Sam Gosling, describes the way in which an object can give us a clear understanding of a persons space through what object they have, the way that they may have placed it in the room and the way they may use it. Many believe that objects can be placed strategically, manipulating the way others see that person, however Gosling states,’In most cases people are trying to provide an honest signal, in being happy they try to bring other peoples views into line with their own…Interactions are a lot more easy’
Interested in the way television has transformed over a shorter period of time, I decided to interview my parents, Kerrie and Steven Hall.
Both grew up in England as children, so talking about television was an awesome experience as they reflected on family members and memories of their childhood that they miss.
My mum (Kerrie) reflects on her childhood when she was around 10 years old, with the Black and white TV in the corner, framed by a wooden box, the main vocal point in the room was the fireplace. Granddad, as she recalls, often watched gaming shows called (3-2-1)Dusty Bin and Bulls-eye, as well as ‘Top of the pops’ where she would tell everyone to shush as she recorded the songs onto her Betamax (which are now at the end of production). Kerrie delved into the struggle of having to try and record over commentary or family members, wanting to get a good recording of the song. “There was nothing worse than a DJ who spoke through the playing songs as I was trying to record them,”she said.
For Kerrie, watching the TV with her sister Zoey and her Grandparents was often the family bonding time. Reminiscing on eating tea, drawing the curtains at 5:30pm, sharing a bath with Zoey and then coming downstairs to snacks while watching the TV on the floor, nested on european pillows, is something she remembers like it was yesterday.
Kerrie and Steven both remember the end of transmission as you can see in the above video, “There we no programs running between 10/11pm and 6am,” states Steven. This was often shown to indicate the conclusion of a transmission.
Steven remembers having a black and white, tiny TV in his room with a dome shaped screen and an aerial on the top, which he usually had to move while tuning the TV. “I liked to watch match of the day when i was little, but back then you had to know the players because there were no colours.” A memory in which Dad was most fond of, was the day he rushed home from school to watch the 1982 World Cup. The football however was never live like we see it today, instead he watched the match highlights while listening to the radio to get the commentary of the game. Steven even remembers telling his brother to move more to the left with the aerial in order to get a clear screen and make him hold it there so he could see who scored a goal. However he doesn’t remember much about TV and family bonding, he remembers being outside playing the majority of the time.
I found during the interview discussion both informants weren’t so much engaged with the questions regarding TV but instead the memories surrounding them. We can see Kerrie who drew on memories of family bonding rather than watching the TV and Steven who described himself as an ‘outside’ person. Emotion was provoked from both informants when I asked if they remembered any TV shows and they both stated the British game shows, Dusty Bin and Bulls-eye.
What was also interesting was having them both in the same room. My mum commented on my dad having a TV in his room, naming him as a ‘spoilt brat’ after being shocked hearing that he then didn’t even watch the TV and liked to play outside.
My mum as you could say was from a lower socio-economic background than my dad, therefore a TV was something my mum cherished as a child. It was even used as a bribe if she hadn’t eaten her dinner. Whereas my dad recalls more memories outside playing with his friends on the football fields out the back of his house, and only coming home for dinner when the streetlights came on.
What surprised me the most about this conversation is that what they remembered was only 30 years ago! For instance I remember receiving my first walkman for christmas, moving the aerial on my brothers old TV in his room, watching countless videos at my grandparents house while having supper.
We can all agree a lot has changed since then.What will have changed in another 30 years when someone asks you the same questions? Will things such as DVD’s be extinct? Time will tell.