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Old 24th Nov 2018, 11:48 am   #1
peter_scott
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Default Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

More vintage footage to display on older televisions.

http://www.rigb.org/christmas-lectures/watch

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Old 24th Nov 2018, 2:43 pm   #2
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Thanks! That's my afternoons sorted! RV Jones first I think.
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Old 24th Nov 2018, 3:12 pm   #3
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

I saw an appeal on the news this morning for any recordings of several missing lectures.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/...stmas-lectures
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Old 24th Nov 2018, 5:35 pm   #4
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

'ripples in the ether' is the one all about radio. Superb lack of health and safety from the 1972 lectures and some nice old studio equipment.
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Old 24th Nov 2018, 7:12 pm   #5
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Not so much a 'lack of health and safety', but an understanding of the issues and risks as opposed to a slavish 'tick box' mentality.

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Old 26th Nov 2018, 11:03 pm   #6
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Charles Taylor's "Sounds of Music" was a good one - 1971-ish. The fourth lecture
concerned the making of the sig tune for the broadcasts at the Radiophonic Workshop from a blown bottle and a twanged ruler! The repeat series was missing that lecture - wiped in error - on-air apology. I have a tape of that sig somewhere, though.
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Old 27th Nov 2018, 1:23 am   #7
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Here we go again with the BBC chucking stuff out-p3*. Now, I know that there are always well presented arguments re cost and prioritisation [often from people who were actually there] but this all stems from the Joni Mitchell effect ie " You don't know what you've got till it's gone". We never hear from the people who risked their jobs to save material for obvious reasons.

When it suits the Beeb they monetise what they can from whats left of the Archive that they didn't take proper care of in the first place. I remember the classic moment when a Beeb executive refused to help with the Alexandra Palace Appeal saying "We don't do museums" ...just after they closed the one in Broadcasting House That was supplied by Steve Harris, who DOES have a great sense of History and Heritage!

The BBC [supposedly a PSB] tries to be a Globalisation Player at the same time. This is disingenuous in my view and License Players are not consulted-except when it suits!
AS it happens, I have unearthed one or two video tapes with Xmas Lectures that I found but they may not be the missing ones! Naively I thought our Premier Broadcaster would have kept them all It hasn't been up to much as a program in recent years though!

I'm not one of those people who routinely say there's nothing on TV [quite the opposite in fact] but I was struck by a letter from John Filby in Sunday's Observer [25/11/18] whose first sentence chimed with my overall view ie " I have defended the BBC for years but it's getting harder all the time".

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Old 27th Nov 2018, 9:01 am   #8
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Hindsight knows no myopia. At least efforts are now made to preserve what remains. Unfortunately, the BBC has been continually chivvied by successive governments who incresaingly regard it as an instrument of policy, its nominal independence notwithstanding - the Salford fiasco, withdrawal of the GIA for the External Services, the ongoing row about over-75 TV licences, and so on. Politicians are not generally known for their understanding of broadcasting beyond carping about alleged bias - and the proper funding of archives is not on their mental map. Look at what has happened to the NLW BBC project.

All is not well on the other side of the fence either - some who operate supposedly in the cause of programme, or recording, preservation exhibit behaviour from the dubious, through the coercive to the downright obstructive.

I should have thought that the RI lectures were prime archiving candidates, but it is as well to remember in this context that the past is another country.
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Old 27th Nov 2018, 2:53 pm   #9
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
AS it happens, I have unearthed one or two video tapes with Xmas Lectures that I found but they may not be the missing ones!
Fingers crossed, a chance to give something back if you're lucky.
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Old 27th Nov 2018, 3:40 pm   #10
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

I wonder who owns the IP? I'd have thought it resided with the RI rather than the BBC.
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Old 27th Nov 2018, 3:46 pm   #11
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

I usually used to tape, and have kept, the christmas lectures after we got our first VCR in the late 1980's, but I don't think these are missing. I gave up when they got too dumbed-down.

There should be a copyright notice at the end of each broadcast, but even if it says ©BBC, contractual terms may be in force that affect distribution rights.

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Old 27th Nov 2018, 9:00 pm   #12
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Agreed Bill but I just can't recall what they are. I found the programs on tapes found at my brothers's house and he can't recall how they got there!
I was pleased to see them but didn't get excited as I was sure the RS Lectures would be "in the can" already so to speak. I have found some of the more contemporary lectures bit wooden and unexciting as I said. The "Tomorrows World Live" revival on BBC4 a few days ago was a bit of a struggle as well. As luck would have it, I probably won't be back in Rammy for a number of weeks now so we'll all have to wait I'm afraid

I printed out the list of episodes and sure enough, the most recent missing set [1973] was delivered by....yes David Attenborough.
I was looking him up and it took some digging into Wikki to confirm that the program "30 Years of BBC2" [BC Sat 16/9/94] was presented by Mr A as he had been the Channel's first Controller! He took over BBC2 for the night and selected its archive content! I have it all on a VHS tape at LP. It all looked quite dated then, presentation wise! Ironically its No "625" in my Archive!

Further to what the BBC keeps and it's own awareness, there is a letter in next week's Radio Times praising the the BBC2 program [10th November] "Egon Schieleangerous Desires" Mr Harris suggests the Beeb should show again the 1980 film Egon Schiele which hasn't been seen on BBC2 since 1985 when it was broadcast at 11.30pm. I haven't got that one-have they

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Old 27th Nov 2018, 10:23 pm   #13
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Far too many emoge things. Should only have been 2 or 3 but I was distracted while composing!

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Old 28th Nov 2018, 9:20 am   #14
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

One of them ("Egon Schiele: Dangerous Desires") appears to have been an unintentional conversion of the text into an emoji by the accidental omission of a space.
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Old 28th Nov 2018, 1:28 pm   #15
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

I've just watched the Heinz Wolf ones (1974?) on medical imaging techniques. Amazing how far we've come just in my own short lifetime!
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Old 28th Nov 2018, 3:57 pm   #16
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Just a bit more on the Beeb "duty of care" [no multiple emojis this time].
I don't really have any issue with most of the people responsible for the policy re archiving at the time. It's more the lack of imagination at the higher level that was setting the tone. I suspect a lot of that came from the overall English attitude [still prevailing] re the importance of Arts over Science and that influences what is considered important. R4 is featuring CP Snow Chemist and Novelist [again] on Free Thinking 5/12/18, subject-Is There a Great Divide between the Arts and Science?

I've just read a "pop history" book where it was said there was no expectation re the bulk of material being worth preserving back then. That's true in a way but that attitude was very biased and only the view of those people who were in charge! Like Reith, effectively just walking into the DG position in the first place, or David Attenborough who, literally, had control of things when offered his BBC2 job.

Ordinary people understood the value of what they enjoyed in the sixties, for example and wanted to see things again-not just glimpsed once and often gone forever. Amazingly Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore offered to pay for the recordings of their own shows with many important guests [now lost] and were refused I remember arguing with a 40 year old chap who said "this modern pop music won't last" [influenced by his experience of lighter stuff in the 50's]. We both watched Jazz 625 but he just didn't get that revolutionary things were happening in pop culture. It's survived half a century and more now and is still ongoing, in contrast to the contemporary corporate music industry.

The Radio Times for next week also has a feature on another R4 program [p115] The Missing Hancocks "Sadly, many were not archived" it says. [Only 9 out of 20]. 'The Winter Holiday' has been recreated using the original scripts. This doesn't always work so well, even Paul Merton's attempt at Hancock [on TV] was a bit flat when it should have been a "shoe in" for his own lugubrious style but with a lost episode, in particular, at least it's something!

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Old 28th Nov 2018, 4:02 pm   #17
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

I think we should bear in mind that at the time these programmes were made, no one had foreseen the development of VHS cassettes, DVD's the internet, multi channel TV and radio, smart TV's, YouTube etc.

Without these, barring repeats, there would have been no way, of showing the archived material.
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Old 28th Nov 2018, 4:33 pm   #18
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Very true Graham but I think repeats would have been welcomed then-especially when you got five minutes of Pink Floyd inserted into a high brow Arts program shown around midnight on a rainy Sunday. Only the weirdos like me got to see it at all. There was no attitude of "not another repeat" either because there were hardly any. Dad's Army is now a feature on "live" TV. Ironically, those repeats are endlessly popular even though you can source them by all the multiple means you outlined. Human nature I suppose!

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Old 28th Nov 2018, 4:59 pm   #19
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

My memory is that a programme would be broadcast and then repeated about six months later. Then it was never seen again until satellite TV and DTV came along.
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Old 28th Nov 2018, 5:34 pm   #20
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Default Re: Past Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

The Ripples in the Ether (1972) demonstrates a Philips N1500 VCR attached to a Philips G8, recording an off-air clip of Raymond Baxter. And RV Jones (1981) is seen describing how GPS works.

Some of the programmes on the RI website already look like 'found' recordings on domestic tape, the Heinz Wolff one for example (1975) is rather jittery.

Either way I can't recommend them highly enough. Shame they wont play on my smart tv.
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