This week 60 years ago: Hackney Gazette slams secret plans to put TV sets in parks

The Gazette 60 years ago

The Gazette 60 years ago - Credit: Archant

Leaked plans dreamed up by the London County Council Parks Committee to set up groups of three 27 inch television sets in six parks over the summer was ridiculed by the Gazette, this week 60 years ago. “This was a foolish fancy from the start, and the wonder of it is that a committee of sober-minded councillors could have entertained the idea even for a moment,” the paper commented.

“Television is so much with us - in the home, the pub and the club - that the prospect of it pursuing us into the parks is truly appalling.”

Apparently the chair of the committee had admitted that parks are the very place that a lot of people go to escape TV.

“They go there for games and other pleasurable occupations, such as merely strolling about or lazing in the sunshine, when we are lucky enough to have any sunshine,” said the paper.

“It is true that in most of the parks during the summer months there are variety and band concerts, dances and that these can be just as noisy and distracting as television shows. But the difference is that these entertainments have not the deadly magnetism of television.

“Television in the home has become a tyranny which destroys conversation and the simple graces of domestic life. It will be too bad if it ever becomes a tyrant out of doors.

“Its domestic hold is such that it is blamed for almost everything which declines - church and pub going, travelling on public transport, empty seats in the music hall and the cinema. Probably the LCC now feel that it is responsible for empty parks.”