Brian Willis on Thursday, 3rd April 2003
Now I am confused about the date colour film arrived here in Northern Ireland. Perhaps processing colour film came quite a while after the studio was in colour. In other words the presenters must have been in colour but the film inserts they introduced were in black and white. Was this the case? I canít remember.
However I do remember that in August 1969 I was a member of the BBC News crew in Londonderry. At that time London viewers were watching colour film but Northern Ireland was still in black and white. So we used to shoot two rolls of film, one in black and white for NI and the other in colour for London. Then we drove to Eglinton airfield - which in those days was literally a field. (We had to shoo the cows off the landing strip on one occasion) where a small plane would fly the unexposed colour film to Sydenham (Now called City Airport) where it was then flown onto London to be processed and shown to the London area viewers. Talk about an unwieldy operation.
By the way, the first colour film ever to be processed in BBC Belfast and transmitted in full colour to Northern Ireland viewers was about the closure of the very last coalmine in the province. Ironic really, I can think of nothing more black and white than a coalmine.
That historic piece of news film was brought to our screens in 1970 by David Capper, a very well known BBC reporter for many years. We have managed to find the film and its associated soundreel from the archives and put them together once again for you to view here on A Sense of Place. You can see it at:
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