming. As Channel Television
Channel Television
Channel Television is a British television station which has served as an Independent Television contractor to the Channel Islands since 1962. It is based in Jersey...

 took its network feed from Stockland Hill, this obliged Channel to affiliate to ABC. These 'affiliate' arrangements lasted until they were abolished in the 1964 franchise round. Westward also had an arrangement with Associated TeleVision
Associated TeleVision
Associated Television, often referred to as ATV, was a British television company, holder of various licences to broadcast on the ITV network from 24 September 1955 until 00:34 on 1 January 1982...

 (ATV), to play out any networked Westward programmes onto the ITV network.

On 19 January 1972, there was a relaxation on the restrictions of broadcast hours that had been set by the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications. This allowed regular daytime programming on weekday afternoons, and weekday morning programming during out-of-school term time. These extra off-peak hours gave smaller ITV companies a chance to provide some networked or part-networked programmes. By the mid '70s, Westward had taken advantage of this opportunity by finding a small niche producing adult education programmes for the ITV network. These included the series Westcountry Fayre (cookery), Freeze! (freezing food) and Keep Britain Slim (slimming).

About Britain


One of the new daytime weekday programmes introduced through the relaxation of broadcast hours was About Britain. This strand was made up of half-hour documentaries contributed by each of the ITV regions covering interesting aspects of their respective regions.

In 1973 the Countryside Commission
Countryside Commission
The Countryside Commission was a statutory body in England and Wales, and later in England only...

 opened the South West Coast Peninsula Walk
South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path is Britain's longest waymarked long-distance footpath and a National Trail. It stretches for , running from Minehead in Somerset, along the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, to Poole Harbour in Dorset. Since it rises and falls with every river mouth, it is also one of the more...

 from Minehead
Minehead
Minehead is a coastal town and civil parish in Somerset, England. It lies on the south bank of the Bristol Channel, north-west of the county town of Taunton, from the border with the county of Devon and in proximity of the Exmoor National Park...

 in Somerset to Swanage
Swanage
Swanage is a coastal town and civil parish in the south east of Dorset, England. It is situated at the eastern end of the Isle of Purbeck, approximately 10 km south of Poole and 40 km east of Dorchester. The parish has a population of 10,124 . Nearby are Ballard Down and Old Harry Rocks,...

 in Dorset via Land's End
Land's End
Land's End is a headland and small settlement in west Cornwall, England, within the United Kingdom. It is located on the Penwith peninsula approximately eight miles west-southwest of Penzance....

. Westward Television asked Diary reporter Clive Gunnell to walk the new route and film his journey.

Clive was a London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

er. He had begun his television career as a props
Theatrical property
A theatrical property, commonly referred to as a prop, is an object used on stage by actors to further the plot or story line of a theatrical production. Smaller props are referred to as "hand props". Larger props may also be set decoration, such as a chair or table. The difference between a set...

 man at Associated-Rediffusion
Associated-Rediffusion
Associated-Rediffusion, later Rediffusion, London, was the British ITV contractor for London and parts of the surrounding counties, on weekdays between 1954 and 29 July 1968. Transmissions started on 22 September 1955.-Formation:...

, where he first met Kenneth McLeod. He had already walked the new Two Moors Walk from Plymouth to Lynmouth
Lynmouth
Lynmouth is a village in Devon, England, on the north edge of Exmoor.The village straddles the confluence of the West Lyn and East Lyn rivers, in a gorge below Lynton, to which it is connected by the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway....

 and filmed his journey for Westward Diary. This had proved popular and led to the new series Walking Westward.

Clive Gunnell set off from Weston-super-Mare
Weston-super-Mare
Weston-super-Mare is a seaside resort, town and civil parish in the unitary authority of North Somerset, which is within the ceremonial county of Somerset, England. It is located on the Bristol Channel coast, south west of Bristol, spanning the coast between the bounding high ground of Worlebury...

 rather than Minehead, and his journey took many series to complete. It took five series before he reached the south coast. Westward used a selection of Clive's films as part of their contribution to About Britain, and due to its network exposure Walking Westward remains one of Westward Television's best remembered programmes. Fifteen-minute sections of Clive Gunnell's walk along the Cornish coast were broadcast by the US Public Broadcasting Service as curtain raisers to the BBC drama "Poldark" in PBS's "Masterpiece Theatre" series.

Clive Gunnell also made documentaries about inland areas that were also contributed to About Britain. In 1977 his documentary To Tavistock Goosie Fair won "Most Outstanding Regional Production of 1977". In 1980 he began work on a series of six films on Dartmoor
Dartmoor
Dartmoor is an area of moorland in south Devon, England. Protected by National Park status, it covers .The granite upland dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history. The moorland is capped with many exposed granite hilltops known as tors, providing habitats for Dartmoor wildlife. The...

 called Dartmoor. Some of these films were featured in the About Britain strand in 1981.

Doing Things


Like About Britain, Doing Things was a series of half hour filmed documentaries contributed by the various ITV regions and broadcast in the early afternoon. It was broadcast in 1973-1974 and looked at hobbies. Westward Television contributed Beachcombing, a film presented and directed by Clive Gunnell, to this series.

See also

  • Television South West
    Television South West
    Television South West was the ITV franchise holder for the South West England region from 1 January 1982 until 31 December 1992, broadcasting from the former Westward Television studios in Plymouth, Devon.-Origins and Launch:...

  • Westcountry Television
    Westcountry Television
    Westcountry Television, is the ITV franchise holder in the South West of England, replacing its predecessor, TSW , from the 1 January 1993...

  • History of ITV
    History of ITV
    The history of ITV, the United Kingdom "Independent Television" commercial network, goes back to 1954.-The early years: 1954–1963:After much debate both in the British Parliament and the British Press, the Television Act became law in 1954...


  • An obituary for Peter Cadbury can be found here.
  • Graham Danton's BBC Radio Devon programme can be found here
  • Loeki The Lion's website is here.
  • Paul Lewis' website has can be found here.
  • Pictures of and coverage information for the VHF and UHF transmitters and relays that broadcast Westward to the South West can be found here.

External links