Early Bird Offer on MACE’s new DVD “From Headlines to ‘Tight-Lines’ – The Story of ATV Today

MACE release a brand new 2 disc DVD documentary on Friday 23rd November for £19.99 (+ p&p) and we are offering an Early Bird rate. Pre-order the DVD before the 23rd and pay just £17.99 (+p&p).

From Headlines to ‘Tight-Lines’ – The Story of ATV Today tells the story of the regional news magazine show that ran from 5th October 1964 to 31st December 1981 and started the career of many household names, including Chris Tarrant and Gary Newbon.

Regional and National news magazine programmes are familiar to us in the 21st century but back in 1964 the concept was still a new one.  At 6.15pm on 5th October that year ATV Midlands launched ATV Today, a regional news & current affairs programme that broadcast to the region each weekday, and viewers were introduced to a fresh new style that balanced the serious events of the day with light-hearted reports and special features.

ATV Today was for the viewer and about the viewer and everyday life was celebrated, especially many of the wonderful characters of the region. ATV Reporters frequently asked the public for their opinion (vox-pops) on far ranging issues from politics and race relations to football and fashion.

The reporters became household names through the 1960s, 1970s and beyond: Reg Harcourt, who took an ATV camera team to film Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood Speech – the only crew to film that day;  Wolverhampton locals John Swallow and Sue Jay who reported with warmth and humour on the people and places of the communities they were passionate about; Anne Diamond and Nick Owen, who becamse household names as ‘Anne and Nick’ on morning television; Derek Hobson, who went onto be the host of New Faces; Chris Tarrant, who started his  highly successful TV career on ATV Today; Gary Newbon, who has interviewed a whole host of sporting legends; Terry Thomas, who coined the phrase, “TIGHT-LINES” which we have honoured in the DVD title; and Bob Warman , who is still the face of the Midlands on ITV today.

This 2 disc DVD in four parts chronicles the story of ATV Today from its beginning in 1964 to the last programme on 31st December 1981 and looks back at some of the big news stories in the region that made the headlines through the 60s and 70s through new exclusive interviews and a wealth of archive films, many of which haven’t been seen since broadcast.

With contributions from former ATV Reporters Bob Hall, Reg Harcourt, Sue Jay, Wendy Nelson, Gary Newbon, Nick Owen, Chris Tarrant and Bob Warman and a peek behind the scenes with memories from ATV Cameraman Gary Hughes and Production Assistant, Barbara Bradbury, the DVD is packed with both poignant and humourous memories of a regional programme that often peaked to over 3 million viewers.

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Among many events remembered here are John Swallow interviewing Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise in 1966, Gary Newbon recalling his first meetings with a young Nigel Mansell, Chris Tarrant nervously climbing to the top of Peterchurch Steeple to kiss the golden cockerel while the film crew went off for lunch, and Nick Owen’s 1979 report on Trevor Francis’ million pound signing to Nottingham Forest.



To buy through our Webshop CLICK HERE


If you’d prefer not to purchase online we now accept debit card payments over the telephone. We accept telephone payments from Monday to Friday ( 9am to 5pm) Call 01522 837750 and we will process your order.


We also accept cheques  made payable to Media Archive for Central England for £17.99 + £1.50 p&p** per DVD with your name and address and details of the DVD you wish to purchase.

Media Archive for Central England
MHT Building
University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool

*Early Bird Offer ends midnight Friday 23rd November 2012. Then DVD is £19.99 + p&p. Pre-order payments will be debited at time of order & DVDs will be dispatched on 23rd November.

**If you would like to purchase more than one copy please add 50p postage per DVD.

The Filmed Record and Community History – sharing the experience of finding and using film in the community

Venue for the MACE/CAHG regional conference: The Hive, Worcester photo courtesy HivebyTECU Consulting UK

MACE (Media Archive for Central England),  CAHG (Community Archive Heritage Group) and representatives from the Full Circle History groups joined forces last Thursday to raise awareness of archive film and its importance as a historical resource.  The conference took place at Europe’s first joint university and public library at Worcester called The Hive.

Inside The Hive, Worcester: photo courtesy HiveInsidebyWordShore

Full Circle Senior Curator Kay Ogilvie said: “The conference was enriched by the 6 representatives of community history groups screening the footage they found during their search for film in their communities as part of the Heritage Lottery funded Full Circle Project. Our thanks go to John Holloway of Aston on Trent, Anita Syers-Gibson of North Herefordshire, Sarah Bradley of Belbroughton, David Clark of Fownhope, David Amos of Annesley and Bob Massey of Arnold. The films they found were a fascinating window into history and brought the past alive like no other record.”

Full Circle Film cataloguer Catherine English said: “It was great to hear from people who’ve been involved in Full Circle and the positive impact it has had on their groups which will hopefully continue beyond the lifetime of the project.”

Some comments from participants……….

MACE, and all the other regional archives are, without doubt, an essential and positive asset to maintaining film as an important element of our regional heritage. The Full Circle project that has engaged communities to seek out their own corner of England Past has, for our village history group, raised the profile of heritage, enabled individuals to acquire new skills and brought a new dimension to community involvement. We hope this project will inspire others to build on its foundations.”  John Holloway Aston on Trent History Group

Anita Syers-Gibson of North Herefordshire History group

“It was fascinating to hear the organisers of other groups explaining how they came to discover long-forgotten cine film collections in their communities and how they used the films for the entertainment and education of their audiences.Frank Dale used his films to entertain local audiences in village halls and pubs, and now, 60 years later, we are doing just the same – and the Full Circle is complete!” Anita Syers-Gibson, North Herefordshire History Group

“Thanks for yesterday – it was useful to get together and to see and hear how other groups had gone about gathering moving images . We dont know how typical the six of us were compared with others – it would have been good to have had a few more there. The venue was certainly impressive – made our self-help village library seem very small !” David and Margaret Clark from Fownhope

Sarah Bradley Belbroughton History Group

“It was interesting the different ways that people had used the old movie footage. The quality was also very good bearing in mind the age of some of the film footage. Many thanks for giving me the opportunity of giving a presentation to the Conference.” David Amos Annesley Project Officer

James Patterson, Director of MACE said: “I have never had any doubt about the potential importance of moving images in the community context or of their ability to add to our understanding of community history. What struck me about the event was the emotional impact that the material had had in the community and how in some cases an involvement with the Full Circle project has had a transformational effect in the community.

I think that the impact of the project is a testament to all the MACE colleagues who have worked on the project to make it so successful and to our community partners who have embraced film so wholeheartedly.”

Media Archive for Central England (MACE) www.macearchive.org  Community Archive Heritage Group (CAHG) http://www.communityarchives.org.uk/  The Hive, Worcester  http://www.thehiveworcester.org/

A New Way of Seeing – Time Limited Online Screenings Streamed on MACE’s Blog – Screening 3: The Sporting Midlands

A new concept for the Media Archive for Central England (MACE)…

…Time limited online screenings streamed at www.macearchive.wordpress.com


In the coming months MACE will ‘screen’ a series of ten themed compilation films here on our blog. Each themed compilation will stream online for 4 weeks.


A New Way of Seeing Screening 3:

‘Venue’: www.macearchive.wordpress.com

Commenced: Wednesday 22nd August 2012 at 3pm

Closes: Wednesday 19th September 2012 at 5pm

Title: The Sporting Midlands


While the country celebrates the success of the London Olympic Games we look back to the Midlands history of the games. From the birthplace of the modern games at Much Wenlock in Shropshire to the games that never were: ‘Birmingham 1992’ which aimed to put the Midlands forward as the true centre of the Olympic ideal. The compilation includes interviews with some of the UK’s sporting greats from the 1980s, Tessa Sanderson, Geoff Capes and Sebastian Coe.


Memories from MACE- Kaleidoscope Event, 1st September 2012

I will be joining Kaleidoscope this Saturday for a special celebration of ATV and Midlands broadcasting. Titled Midlands Memories, the event will feature guest interviews, rare screenings and ATV memorabilia on display.

Hartley Hare, Nigel Plaskitt and Gail Renard will be joining to remember their time on classic ATV children’s show, Pipkins. Celebrated musician and composer Johnny Patrick has an association with music on Midlands television going back five decades and will be appearing live. There will also be a special pre-recorded video interview with Bob Warman, the face of Midlands news since the 1970s. 

Screenings include previously missing footage from TISWAS, a tribute to The Golden Shot, local comic Lenny Henry’s television debut on New Faces which was preserved by Bob Monkhouse, Tingha and Tucker, an untransmitted look at ATV’s years at Elstree Studios, rare material from ATV Today and much more.

The team behind our 2011 DVD release From ATVLand in Colour, Peter Raven and Lee Bannister will talk about our next collaborative project, From Headlines to Tight-Lines – The Story of ATV Today. Also, I will be showcasing a special presentation of rare gems from the Media Archive for Central England, you can see a selection of screengrabs from the footage I’ll be showing below.

Diana Rigg at the Television Awards 1966

Tingha and Tucka in 1966

Cliff Richard on Tingha and Tucka in 1963

Cliff Richard performing with Tingha and Tucka

Midlands Memories will take place on Saturday 1st September 2012 between 12:00-7:00pm at

The Talbot Hotel
High Street
West Midlands


Full details of the schedule for the day can be found on the Next Kaleidoscope Event page.


See you there!


A New Way of Seeing – Time Limited Online Screenings Streamed on MACE’s Blog – Screening 2: Bits Stuck Anywhere: The Decline of BSA and the Birmingham Motorcycle Industry

A new concept for the Media Archive for Central England (MACE)…

…Time limited online screenings streamed at www.macearchive.wordpress.com


In the coming months MACE will ‘screen’ a series of ten themed compilation films here on our blog. Each themed compilation will stream online for 4 weeks.

A New Way of Seeing Screening 2:

‘Venue’: http://www.macearchive.wordpress.com

Commenced: Thursday 9th August 2012

Closes: Friday 7th September at 5pm

Title: Bits Stuck Anywhere: The Decline of BSA and the Birmingham Motorcycle Industry


How did the Midlands’ once mighty motorcycle industry decline into industrial turmoil and eventual collapse?  Using archive film from the MACE collection we will travel from the post-war boom years of mass produced motorcycles to the 1970s when motorcycle giant BSA faced closure and the eventual ignominy of a public auction of its assets.  Perhaps the school boys were right and BSA did stand for Bits Stuck Anywhere….This sales decline is contrasted with glorious footage of the riders in action: the Midlands’ own leather jacked clad ‘ton-up boys’ taking to the streets of Birmingham and Leicester when the only motorcycles that mattered were made in Britain.

Another Evocative & Thought Provoking Trip Down Memory Lane @_The_Public with Cipher’s Past Lives Tour.

The Public, West Bromwich.

Last Friday I attended another fantastic screening of Cipher’s Past Lives Music to Archive film performance, this time taking place at The Public, in West Bromwich. It was a wonderful opportunity for members of the surrounding West Midlands communities to come and see some of the home-movie film gems that have been found by the Full Circle groups from across the East and West Midlands.

“We all really enjoyed Friday evening’s performance.  You had done an amazing job with the film, touching, amusing, evocative in turns, with some beautiful faces, and really summoning up what it was to live in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.   The music provided a terrific backdrop, really enhancing what was on the screen by creating just the right atmosphere.”
Sarah Bradley, Full Circle Depositor

The Public’s Past Lives audience were treated to poetic family scenes from the 1950s to 70s, shots of Balsall Heath William Edward Street, Woodside, Dudley, The Black Country, Town Sparrows, Percy Thrower Gardens in Edgbaston, Hop Farming in Herefordshire, a trip to the East Midlands coast, kamikaze motorcycles, and much much more.

All accompanied by Cipher’s specially composed live musical score.

If you’ve not yet managed to attend a Past Lives event, then try and pop down to:

  • 7 July Derby – The Quad, Market Place, Cathedral Quarter, Derby DE1 3AS (01332 290606) derbyquad.co.uk
  • 8 July Cromford – Gothic Warehouse, The Arkwright Society, Cromford Mills, Mill Lane, DE4 3RQ (01629 823256) arkwrightsociety.org.uk + Workshop
  • 19 July Stamford Arts Centre – 27 St. Marys Street, Stamford, PE9 2DL (01780 763 203) stamfordartscentre.com

Watch this space for a Manchester date in September too!

Cipher’s Dave Sturt and Theo Travis with Full Circle Depositor Sarah Bradley and her brother Robert, whose father Christopher Whitcombe’s family films are one of many to play a big part in the Past Lives Performance.

A scene from The Whitcombe Family Film Collection that has been digitised by MACE’s, Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle film search project.

Photography © Lucie Kerley

Another Day! Another Fantastic Full Circle Screening by Fownhope Local History Group at Tarrington Village Hall, Herefordshire..

Yesterday I was delighted to spend the afternoon with Fownhope Local History Group and a members  of the Tarrington and Herefordshire communities. The group’s advertised ‘film of the day’ was a fabulous compilation of material, put together by Philip Leach from the Media Archive for Central England, consisting of some great Hop Picking and Farming footage from Peter Davies and John Barnett’s personal cine-film collections. The collections were found by the Fownhope Local History Group and have now been digitised with the help of the MACE’s Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle Film Search Project.

As usual Rachel and her team were on hand to bake lots of delicious cakes and biscuits and pour fresh cups of tea at the interval – which were included in the £3 ticket price!Weston Beggard Hop Farmer John Barnett spoke during the interval about his experience of being a Hop Farmer over the past 50 years and why he chose to record the Hop farming/ cultivation process using his cine camera. His collection has now been digitised and the original cinefilms are being preserved at The Media Archive for Central England.


Claston Farm – Hop Farmer Davies and his wife Pam. Peter Davies discusses with the audience his own experience of being a Hop Farmer in Herefordshire and just how much things have changed during his lifetime.

Overall, it was a great afternoon for learning about Herefordshire and Hops and for looking back at life from the late 1940s to 1970s.

If you have any old films, cine or tape or moving image materials relating to the Midlands region and would like to know how to look after them, please get in touch with us at MACE (Media Archive for Central England) to learn how to preserve them for future generations for years to come.

Tel: 01522 837752
Email: info@macearchive.org
Web: www.macearchive.org

Photography © Lucie Kerley