ABC TV at Gore Hill in the Fifties
TV SCHOOL IN SYDNEY
The first TV School to be organised since the service began in November, 1956, was held in Sydney from January 16 to February 11, and was attended full-time by nineteen members of staff two from Melbourne, one from Queensland and the remainder from Head Office who had not been included in schools help prior to the inception of the service. In addition to full-time members, a number of officers attended certain specified sessions of the school.
The aims of the school were (1) to provide an opportunity to those interested in TV production to qualify in this field; and (2) to enable officers in specialist departments concerned with the creation of programmes to gain a fuller understanding of the medium.
The school was under the direction of Royston Morley, and was opened by the G.M. Included in the course were addresses by a number of senior officers on various aspects of organisation and policy.
It is understood that another school will be held later in the year for personnel in those states in which a television service is soon to be inaugurated.
(From L) Messrs. Lloyd Hadfield (Director Tech. Services); A.N.Finlay (A.G.M.); Charles Moses (G.M.); Clement Semmler (Asst. Controller Progs.); Royston Morley (Director of the School).
RADIO ACTIVE, February, 1959 Page 12
TANYA HALESWORTH, a Presentation Announcer on Channel 2 , ABN. Tanya was the successful applicant out of 200 girls. She had been a school teacher for three years was trained at Bathurst Teachers College. Did dramatic work with the Independent Theatre.
WERNER BAER, RUTH PAGE, GEOFF POWELL, WARWICK OLIVER and LES WELDON talk over the script of a programme at the Sydney ABC TV Training School.
"A TV Script Assistants life is a happy life," says ELMA SCHERF caught here by Sydney PMG technician Vince Hayes.
RADIO ACTIVE, April, 1959 Pages 6 and 7
The picture shows a corner of one of the Gore Hill studios in Sydney during the televising of the 1959 Junior Farmer Competition.
RADIO-ACTIVE, May, 1959 Page 2
A scene during the televising of "Hamlet" at Sydney Studios.
RADIO-ACTIVE, July 1959 Page 2
TV CLUB FORMED IN SYDNEY
Could you imagine a bar-room quartet comprising Eric Baume, Johnny OKeefe, Sir Frank Packer and Charles Cousens? Have no worries. No such group is ever likely to appear on television; but theres no reason in the world why they shouldnt all happen to be together at the one time, because they are all members of the 729 Club, which opens at Crows Nest this month.
Other "names" on the list of Foundation Members include our General Manager, Mr. Charles Moses, Keith Walshe from Channel 7, Channel 9s Alec Kellaway, the BBCs James Mudie as well as many other personalities from television and films. And our Chairman, Sir Richard Boyer, has graciously agreed to be Patron of the Club.
But Club membership has not been restricted to the top-line people of television. Far from it. Of the 205 Foundation Members, every branch of the industry seems to have provided someone as a representative. There are film cameramen and editors, television technicians, news readers and writers, television producers, programme directors, suppliers of film and equipment, entertainers, executives, studio hands, advertising agents, independent film producers.
"In fact", as Geoffrey Powell, the clubs foundation president says, "we set out to establish a Club for those concerned with Television Programme Production and Associated Industries, and it seems we have achieved just that.
Geoff was our original Studio Supervisor at Gore Hill, and still holds that position, although at the present he is acting as a TV producer. "Its been a long, uphill battle", he says. "It was no easy task to find 200 people willing to give us 10 guineas each in return for nothing. But we did it! Now that were ready to open on the 21st, October, were getting applications for membership in every mail".
We ABC people can be proud of the fact that the prime motivation for The 729 came from within our ranks. And much of the success of the foundation can be credited to members of the ABC staff who joined first the formation committee, and were later elected to the Clubs first Management Committee last May. Chief Film Officer Neil Edwards, Senior News Film Editor Derrick Timmins, TV Producer John Buttle, and Geoff Powell have spent many a long night on planning the Club.
Others on the Committee are Patrick Condon (9) and Roy Hampson (7) who are Vice-Presidents; the Honorary Secretary, Grahame McPherson (7); and Brian Ferguson (Advtg), Robert Fry (9), Robert Hillman (Advtg), Lola Nixon (Entertainer), and Doug Hampson (7).
Another Committee member was ex-ABC Script Assistant Beverley Gledhill, who transferred to ATN. She has since accepted a position as a TV programme director in Perth, and had to resign from the 729.
The question of a Liquor License is at present before the Court, and it is hoped that one will be granted.
The premises are at 43, Falcon Street, Crows Nest, the most convenient central spot that could be found. For the members who come from all over Sydney.
Therell be a modern dining room, recreational area and lounge, as well as the bar, and considerable social and sporting activity is forecast by the committee.
"Theres only one snag at the moment", says the President; "the premises will be too small for us from the day we move in. But by the time all the ABC moves to the North Shore we hope to have made enough money to set up more spacious premises and extend the hand of hospitality to our confreres in radio. In the meantime we hope to see as many ABC people as possible as our guests. Especially will be pleased to meet people from interstate. Who knows, we may be able to follow up the lead of the ABC staff Co-operative and help the formation of Seven Twenty-Nines elsewhere!
"And theres nothing like getting the other fellows point of view. I think the 729 will help to break down a lot of prejudices in the industry. The commercial fellows are finding that we ABC-ites are not stuffed shirts after all, and believe you me, the commercial lads are jolly good chaps".
RADIO ACTIVE, October, 1959 Page 19
HAZARDS OF PLANNING TV
In August the mobile TV unit visited Newcastle for a series of four "live" telecasts, which were beamed back to Gore Hill transmitter via Mount Sugarloaf (near Newcastle), Mt. White (near Gosford) and North Head.
As success depends primarily on being able to see the peak of Mount Sugarloaf from the site of the telecast, Terry Colhoun (ABC Rep.) and Tony Fiennes (Rural Officer) have become adept at recognising this land mark from all angles. Naturally, investigations of this type have had their humorous moments. They had been asked to investigate the possibilities of getting a signal away from a certain catholic church. First inspection showed that it was well screened by surrounding buildings. There was no way of placing the micro-wave dish on the roof, so an alternative was sought. The parish priest suggested the tower of the old church alongside. However, the keys were in the possession of the Brothers at an adjacent Boys school. One young brother volunteered to be a guide, but when Terry and Tony reached the top of the bell tower all they could find was a very large bell and strong evidence that pigeons used the tower frequently. Looking around them, they found the Brother had disappeared, so they descended the rickety ladder! And just as they got to the lower floor the bell started to toll the mid-day Angelus. No wonder their guide disappeared. As it happened, the tower proved unsuitable anyhow.
Then there was the visit to some research laboratories. After discussion with the senior officer there, it was decided that the only possibility of getting the signal out would be to place the dish on a flat roof at one corner of the building, three stories from the ground. The catch was that the only access to this roof is by a long ladder from the ground. Tony volunteered to climb the ladder, and up he went with the Assistant Director of the Laboratories. Meanwhile Terry and the Director decided to look round the grounds. In doing so, they discovered that from a point 20 yards in front of the front door there was a clearer view of Mount Sugarloaf than there was from the roof from which Tony had just nearly fallen.
RADIO-ACTIVE, November, 1959 Page 14