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Special Knowle West TV series draws to a close

Over the summer months Made in Bristol TV has been broadcasting a weekly show about Knowle West TV, a series of programmes that were first shown on Bristol Channel, a community cable TV initiative that operated from 1973-75.

Bristol Channel was set up by Rediffusion, at the time the UK’s largest cable company, and it reached 23,000 homes in Bristol via Rediffusion’s cable network in 1973. Knowle West TV was one of the programmes: local residents were trained to record footage and just over 21 hours of local material was produced. From discussions about the women’s liberation movement and the 1974 General Election to music from local bands and street interviews, the films provide a fascinating and witty insight into life in Bristol and Knowle West in the 1970s.

The half-hour ‘highlights’ programmes on Made in Bristol TV are broadcast every Friday on Freeview channel 8, Sky 117 or Virgin 159, and are presented by Josh Ellis. As a result of seeing the programmes, over 30 people have been in touch with us to share their stories and memories.

The final episodes of the Made in Bristol TV series will focus on four Knowle West residents – some of whom still live in the area today.  Bryan, Steve, Lorraine and Robin all saw things they recognised in the 1970s footage – and one of them remembered Bristol Channel first time round!

Our collaboration with Made in Bristol TV is part of the wider Knowle West TV project, where we’ve been working with the Know Your Bristol project at University of Bristol and Bristol Record Office to bring the 1970s footage back to our screens.

Tune in to Made in Bristol TV on Friday 18th and Friday 25th September to hear their stories.

Gallery

Knowle West TV comes back to our screens

Be transported back to the 1970s as community cable returns to your TV screens this summer. MADE in Bristol Television will be screening a half-hour special about Bristol Channel’s Knowle West TV every week from Friday 10th July, 8pm.

From discussions about the women’s liberation movement and the 1974 General Election to music from local bands and street interviews, the films provide a fascinating and witty insight into life in Bristol and Knowle West in the 1970s. Tune in to Freeview channel 8, Sky 117 or Virgin 159!

Bristol Channel was a community cable TV initiative, one of five in the UK authorised in the early 1970s. It was set up by Rediffusion, at the time the UK’s largest cable company, and reached 23,000 homes in Bristol via Rediffusion’s cable network in 1973. Between 1973-75, a team of volunteers and staff from Bristol Channel worked with organisations and communities across Bristol to record hundreds of hours of footage.

Knowle West TV was one of the strands of programming broadcast on Bristol Channel between December 1973 and March 1975, when the channel closed. Local residents were trained to use a portapak (one-inch portable TV unit) to shoot footage, which was then converted to one-inch standard IVC videotape. Just over 21 hours of local material was produced and 38 hours were transmitted.

The Bristol Channel film archive is currently stored at the British Film Institute in London, and the administrative paper archive at Bristol Record Office. In 2014, the Knowle West TV stock was digitized. As well as being archived by KWMC, copies of digitised footage are also held at Bristol Record Office, alongside the paper archive.

Keen to identify the people and places in the footage, and explore the parallels with contemporary experiences of life in Knowle West, KWMC and the Know Your Bristol project collaborated to bring the footage back to the community that had inspired and produced it forty years ago.

This summary draws on a study of the station and its output written by Peter Lewis, the Station Manager.

 

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
Bristol
BS4 1NL
+44 (0) 117 903 0444
enquiries@kwmc.org.uk

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