James Barrington has given TV Ark exclusive access to his vast collection of classic endboards. Before computerised endboards were adopted, television companies would use 10" x 8" glass slides to display their logo and other details at the end of a programme. James' collection are mainly glass originals from both the BBC and ITV. Some of the slides are so rare that the television companies themselves no longer hold them (or digital copies).
The original scans are typically 2301x1656 resolution (very large). At that resolution it is possible to clearly view the compositing detail. James is certainly correct in pointing out the "painstaking" paintwork. The extreme Australian heat has taken its toll on some of the slides. Cracked paintwork and heat artifacts have begun to destroy these beautiful images. The detail picked up in the originals are such that one can see the layers that make up the endboard.
Everything below is James Barrington's own words. He lives in Australia and from time-to-time has sent us slides. Hopefully we'll get more of his collection into the TV Ark museum for you to view. His story is a facinating read...?
James Barrington Comment
It is 1968 and I was an eight year old going to the other side of the world - Liverpool, England. It was a hot summer in the UK, different to Australia, and the TV presentation was certainly different too. My Grandmother I never knew had died and everyone was sad. I was horrified in the UK that they brought dead bodies home to the person's house for viewing.
Left on my own and to my own devices I stayed in the lounge and watched ITV. I was captivated by the logos and on-air stills that were on TV in the background before the TV actually started up. Settling into a strange school and land that would be home for the next ten years, an early reaction was a panic attack watching on-air logo's.
I wanted to see what was behind them so I started to write to the TV companies.
Very soon after 10x8 inch boards arrived in the mail, with painstaking hours of paintwork and letrasets that came from every corner of the ITV globe, saying "colour production" or "colour" or "in colour" or new designed logos from the complicated ITV Network regions.
It was to take me a further three years to get my favourites Thames TV, London Weekend Television (LWT), ATV and Granada boards. By the time I had the Thames logo, the Euston presentation centre were sending me programme slides weekly after they were used on air. By 1975 I had an extensive collection so vast my father would say I was not sending them back to Australia, it would be too much to send.
It would take me from 1969 to 1975 to finally get the logo I had always wanted, the interlocking ITV for Schools and Colleges 10x8 caption. By now ITV stations would send me 35mm slides of the same logo, but I wanted the original artwork. The IBA finally responded to my eight letters and suggested I write to ATV in Birmingham, which was the Schools Network presentation centre.
As the IBA suggested, the three interlocking circles were designed from the ATV original. The Head of Graphics wrote back asking me "not to write any more letters" because just as he goes to reply, another letter arrives to him. "Yes you can have the original ITV artwork for schools, and please, no more letters, so I can work towards peace and retirement, letter free," he would say. But the letter did not matter, I had something quite rare.
By 1976 I had still the interest in ITV but the IBA were now responsible for radio also, and that would have a profound effect on my return to Australia. Less than two years to go in the UK and the logo collection had become so vast it extended to the BBC regional logos.
Christmas 1977 arrived and we were winding up. It was a white Christmas in the UK. I started to prepare for the return home to Australia. As a 17 year old I was angry the BBC would not send me the original Test Card F artwork, so out of protest threw away all my BBC regional captions, bar three, something I would later regret so much. The BBC does not have these anymore and the Head of Presentation for the network was recently lost for words for my off shore collection of logos that the BBC no longer owned.
The 35mm slides now totalled over 5000 and Dad said I could only take my 10x8 inch captions but not the slides so I kept 200-300 and threw in the rubbish the balance. Again something I have regretted ever since, the history that was thrown away!
Everything was crated and carted to the other side of the world, where my collection of logos had to remain in a dark cool place due to the Australian heat. The ITV stations would still send me logos, but not on request, I would have to send 3-4 letters to get a reaction from them to send overseas, unlike the instant replies when I was in Merseyside and Granadaland.
As the 90's came, I was on-air on radio in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, and became a Programme Director of one radio station. By the time ATV and later Thames had lost their franchises, I used my PD title to submit programme ideas
TV Ark has twenty-four Endboards to share with you at present. The quality of the digital versions are outstanding. I personally have never come across anything like it!
James' ways with words have resulted in an extensive collection of material some of which not even the British TV companies hold. He continues: "As a 13 year old in the UK in 1973, I began collecting programme slides and captions 10x8 and each ITV station would regulary send me their new colour production logos etc. In 1974 ATV sent me the original copy of the ITV for Schools and Colleges caption and I became fascinated with ITV Schools as well as ITV itself. In 1975 ATV sent me an LP "The Regency Line" with the majority of tracks used in the 70's."
The section will start with the slide he mentions - the slide that started his obsession. "You may be interested in this... despite being in a dark cool place and over 35 years old, the paint work is lifting with the heat of this country and starting to fade," worries James.
Independent Television for Schools and Colleges
(Click on the pictures to view larger versions)
BBC Regional Endboards
Independent Television (ITV) Endboards