As the last truckload of furniture and equipment left Kingsway last night it was the end of an era for TVH.
Associated Rediffusion took over the building in 1954, and began the conversion from what had been the wartime Air Ministry to the home of the infant ITV. Studios and technical areas were installed where steel shelters had stood for Winston Churchill and headquarters RAF staff. One member of the Marconi planning team which supervised the conversion was Phil Berkeley, now Head of Engineering Projects for Thames.
Since TVH went on the air on 22 September 1955, it has been the base of ATV, ITN, Rediffusion, Southern, Scottish, TV Times and Thames.
Now the building is to be ripped apart again, for IPC, and given a new name.
… and at the Lyceum
The Lyceum has been associated with staff parties for almost as long as TVH with television. Many Rediffusion parties were held there, and Thames continued the tradition for its first two years.
But now that Thames has moved to Euston, the Board has decided it would be inappropriate to hold parties there any longer. Chief advantage of the Lyceum was its closeness to Television House, particularly for staff involved in transmissions on the night of the party.
Announcing the change this week, the Managing Director stated “We will not have a Christmas Party at the Lyceum this year, but instead consideration is being given to either a summer or autumn function at a more suitable location within the Greater London area. A committee to plan this, and discuss the form and frequency of future parties, will be set up under the chairmanship of Colin Wills. It will consist of representatives of various departments of the company and members of the Social Club committee.’*
Euston move completed successfully
The careful and elaborate plans made over several months by Administration and Engineering Departments have paid off. The Euston move has been completed more or less without mishap and on schedule.
The last departments moved earlier this week, and all central London staff are now in their new accommodation — with the exception of Betty who opens the shutters of her new Club bar at 6.00 pm on Friday 13th!
Casualties of the move included Maintenance Foreman Derek Drury (slipped cartilage) and the electric typewriter of Sales Director’s secretary Betty Wilson (smashed carriage).
First reactions from the staff to their new home and to the smoothness of the move were good. Sue Mathiesen, Secretary to Sales Controller Jim Shaw: “There’s so much more space and light, and the cleanliness after Television House is marvellous. I used to work in the area before when I was with Rank Xerox, and I like being back. It’s so much easier to get to the shops at Oxford Circus by getting on the Victoria Line.” Bob Hurley was one of the team of duty officers who worked around the clock throughout the move. He praised the job done by Vanguard, the removal contractors. “They were ahead of schedule and goods were pouring into Euston at such a rate that we had to work hard to keep up with them.”
A last word from Colin Wills, who was in charge of the move. “The Executive Directors are most appreciative of the way in which the staff tackled this difficult changeover. Without their cooperation and readiness to roll up their sleeves to get on with the job, we should not have succeeded. I should also like to thank the members of the co-ordinating committee who planned the move.”
On the lighter side, Wanstead police telephoned on Monday, 2 November, to tell the company that old files were seen drifting down Wanstead High Street! In view of the recent council workers’ strike they are not pressing charges against Thames or against the refuse contractors who should have delivered them safely to a dump.