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16 October 2014
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Children's Hour

Broadcasting House in Belfast

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"Welcome to Children's Hour..."

For countless thousands of children in Northern Ireland, particularly in the pre-television days, Children's Hour was an important institution.

It fulfilled all three of the BBC's Charter obligations, to inform, to educate and to entertain. Those who hosted the programmes in London, and throughout the Regions of the BBC, had an extraordinary influence on children of all ages.


In Northern Ireland, Cicely Mathews was in charge from the days after the war, when broadcasting moved into a golden age, until the programme was withdrawn because of the impact of television.

No better person could have been found to take charge of this important strand of programming.

Cicely & Sound Technician


Cicely was the perfect host, trusted and respected by everyone who came into contact with her. Other presenters included many household names: Graeme Roberts with "Important to Us"; Arnold Bennington's "Nature Diary"; Peter Fitzpatrick with "Peter Comes in From the Farm" and "I Want to be an Actor' which was to become a first step in broadcasting for many future celebrities. Cicely Mathews was central to all of this creative activity.


An Interactive Innovator?

"If Cicely were around today she would be the leading edge interactive broadcaster." So says Brian Walker, former Political Editor of BBC NI and graduate of the "I Want to be an Actor" school of broadcasting!

Cicely & Sound Technician


Armstrong family

A trip to a gentler time

Do you remember gathering around the radio for the latest episode of "Button Brown" or "Brogeen"? Then why not relive those days by paying a vist to our site's audio library.


Pay tribute to Cicely

Such was the popularity and impact of Children's Hour, that tributes have been coming in since this web site was launched.

They come from local celebrities, people who took part in the show as children, and from those who have distinct memories of the show or Cicely Mathews.



Do You know.


If you have a memory you'd like to share, please fill in the form below...


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