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Stock shots from the archive: Christmas

Phil Coomes | 13:20 UK time, Wednesday, 23 December 2009


As Christmas approaches I decided to take another look though the files of the old News Still Library housed in the basement of Television Centre in west London.

This time I thought I'd see what was in the cabinets under the heading Christmas. It seems someone got there before me as there are lots of gaps in the files, but I've selected a few shots anyway. They are just a glimpse as to the type of photographs taken to illustrate a television news story or graphic in the 1970s and 80s.

That said this shot of Father Christmas is from the 1990s and was taken by photographer Richard Sowersby. It was scanned at the time on a Thompson slide scanner which was how the 35mm colour transparencies held in the Stills Library were transferred to the electronic graphics area for use on air. Prior to that a print was made and a camera pointed at it on a simple rostrum set-up.

Father Christmas

The next picture is from 1986 and shows Father Christmas and a group of children preparing to board a BA Christmas party flight. It was taken by photographer Dennis Stone who was based at Heathrow Airport and amongst other things shot pictures of celebrities as they passed through.

Dennis's pictures regularly featured on the BBC News at that time as well as in the national papers, he also appeared in the BBC television series Airport.

BA Christmas party flight

The next two pictures have very little information on the card index, and are simply catalogued as "Employees at annual Christmas party."

Christmas party

Christmas party

Once the big day is over it's time to grab a bargain in the sales. Again a very simple picture that might have been used as the background for a graphic looking at the sales figures.


Lastly some mince pies. I'm not sure what this would be used for as it's not very well shot and obviously set up in a hurry, but at least the photographer didn't go hungry.

Mince pies

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