Monday, January 19, 2009

Tony Hart...


Sad to hear that Tony has morphed to the other side. He really did inspire me to take up a career in art - I used to watch him on 'Vision-on' in the early sixties.... I liked the programme - although it took me a while to catch on that the show was actually intended primarily for deaf people. I suppose the enthusiastic finger waggling by the lady presenter should have given me the clues - but 10 year old kids see what they want to... And anyway, I was watching in black and white.

The things I remember about Hart was his sticky-on smile - he always looked as if he was about to say 'My dear, how very nice to meet you', his checky shirts and his Adam Faith quiff. In those early days of Vision-on, when Morf was merely a distant thought, Tony would invite kids to send in artwork so he could stick it on his 'Viewers Gallery Wall'.... So I did. My 'Snowy Scene' was inspired by the winter of '63 when it snowed forever, and then some. For weeks after, when Tone would say 'And now, let's go to the wall to see some pictures from our very talented viewers' I would search and search for my picture.

Was that mine? That pic of a kid on a sledge with a bobbly hat? No it wasn't. The camera would weave a path around the wall, seeking out really woeful efforts from young Billy aged 8 in York and Denise aged 11 from Southampton. it was always accompanied by that legendary music..... Tum, te tum ta te tum, tum, titty tum, tum titty tum, tum, tum...... Tum ta, tum, ta tummm...........

It took me many, many years to forgive Tony Hart for not sticking up my superb work of genius of a snowy scene onto his viewers wall......

But I did, I had to - well he couldn't stick it up, if he never actually received it, could he? What really happened to my picture became apparent some 20 years later when I was clearing out my parents loft prior to them moving to pastures new. There, just underneath the water tank and 2 inches of detritus was my picture - signed 'Snowy Scene by Stephen from Liverpool, aged 10'.... Yes, she said she would post it for me. Yes, she said she would buy a stamp to cover the postage. Yes, she promised faithfully to do it, definitely, the next time she went to the shops......

Of course, my Mum never did. Post it I mean.

Tum, te tum ta te tum, tum, titty tum, tum titty tum, tum, tum...... Tum ta, tum, ta tummm...........

4 comments:

William Gruff said...

I couldn't forgive those twee little neckerchiefs he used to wear but, like Sir John Mortimer, he was a decent chap who did some good and will be remembered for it. BBC children's TV was so civilised then.

Mrs Gruff is a Scouser too.

What was your career in art?

Alfie said...

I was at Liverpool College of Art in the early '70's. Arthur Ballard (John Lennon's tutor) taught us sometimes - and it was a great time to be there then. I eventually did a degree course in graphics - that was when it was a proper profession. LCA was, at the time the best college to go to outside London - and when we graduated there was just 25 of us...

My eldest son qualified 3 years ago - in graphics and also in 'fly-through technologies'. We went along to the ceremony which was held at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool (he went to Blackpool and Fylde College. We stood for 3 hours while nearly a thousand students went up in their gowns to get their scrolls... Hundreds of those kids qualified in some field of graphic arts... only 1 person from my son's course has got a job in the industry - the rest are doing MacDonald tables etc....

William Gruff said...

I was at Ravensbourne (Bromley, Kent) in the early '70s and spent fourteen years working, mostly on but sometimes 'off', in graphics. On a couple of occcasions I came close to setting up with others but things didn't work out and eventually Mr Jobs and Nigel Lawson, as well as some other, more personal, factors - my first wife amongst them - combined to put me out of business. I've never really recovered from the losses. I still have my drawing board but it sits unused in a secure depository in Berwick-upon-Tweed, slowly decaying with almost all of my possessions.

I went to university after that, as a mature student, just before the massive increase in student numbers - my university had 5,000 students in the early sixties, and about 10,000 when I was there. I believe the figure now stands at over 27,000. The city itself has a population of about 400,000 I believe and the last I heard more than 110,000 of them were in education.

Further and Higher education has just become a way of soaking up youngsters and others who must otherwise inflate the unemployment figures.

It's a bloody shame.

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