When I was a child we didn’t have TV and other memories of the ‘idiot-box’

The television in today’s technology drenched world is still an experience shared by the vast majority of children and adults. It is convenient, available, inexpensive and attractive. This is all I have ever known but I cannot say the same about my Grandma Dorothy, where TV was not accessible until she was married.



Born in 1943, Dorothy never grew up with television. She lived in rural NSW, in a little town called Wauchope. Her first memories of television didn’t arrive until two years after she married my Grandfather, Phillip in 1966. Dorothy and Phillip lived in a small village called Rolands Plains, where they were 40 miles (65kms) away from town.

What do you remember about the television in your home? It was a square television and the brand was AWA, it was Australian!  It had a curved screen and was black and white. We didn’t get a colour one until 1976  I never decorated around it, it was just the television in the corner of the room.

image via radiomuseum.com

The AWA televison Dorothy owned [image via radiomuseum.com]

What kind of room was it in? I never put the television in the living room or the kitchen, it was in a room off the kitchen – the sitting room. There were a few chairs around it.

What memories do you have of watching it? I remember the programming didn’t start until later in the day and it use to start with the National Anthem and an address to the Queen. I think there were only two channels, ABC and a commercial one. I loved watching the documentaries about nature and history. I remember this one about Henry the VIII on Sunday night, it was great! I would watch it by myself sometimes or we would sit together with the whole family.

Growing up with television in the 60’s and 70’s gave Dorothy a way to connect with the rest of the world when she lived in an isolated community. She enjoyed watching the stories people had to tell. The same still holds true for today’s audience, even if the landscape of television has changed dramatically since 1966 and is still changing. As television grows to encompass the online video content on sites such as YouTube or Netflix, there is still something I have in common with my Grandma and that is we all love watching stories that entertain and inform us.


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