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Thread: Words and Pictures

  1. #1
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    Oct 2017
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    Default Words and Pictures

    Did anyone watch that classic BBC schools programme Words and Pictures when they were at Infant or Primary School? My class always watched it at 2.00 pm on Monday afternoons just after Daytime on Two as it was then called, transferred from BBC 1 - the days when Pages from Ceefax was on BBC 1; some old film was on ITV (Central) - (a different one to the next region (Yorkshire) a few miles up the road); and nothing at all on Channel 4 until Countdown came on later on.

    Cue the teak or mahogany wooden TV set on casters wheeled into the hall or dining room five minutes before aforementioned programme was about to start. I think that it was the best TV programme which could help educate five to seven year olds (I was within that age bracket between 1983 and 1985) and teach them both reading and writing - what was the ITV Schools equivalent of that, I wonder? Channel 4 had Rat-a-Tat-Tat I believe. Cue a 3 x 4 grid made up with various storybook characters, and Vicky Ireland presumably, saying "words", "and", "pictures" individually when the words appeared on screen.

    I know that it was on at 2.00 pm on Mondays from around 1972 to 1990, with a mid-morning repeat, around 11.00 am on Wednesday which my class didn't see then. My own era was the Vicky Ireland "library" era (Ireland was one of the many supporters of Remain in the 2016 Referendum according to Wikipedia), although it preceded with the Henry Woolf "Bookshop" era, his namesake Gabriel Woolf and even Tony Robinson got one of his very first TV gigs doing Sam on Boff's Island in 1972. And then Ireland was succeeded by Sophie Aldred, and Paul Ewing (not to mention Nutmeg the Cat) in the 1990s. The series appeared in programme Threads as TV Cream had vouched.

    One of the things I remember was Charlie, the animated character doing a "Roger Rabbit"-alike appearance amongst Ireland and the children appearing on screen. Also, the subtitles on screen, so one can read along with the story with the illustrations - the books were always written by those in the genre of "Book Corner" regulars such as David McKee, Shirley Hughes and Pat Hutchins.

    And of course, magic pencil writing relevant letters of the alphabet on screen, probably the white writing on a black background was supposed to be a representation of chalk on a blackboard. I know that "B" (or should I say "b") was definitely "top to bottom, up and round". Cue half the class looking as if they had found Christianity when they tried to do the latter T.

    Anyone learnt to read and write courtesy of Words and Pictures? I always tuned in on Monday afternoons if I was off school - even when I was in post-Look and Read territory as well. I suppose that it was nostalgic that made me do it...
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    London
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    Default Re: Words and Pictures

    I recall watching it at school in the early 70s. Just as you mentioned, a TV surrounded by wood was wheeled in to the classroom.
    I think I learnt to read courtesy of the Griffin Pirate Stories

  3. #3
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    Stockport
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    Default Re: Words and Pictures

    I can remember a lot of the editions were built around the theme of a certain letter & the story featured.
    The Trickster On The Roof

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Words and Pictures

    It almost feels as if the books were written specially for the programme, which of course they weren't of course, it's amazing how the stories it in with the programme itself.
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

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