From September 19th 1960, the BBC began broadcasting schools television in the mornings on BBC One. Although information is scarce and somewhat vague, BBC Schools presentation between launch and 1967 used a pie-chart style interval and was controlled mechanically! It was used at the start of the day's programmes as well as in-between programmes. There were two variants of the clock.

From launch until around 1967, a pie-chart style clock was used with vanishing segments. At one minute before the programme the vanishing segments would reveal the final clock. In the bottom right the words "BBC tv" were shown. Onward from 1967 and a rather boring greyscale test pattern was shown. There would be a continuous tone (maybe 1kHz). The pie-chart remained between programmes. However the text on the bottom right changed to "BBC". At one minute before the programme, a clock would be displayed. This presentation style ran until Autumn term 1974.

The 1960 - 1967 sequence (images 1 and 2) is extremely rare!

Understanding The Junction - At A Glance
Designer: UNKNOWN (Presumed BBC in-house)
Sequence: Greater than 1 minute until clock countdown
Running: Circa September 1960 - June 1974


Countdown and Junction
Images 1/2: 1960 - 1967 (to 1974 with logo change)
Image 3: 1967 - 1974 Test Pattern
Image 4: 1967 - 1974 Clock


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The more famous BBC Schools diamond sequence introduced in Autumn term 1974 (normally September) was initially mechanical. It also heralded the introduction of colour to BBC Schools broadcasts. The word "colour" was a subtle hint to those still using black and white that perhaps it was time to change. Between 1974 and 1975 the background was black with blue diamonds and text. Between (assumed) Autumn term 1975 and Summer term 1977 the diamonds were yellow on a black background.

Understanding The Junction - At A Glance
Designer: UNKNOWN (Presumed BBC in-house)
Sequence: Greater than 1 minute until diamonds break and shrink
Running: Circa September 1974 - June 1977


Junction
Images 1-4: circa 1974 - 1975 (Blue diamond)




Junction
Images 1-4: circa 1975 - 1977 (Yellow diamond)


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Junction
Very interesting static caption used briefly in 1975. Interesting in the sense that the type-face used wasn't generally adopted by the BBC until 1981. However, the type-face was used for static slides and themed presentation from the mid seventies.


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Junction
Extremely rare image of the BBC2 version of the diamond from around 1975 - 1977. This was captured on a Super 8 camera in the 70s! It is not clear how often it was used but certainly not often. It was also likely to be a static image. Perhaps it was made available should BBC1 Schools move to BBC2 for whatever reason (e.g. major event/emergency etc...).


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In September 1977, the BBC gave their schools service a makeover. They re-introduced the mechanical countdown clock in the form of disappearing dots. The 1977 version also featured the "schools and colleges" logo spinning around. This spinning effect was not intended. It was down to a problem with the mechanical model and was removed from service at the end of Summer term 1978.

By 1981, the BBC had changed their corporate logo. The schools clock was amended accordingly and revealed in Autumn term 1981. That year also signified the end of an era with the introduction of a piece of equipment that changed broadcasting - the computer. The mechanical clock was only used for around three months before being retired forever and a new computer generated clock introduced. With more change afoot within the BBC's schedules, the computerised version was only to last a year. The next stop for BBC Schools was BBC2.

BBC Schools moved permanently to BBC2 in Autumn term 1983. However prior to the BBC2 move, there were occasions when the service was termporarily moved to BBC2. Major events tended to be the cause. During the two months Falklands war, BBC Schools was frequently shown on BBC2. A rather rough overlay of the BBC2 logo on the BBC1 clock was shown. Any references in BBC schools programmes to the Falklands region was edited out!

Understanding The Junction - At A Glance
Designer: Oliver Elmes (BBC in-house)
Sequence: Greater than 1 minute until diamonds break and shrink
Running: Circa September 1977 - June 1983


Junction
Images 1/2: circa 1977 - 1978 (Centre rotating logo)
Images 3/4: circa 1978 - 1981 (Centre static logo)


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Images 1-4: Very rare BBC2 holding slide. Possibly late 70s early 80s. I suspect that it's early 1980s. This was captured from a Super 8 film. Thanks to C. Williams for this image.


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Junction
Image 1: circa 1981 - 1982 (Mechanical)
Image 2/3: BBC1 Clock on BBC2 (Computer)
Image 4: circa 1982 - 1983


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Example Holding Slides 1 (General Programmes)
Images 1 - 4 circa 1979 - 1981


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Example Holding Slides 2 (General Programmes)
Images 1 - 4 circa 1979 - 1981


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Example Holding Slides 3 (General Programmes)
Images 1 - 4 circa 1979 - 1981


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Example Holding Slides (Language Programmes)
Images 1 - 4 circa 1979


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Example Holding Slides (Miscellaneous and Teachers')
Images 1 - 4 circa 1977 - 1982


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As Channel 4 was for ITV Schools, BBC2 became the new home of BBC Education. The first broadcasts came in Autumn 1983 (September).

The clocks were gone and dedicated CG graphics were making their appearance. A special version of the BBC2 logo that disappeared the way it was revealed was occasionally used for Schools broadcasts. The second CG piece introduced in 1986 was the animated 'TWO' logo. The "T" appeared followed by the "W" and finally the "O".

In 1988 a fifteen second coountdown was introduced. At around fifteen seconds - not always - the top right-hand corner of the screen revealed a timer. From time to time the timer could have subtle differences in appearence such as a drop shadow or darker in colour. This was often down to the continuity announcer. In some cases the "TWO" logo would disappear back into the screen. Consistancy was maintained by starting from the "T" and sinking the proceeding letters into the background.

Understanding The Junction - At A Glance
Designer: Oliver Elmes (Pre-1986) / Alan Jeapes (From 1986 - BBC in-house)
Sequence: Greater than 1 minute until "2" / "TWO" logo appeared (or disappeared)
Running: Circa September 1983 - November 1990




Example Holding Slides (General)
Images 1 - 4 circa 1983 - 1986


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Countdown 1 (Autumn 1986 - Summer 1990)
Image 1: Standard BBC Two countdown timer (1988 - 1990)
Image 2: Countdown timer on the left (rare)
Image 3: Countdown timer in grey with drop shadow effect
Image 4: Countdown timer wrongly positioned


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Countdown 2 (Autumn 1986 - Summer 1990)
Image 1: Standard BBC Two countdown timer offset slightly toward centre
Image 2: Countdown timer in grey
Image 3: Countdown timer starting over programme support slide
Image 4: Countdown timer over BBC1 programme promotion slide


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Countdown 3 (Autumn 1986 - Summer 1990)
Image 1: Countdown timer over "follows shortly" slide
Image 2: Countdown timer starting over programme information slide
Image 3: Back-to-back programmes - no countdown
Image 4: No countdown timer


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Example Holding Slides 1 (Autumn 1986 - Summer 1990)
Images 1 - 4: Example "follows shortly" programme slides (all from 1988)


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Example Programme Information Slides (Autumn 1990 - Summer 1991)


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Example "follows shortly" Slides (Autumn 1990 - Summer 1991)
Image 4: Support slide (1990)


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Changes in presentation format commenced from Autumn term 1991. Holding slides began to be phased out. In place was fillers such as programme promotions. Such a promotion is exemplified below. It was part of a campaign to persuade licence fee payers their programmes were the best value for money.


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Example Programme Information and Holding Slides
Image 1: "Follow shortly" (1991)
Images 2 - 4: Programme Information slides (all 1994)


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