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Three Decades of WA Local TV – Photo Essay

Posted by ken On September - 26 - 2009


Peter Harries shows Gordon McColl his vast collection of images contained in the Photo Appendix to his PhD Thesis


Above: Producer/Writer/Presenter Coralie Condon and dear friend Lloyd Lawson, TVW’s first Production Manager and presenter, together were the first people to appear live on television in WA, during the test transmissions period before opening night on Friday October 16th, 1959.

“Spotlight” was the opening night variety show, featuring a cast of Phillip Edgley, Brian Card, Dianne Briggs, Dorothy & Bert Shaw and Reg Whiteman.

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Above: Country singer Slim Dusty came to the Perth Royal Show in 1960 to show off his gold record memento of his song “The Pub With No Beer.

Rolf Harris was Perth’s first TV star, seen here dining with his wife, the Welsh sculptress and jeweller Alwen Hughes.

Above: Garry Meadows took time off from his radio duties with his wife Rhonda to attend the Mad Hatter’s Cabaret in 1960.

Col Joye and the Joye Boys were big in the 1960s.

Above: Winifred Atwell visited Perth in 1960. She was a pianist who enjoyed great popularity with a series of boogie woogie and ragtime hits.

Vivien Leigh arrived for the 1962 Festival of Perth. She was the English actress who won two Best Actress Academy Awards for playing Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939) and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951).

Diana Dors, the blonde bombshell English actress, gets a close inspection from the ladies of the pipe band on a Perth visit in 1963.

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Peter Harries, Chas Broughton (STW9 Floor Manager and Graphic Artist) and Buddy Clarke in 1965 with a Western Australian Wildflower Model preparing for All My Eye and Betty Martin Too.

Above: Peter Harries and friends. The blonde boy (centre) is Michael Holmes, the first Australian CNN News Presenter.

Veronica Overton and Peter Harries in a Christmas pantomime on STW9 in 1966.

Above: Peter Harries and Nancy Cato from the Magic Circle Club in 1965. The Magic Circle Club was an award winning Australian children’s television show, produced at ATV Channel 0 in Melbourne (now ATV-10).

Peter Harries with John Barnett, former ABW2 and NEW10 Weatherman, who became the STW9 Postcards presenter.

Channel Niners Club 1966

Peter Harries reminisces with Gordon McColl

Above: The Channel Niners Club Team in June 1966. Peter Piccini, Veronica Overton, Peter Harries, Ron Blaskett and Gerry Gee.

Above: The Channel Niners Club Team in September 1966. Peter Piccini, Veronica Overton, Peter Harries, Useless Eustance (Alan Graham the station Newsreader), Ron Blaskett and Gerry Gee.

The Channel Niners Club Team for 1967-68. Peter Piccini, Peter Harries, Veronica Overton, Gerry Gee with Ron Blaskett and Chuckles O’Hara (Bon Maguire).

Above: In September 1966, 7,500 children attended a special Channel Niners Club day at South Perth Zoo. Peter Harries, Peter Piccini and Useless Eustance (Alan Graham the station Newsreader).

STW9 Christmas Pantomime The Golden Hind cast Alan Graham, Peter Piccini, Pixie Hale, Gerry Gee, Ron Blaskett, Jeff Newman, Veronica Overton, Peter Harries and Lloyd Lawson.

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A serial production of Alice in Wonderland on the Channel Niners Club during Christmas 1966. Mad Hatter (Alan Graham), Dormouse (Peter Piccini) March Hare (Peter Harries) and Alice (Pixie Hale).


Below: The Channel Niners Club.

Peter Harries and guests from the Bullen’s Circus.


Below: Space Day on the Channel Niners Club with Peter Harries and George Liddle, STW9 Graphic Artist and Set Designer.

Pooh Bear and friends on the Channel Niners Club.
Above: Lloyd Lawson presents the Today Show on TVW7.

Above: Children’s Channel 7 compere Carolyn Noble talks with the children.

Below: TVW7 Hootenanny Show from Studio 1. The Hootenanny is an informal gathering with folk music and sometimes dancing. Traditionally held as a rockabilly music festival, which was made popular in the 1960s and became a series of musical variety television shows both locally and in the United States.


Below: In 1962 a man named Brian William Robinson shot and killed a young couple in a car in Belmont, before murdering a policeman named Noel Iles. Robinson commandeered a taxi to take him north to the Gnangara pine plantation. Bob Cribb was dispatched with technician Colin Gorey (seen sitting on the bonnet of the small Ford International Outside Broadcast Van) to cover the story. This photo shows the News team and technical crew preparing for such an assignment.

Lloyd Lawson interviews Art Linkletter, a Canadian-American radio and television personality who hosted People Are Funny and Kids Say the Darndest Things. He first became known locally when he established a large farm in Esperance, 450 miles south-east of Perth, Western Australia. Art Linkletter demonstrated how, by the addition of trace elements, the sand plain around Esperance can be turned into productive land capable of carrying sheep and cattle and of growing a wide variety of crops. The coastal sand plain of Esperance was not successful until the establishment of the Esperance Downs Research Station in 1948. The introduction of trace elements into the soil allowed the successful establishment of subterranean clover which provided nutritious stock feed but also improved the fertility of the soil. Farming people and others, moved then to Esperance from the Eastern States and overseas.


Below: British film, theatre and TV actress Googie Withers and Australian born actor Keith Mitchell talk with Hew Roberts. In 1964 Williamson’s marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth with The First Four Hundred Years, ‘a program of Shakespeare’s infinite variety’. The distinguished cast included Googie Withers and Keith Michell. (Later in 1971, Googie played a Western Australian country publican in the film comedy The Nickel Queen. Also in the cast were her daughter Joanna, the former Western Australian premier Charles Court and radio personality John Laws. There was also a young Terry Willesee playing himself as a junior reporter. The camera operator was John Seale, now a leading international cinematographer, with the movie directed by Googie’s husband John McCallum. TVW7 had an interest in the production.)

Captain Jim aboard his ship during Children’s Channel Seven, whilst Carolyn Noble talks with the children. Jim Akinson joined TVW in 1960, when Rolf Harris returned to the UK. Jim and Colm O’Doherty teamed up as Captain Jim and Seaman O’Doherty, continuing in those roles when Trina Brown took over from Carolyn. The Children’s cast were later joined by Taffy the Lion (John Cousins), till eventually being replaced by Trina and Percy Penguin alone. Fat Cat and Sandy Palmer brought colour to the children’s shows.

Pam Leuba was Perth first female Newsreader.


Below: Actress Maggie Dence arrived in Perth playing the character Mavis Bramston, from the popular satirical sketch comedy TV series The Mavis Bramston Show, which premiered in 1964 and was broadcast by TVW7.

Below: The 1964 TV version of The Good Oil, starring Jill Perryman, was produced and written by Coralie Condon and directed by Max Bostock, with the choreography and male lead performed by Jill’s husband Kevan Johnston. Coralie originally wrote this musical comedy for the stage production in 1958 at the Playhouse.

Rolf Harris was back in Perth for a holiday and appeared on TVW7.

At a dinner in TVW’s Studio 1, Eric McKenzie talks with his son, 1964 WA Sportsman Of The Year Graham McKenzie (Cricket), in the West Indies, whilst the state Premier David Brand holds the trophy.


Below: Michael Gale presents the Viewpoint program with Eartha Kitt in TVW’s Studio 1, Bonanza star Lorne Greene visits TVW and Brian Treasure’s novelty commercial link Uncle Otto.


Below: Famous crickters appear on TVW. From left: Michael Smith (English cricketer), Billy Griffiths (was an English cricketer and cricket administrator), Richie Benaud (former captain of the Australian cricket team who become a highly regarded commentator on the game) and Sir Donald Bradman (an Australian cricketer, widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time).

Gary Carvolth shows national quiz personalities through TVW studios.

Champion Swan Districts footballer Billy Walker who won the Sandover Medal for 1965, 1966 and 1967 and was presented with the TVW7 Footballer of the Year awards in 1966 and 1968.

Billy Walker played for both Swan Districts and WA State side.


Below: TV host, magician, actor, comedian and circus ringmaster Tommy Hanlon Jr takes part in TVW’s “Seven is Seven” seventh anniversary program.

Miss Claire, compere of TVW’s kindergarten program Romper Room (directed by Gordon McColl) with young guest.

Beauty And The Beast panellist Maggie Tabberer receives a warm welcome at Perth Airport. Maggie became well known as an Australian fashion, publishing and television personality.


Below: The Stock Exchange of Perth conducts a dummy decimal call at TVW’s studios. Decimal currency was first introduced in Australia on 14 February 1966. The new Australian dollar replaced the Australian pound. The Prime Minister of the day, Sir Robert Menzies, proposed the ‘royal’. The ‘dollar’ was eventually chosen as the name.

TVW acquired a small Ford International truck for use as an outside broadcast van. It often towed a power generator and the News Department took advantage of his facility to quickly cover some fast breaking news events. One of the original black and white studio cameras was mounted on the top, and a microwave disk was used to beam the signal to the Bickley transmitting tower, for relay to the Tuart Hill studios. Later the van was equipped with a videotape recorder and was regularly used to record commercials and cover the speedway and football, before live broadcasts became common. It was also taken around the local beaches to record the popular Miss West Coast heats.


Below: Taffy the Lion (John Cousins) and Humphrey B. Bear visit the South Perth Zoo.

During her 1968 Perth visit, Ena Sharples calls at another Coronation Street. British actress Violet Carson played the role of Ena Sharples, a role she portrayed from 1960 to 1980. Ena was one of the original characters of the long-running British soap opera, Coronation Street and her name became a byword for a “battle axe” woman.


Below: TVW’s first full-scale Telethon was held in November 1968. It raised more than $100,000 for charity. The top picture shows part of the bank of telephones used to take the donation pledges. The lower picture shows the Premier, Sir David Brand who was Patron of Telethon, as he appears on-camera with international guests Johnny O’Keefe, Graham Kennedy, Bobby Limb and Stuart Wagstaff, joined by local personality Garry Meadows. There was a furry of activity shortly before, as the half naked personalities dressed for the occasion.


Johnny O’Keefe, Graham Kennedy, Bobby Limb and Stuart Wagstaff stripped down for TVW’s first Telethon in 1968.

Below: In 1968, Jack Nicklaus (United States) won the TVW sponsored Australian Open Golf Championship at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club. It was a time when the station expanded the building, to consolidate the videotape, telecine, master control, on-air presentation, Newsroom and News studio in the one central ground floor area, at a cost of $550,000. TVW also began recording their prime time schedule for replay in the mining community of Mt. Goldsworthy. Meanwhile, Jeff Newman began hosting “It’s Academic”, the popular school quiz program he fronted for more than a decade.

Below: STW9 Sales Seminar in 1969 -Sir Charles Court, Bob Mercer (General Manager), Peter Conroy (Station/Sales Manager).

Milton Francis (Melbourne Representative), Harvey Bean (Managing Director Bean-Birrell Advertising), Peter Conroy (Station/Sales Manager) and Ron Guyot (Sydney Representative).




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One Response to “Three Decades of WA Local TV – Photo Essay”

  1. Brian Herbert says:

    Champion Swan Districts footballer Billy Walters who won the Sandover Medal for 1965, 1966 and 1967 and was presented with the TVW7 Footballer of the Year awards in 1966 and 1968.

    Correction – should read ‘Billy Walker’ not Walters. Played for Swan Districts and WA State side.

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