David Southwood

Chief of Outside Broadcasts

Adaptability is an essential quality for all of us who work in Outside Broadcasts, not only in regard to people and places, but also to the different techniques needed to meet the requirements of the wide range of subjects we cover, from church services to sporting events and varied entertainments.

This range of activity presents problems not only for me and my assistant Andy Gullen, who arrange, prepare and direct the programmes, but to the engineers of our Mobile Division, who have to overcome many problems to bring the high definition pictures and sound back to the transmitters, often against adverse conditions of both climate and terrain. Working together, we have travelled a combined total of one and a half million miles on ABC Outside Broadcasts since we presented the Company’s first live transmission from Coventry on a freezing, snowy day nearly five years ago.

Since then we have tackled pretty well every type of Outside Broadcast. We have introduced new techniques into the coverage of Church Services and Horse Racing. We have pioneered the televising of Wrestling, Motor-cycle Scramble Races and Five-a-side Indoor Football. We have created new programmes like Holiday Town Parade and The Other Man’s Farm. We have televised for the first time ever from parts of Britain like the Isle of Man, the East and North Wales Coasts and even large inland towns which had never previously been visited by a TV organisation.

A great deal has been done but a great deal remains to challenge us. We will not rest on our past achievements but will go on searching for new material and new methods to improve our contribution to what is now as much a part of everyday life as the air itself. And if one day you hear that man has conquered space, look up into the sky — and don’t be surprised if you see a string of shapes looking suspiciously like our OB vans. That will be us on our way to cover the first landing on the moon!

Television on wheels

Church services and sporting events are only two of the subjects covered by the most mobile outside broadcast division in ITV.

Under the direction of ABC’s Chief of Outside Broadcasts, David Southwood, and his assistant, Andy Gullen, the Company’s camera teams range the North and Midlands every weekend to bring an astonishingly wide variety of local activity into ITV homes throughout the country

One of the advantages of televised sport is that it can give viewers a close view of the players which the ordinary spectator must do without.

Above is the normal view of the Yorkshire v Lancashire cricket match at Leeds, and right the ABC camera team which brought it at close quarters into ITV homes. Director Andy Gullen stands by the camera and commentator George Duckworth sits beside the cameraman

An ABC camera catches Marston Gregory as his Cooper-Maserati comes out of Woodcote Corner on three wheels in the International Tourist Trophy race at Silverstone

All-in wrestling has proved the most popular of all sports on ITV

ABC telecasts have greatly increased the popularity of motor cycle scrambles, notably through visits to the famous Bentley Springs course in Yorkshire

Willoughby Gullachsen

The celebrated Black Arrows, their squadron now disbanded, were televised by ABC at the Coventry Air Pageant

TV for the farmer

The Other Man’s Farm, established by ABC three years ago under the direction of Andy Gullen with Geoffrey Gilbert as editor, was the world’s first live outside broadcast farming series.

The programme, not seen in London, visits farms throughout the North and Midlands on Sunday afternoons and has been widely praised by farmers for the high degree of technical information it imparts.

Farming expert Jim Hall and programme host Franklin Engelmann are seen here by their mobile control room

Mobile feeding units take grain and water to the poultry on this Leicestershire farm

Controlled grazing for sheep is practised on this Northampton farm by use of a movable fence

This Landrace sow on a Yorkshire farm was part of an experiment in washing sows before their litters arrive, to increase hygiene and productivity in pig-farming

Franklin Engelmann discusses a grain extractor and mixer which speeds up the loading of mobile feeding units

A new type of potato-lifting machine is demonstrated for Geoffrey Gilbert extreme right, editor of The Other Man’s Farm

These huge silos were imported from the USA by a Yorkshire farmer to store fresh mown grass

1960 // TRANSDIFFUSION BROADCASTING SYSTEM