Join the dots 

30 July 2015 tbs.pm/6686

Wales (West & North) Television (WWN) was launched in 1962 using the on-air title “Teledu Cymru”. It was the last and shortest lived of all the original ITV contractors and got into financial difficulty in less than two years of broadcasting. Advertising sales were insufficient to support the level of Welsh language programming that government had demanded as a price for authorising such a difficult new remit. The company soon got into difficulties and with the agreement of The Post Office, the region was absorbed into the adjacent South Wales & West franchise. With the permission of the ITA, the WWN company was taken over by TWW (Television Wales & West) who were the existing service provider for South Wales.

Teledu Cymru continued to be run as a separate operation, within its own original area and was even extended as a discrete service in 1965, by the addition of an extra transmitter near Cardiff, to bring into being a duplicate TWW channel in South Wales for the slew of Welsh language “opt out” programming that had been specified in the original contract and had earlier of necessity been squeezed into the ‘off peak’ hours on TWW. This would allow South Wales viewers to see Welsh language programming in peak time if desired, not previously a generally popular idea in South Wales, involving as it had, transfer of English language programmes into late night slots.

For a service that ran in its original form for less than three years (albeit under new management for the third year) WWN left scant record of corporate style and on screen presentation. Very few slides survive of the original screen image the company attempted. Our archive of off screen telesnaps holds three of these remaining Teledu Cymru slides. Two come from their “round bobble” design of promotional captions and one is a presentation ‘dragon symbol endcap’.

The latter remained in occasional use for several years after WWN’s absorption into TWW and was used after Teledu Cymru filmed imports when scheduled as ‘opt-outs’ from the basic TWW service. Live and videoed programmes became designated “TWW productions” once WWN had been absorbed, so only the Teledu Cymru presentation captions survived, while production captions were discarded. These are some of the rarest slides in the Transdiffusion archives.

You Say

1 response to this article

Tim 30 July 2015 at 12:21 pm

The The National Library of Wales is now the home of the ITV Cymru Wales archives, which includes HTV, TWW and quite possibly WWN material following the closure of the Culverhouse Cross studios last year. My ITV Wales colleague is based there maintaining the archive and may well know what exists from previous ITV companies in the 60’s. Worth checking!

Your comment

Enter it below