The Harlech House of Graphics Station Openings
Station Openings or "start-ups" were the terse little dramas which provided a prelude to the day's viewing. Usually a caption and music or short film, Wales and the West had a rich and varied selection.

The Sixties
Picasso Our first opening (461Kb) is from 1965 and entitled "The South Wales and the West Television March" by Eric Coates. This piece was used as a the General Service anthem by TWW throughout its existence. The Authority announcement is by Ivor Roberts.

Sixties' opening sequences were typically accompanied by the "Picasso" card (left).

Another opening tune (472Kb) from 1965, this time for Teledu Cymru - TWW's Welsh language service.

The tune, a "God Bless the Prince of Wales"/"Men of Harlech" melody played by The Band of HM Welsh Guards, was originally recorded in 1962 for the defunct WWN. Ivor Roberts again announces.

Teledu Cymru Slide
Harlech 'Picasso' Slide Harlech's station opening tune (546Kb) was a jaunty up-beat march entitled "Young Kingdom" composed by Jack Trombey, whose other TV-related work includes the themes to Thames' "Never the Twain" and "Van Der Valk".

The extended Harlech/HTV "Waterfall" jingle can be heard at the end of the piece. Announcer is Endaf Emlyn.

The Seventies
After the transmitters had burst into life, Test Card F would appear and remain on for half an hour or so. An HTV caption would follow with a voice over as follows: "This is HTV providing a full colour service to Wales and the West on the transmitters of the Independent Broadcasting Authority".
Transmitters In Service Caption IBA/HTV Caption
Next the "Transmitters in Service Caption" - or in Wales' case, a sequence of captions, since its mountainous nature requires many dozens of relay stations. Latterly this was dropped, and the IBA/HTV caption, above remained on-screen throughout.

Again, the musical accompaniment was Trombey's "Young Kingdom". This would be followed by the standard "Waterfall" ident, a "good morning" and a run down of programmes from the duty announcer.

The Eighties
The eighties saw the introduction of two specially filmed station opening sequences - one for Wales, one for the West. (There was also a generic version using a montage of images from both, allowing Wales and West to common their outputs if necessary.) These films were played after TV-am at 9.25 each morning, while some other regions were showing local news - nice to see that HTV had their priorities right in the eighties!

HTV Wales Station Opening

HTV Wales Opening Film HTV Wales Opening Film HTV Wales Opening Film
HTV Wales Opening Film HTV Wales Opening Film HTV Wales Opening Film
Each attempted to encapsulate the identity of its region. Thus for Wales, we got shots of rugby grounds, open cast mines and oil refineries. West had the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Wells Cathedral and curiously a Robin (a little Bristol City bias there?). They both had shots of motorways, thought it was never made clear if the cars were arriving or leaving.
HTV West Station Opening
HTV West Opening Film HTV West Opening Film HTV West Opening Film
HTV West Opening Film HTV West Opening Film HTV West Opening Film
Both films were accompanied by this (248Kb) highly synthesized, triumphalist tune. Although interesting, it lacks the orchestral depth of the Trombey composition.

Real Videos of both films are downloadable here:
Wales (750Kb) / West (756Kb).

One final start-up was a curious hybrid - the eighties music, but accompanied by the HTV / IBA slide. For mornings when they couldn't find the video tape ..?

Here's (100Kb) a "good morning" and menu rundown, which followed the Wales film. Announcer is Margaret Pritchard.

A Transdiffusion Presentation Some of the sounds on this page have been supplied by the Transdiffusion Archive Project

Next: presentation; announcers and adverts.