Saturday, 13 June 2015
161 For Schools and Colleges : Picture Box
First watched : 1973-74
I'm not sure whether we watched this at school throughout the academic year or even if it was on for more than one term but I have a particular memory that places it in that time frame. Picture Box was presented by former Coronation Street actor Alan Rothwell ( the luckless David Barlow ) who was there to provide an introduction to a short film sourced elsewhere in the world. You never knew quite what to expect and of course interest in the contents varied greatly from one week to another.
The one I remember oddly enough is the one I didn't really watch. I had got in the habit with my friend Patrick where I would write the name of four cars from my Matchbox collection in a little notebook during lessons and then pass it under the desk for him to write the result of a "race" between them and pass it back. The class teacher - universally regarded as a useless eccentric so it seems unfair to name him - wouldn't have noticed if we'd detonated a bomb. One Thursday morning I took it into the hall and we did it all the way through Picture Box which that day was an animated story and were roundly chastised by those of our classmates who were close enough to notice, for not watching something that had been really good. Why they did this , in preference to alerting the teacher to what was going on , is something of a puzzle .
It did have the desired effect of making me feel guilty and regretful that I had missed something worthwhile - I don't know what it was called so I can't make it good with YouTube where there are some Picture Box episodes available. Unfortunately it's not a habit I've been able to kick ( stealing time for something more interesting than what I'm supposed to be doing ) although my current job doesn't leave much scope for it thankfully. My powers of concentration have suffered as a result.