' I remember the whole family huddled around the wireless one night listening to the play 'Rebecca '

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' I remember the whole family huddled around the wireless one night listening to the play 'Rebecca '


Billy Gallagher remembers gathering around the black and white television with his family to watch the one available channel, BBC.


Billy Gallagher


Trinity College Dublin




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Billy Gallagher

Is Part Of

Childhood and Early Life


Life Story

Spatial Coverage

Strabane, Co. Tyrone

Temporal Coverage


Life Story Item Type Metadata


Television came about 1954 and we had black and white 12 inch screen. There was one channel only (BBC) and you watched it regardless of content. I can remember Charley Drake, a comedian, whose joke seemed to be falling out of doors. £_amonn Andrews did 'Question Time' and had guests like Barbara Kelly, Gilbert Harding, Dame something or other and Lord something else. We sat in the sitting room at a blazing fire watching all this and were fully satisfied. Television closed down at about 11 p.m. and only started about 5 p.m. in the evenings. The Lone Ranger and Silver were prominent with his partner Tonto the Indian scout. He was obviously a traitor as they spent their time tracking down the 'bad guys' who were invariably Red Indians. They were also invariably shot dead. There were no trials, if you were a Red Indian you were guilty. The wireless then had wires and an aerial and the reception was poor. The wireless would hiss and fart, out of any 30 minutes programme you would definitely miss 10 ' 15%. I remember the whole family huddled around the wireless one night listening to the play 'Rebecca'. My father thought it was too frightening for us with a house burning down in the play. As it turned out the reception was so bad that night we hardly got the full story. (This would have been about 1949/50.) Television reception was similar to the wireless in the early days added to which we had no idea how to tune the picture. It would roll, cut in half, snow or simply not work. As televisions cost '50 at that time only some people had them and a lot of people rented them (as a form of guarantee that the bloody thing would work).




Irish Research Council for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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