It's A Knockout 1969
British Domestic Series

Presenters: David Vine and Eddie Waring / Referee: Arthur Ellis

Scoregirls: Pat Taylor, Diane Hecht and Jennifer Craven

Designer: Stuart Furber / Producer: Barney Colehan / Director: Philip S. Gilbert
A BBC North West Production

GB

It's A Knockout 1969

Heat 1

Event Staged: Sunday 11th May 1969
Venue: Western Lawns, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB exc. Wales):
Wednesday 14th May 1969, 7.30-8.20pm
BBC1 Wales (CYM): Not transmitted.

Teams: Eastbourne v. Hastings

Team Members included:
Eastbourne -
Len Fuller (Team Coach), Peter Bedford (Team Captain), Linda Delaney, Richard Groombridge, Ray Hill, Marilyn Jepson-Hearn, Barry Matthews;
Hastings - Tom Hogarth (Team Manager), Roger Dennett (Deputy Team Manager), Ken Nesh (Team Coach), Paul Adams, Stephanie Dale, William Farnfield.

Games included: The Rocking Bed, Madame Guillotine, The Sleeping Waiter and Bobbin’ Dip;
Marathon: The Woodcutters.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team

1 2 3 4 5 6 MAR 7
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
E 0 2 2 2 0 2 0

2

H 2 1 0 0 4 0 3

0

Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
E 0 2 4 6 6 8 8

10

H 2 3 3 3 7 7 10

10 *

Result

 Team

Points

1st
1st

 H • Hastings
 E Eastbourne

10 *
10

* Result decided by a toss of a coin. See ‘Additional Information’ section below

Hastings qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Brugge, Belgium:
staged on Wednesday 25th June 1969

The Rehearsals

The morning rehearsals gave the hint that the event proper would be a closely fought battle, ending in a tight 9-8 finish in Eastbourne's favour.

Additional Information

This contest finished with both teams on equal points. Hastings won qualification for Europe on the toss of a coin, which had simply been marked 'H' on one side and 'E' on the other!

Made in B/W • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1969

Heat 2

Event Staged: Sunday 18th May 1969, 5.00pm
Venue: The Quarry, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB exc. Wales):
Wednesday 21st May 1969, 7.30-8.20pm
BBC1 Wales (CYM): Not transmitted.

Teams: Shrewsbury v. Chester

Team Members included:
Shrewsbury -
Stuart Lister (Team Manager), Glyn Ashton, Jackie Chidlow, Bernice Davies, Robert Davies, Ruth Elcock, Gail Evans, Tove Fjeld, Charles Frank, Geoffrey Hunt, Malcolm Ibbotson, Penny Kinsella, Chris Maydew, Kelvin McDonald, Dave Moore, Olwen Lea, Margaret Ratcliffe, Roger Ratcliffe, Maureen Roberts, Philip Wardle, Diane Whitney and Shrewsbury Town FC footballers Peter Dolby, Ken Howells, Joe Healey and Paul Bevan;
Chester - Mike Lord (Team Manager), Mr D Roberts (Men’s Team Coach), Miss B Royale (Ladies’ Team Coach), Mr P Baty, Miss C Charlesworth, Mr M Chivers, Mr A Coughan, Mr R Davies, Mr T Davies, Miss P Fawcitt, Miss M Hampson, Mr N Hampson, Mr P Hartley, Mr D Hodkinson, Mr B Hooks, Miss K Hughes, Miss K Jones, Mr J Martland, Miss W Martland, Mr D Mooney, Mr D Nicholas, Mr J Pirie, Mr G Plant, Miss K Pyrell, Miss C Taylor, Miss H Watkinson, Mr D Yorke, Miss M Yorke.

Games included: Table Leap-Frog, Tug-o-War, Swings and Footballs, Needle Spin and Floured Buckets;
Marathon: Escalator Football.

Game Results and Standings (Partial)

Games

Team

1 2 3 4, 5, 6 or 7 4, 5, 6 or 7 4, 5, 6 or 7 MAR 4, 5, 6 or 7
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
C 0 2 2 0 0 1 0

0

S 4 0 0 2 2 1 3

2

Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
C 0 2 4 4 4 5 5

5

S 4 4 4 6 8 9 12

14

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 S • Shrewsbury
 C Chester

14
5

Shrewsbury qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Edinburgh, Great Britain:
staged on Wednesday 9th July 1969

Additional Information

Shrewsbury were given rousing support by a fifteen-strong team of 'cheer girls' in modish white jumpsuits. The team and cheer girls had their outfits provided by Maddox's Ltd., Silhouette Ltd. and Overy's Ltd., all of Shrewsbury.

There were nearly 10,000 people watching Shrewsbury put paid to Chester at The Quarry, Shrewsbury. The home town went into the lead straight away by winning their Joker game, but Chester quickly squared the game by winning the next two games. After this, Shrewsbury won all the remaining games, with the exception of the tug-o-war, which was drawn because the Chester pullers sat down and could not be moved. Shrewsbury team members were particularly pleased to win Chester's Joker game, 'Swings and Footballs', with Shrewsbury High School sixth-former Ruth Elcock proving herself the heroine of the day in that particular test. Later she commented that she hadn't expected the swings to soar so high above the ground. The Shrewsbury team also won the marathon game - 'Escalator Football' - and qualified easily for the European heat in Edinburgh later in the summer.

Made in B/W • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1969

Heat 3

Event Staged: Sunday 25th May 1969, 3.00pm
Venue: Cardiff Castle Green, Cardiff, Glamorgan, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB exc. Wales):
Wednesday 28th May 1969, 7.30-8.20pm
BBC1 Wales (CYM): Friday 30th May 1969, 7.05-7.45pm

Teams: Cardiff v. Barry

Team Members included:
Cardiff -
J.W. Colley, W. Payne.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 C • Cardiff
 B Barry

-
-

Cardiff qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Caserta, Italy:
staged on Wednesday 23rd July 1969

The Venue

Cardiff, Glamorgan

The venue of this It's A Knockout heat was the breathtaking Cardiff Castle - for information on its history, please see James Cowan's feature in 1969 Venues.

When this It's A Knockout competition was held, Cardiff was in the county of Glamorgan. In 1974, as a result of the Local Government Act 1972, it became part of the newly created county of South Glamorgan. South Glamorgan consisted of the county borough of Cardiff along with the southern part of the administrative county of Glamorgan, and also the parish of St Mellons from Monmouthshire. Following the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, South Glamorgan County Council was abolished on April 1st 1996, with Cardiff becoming its own unitary authority.

Additional Information

Very little coverage was given to this event in the local press. This was quite possibly due to the focus on the Lord Mayor’s Parade taking place in Cardiff the day before. The Parade launched the countdown to the Investiture of the Prince of Wales scheduled for July that year - a major international event for Wales (and which was, incidentally, destined to be the world’s first live outside broadcast in colour). Also on the parade was a motorised float advertising the next day's It's A Knockout event at the castle.

A letter in the South Wales Echo from Mr J.V. Butler of Rhiwbina, Cardiff, on Thursday 29th May, suggests that all was not well at the IAK event. Mr Butler stated that he, his wife, and three children had queued for half an hour to pay 12s and 6d to get into Cardiff Castle to see the event, only to find that no seating had been provided for spectators. He went on to comment that it was impossible for their children to see the games through the crowds. Consequently he left early, along with many other families. A response by Alderman Ronald Watkiss, Chair of Cardiff City Council Organising Committee, pointed to the assumption that the spectators would sit on the steep sided banks surrounding the castle grounds which make a natural grandstand. It was this decision that had helped keep the cost of the event down to within £10k. Unfortunately, on the day, this option was ruled out for many by heavy rainfall, which made sitting on the ground too uncomfortable!

Two Cardiff team members - J.W. Colley and W. Payne - have been identified following research by Paul Leaver in Cardiff city council minutes. Both were granted leave with pay in order to compete and this is why their names appear in the minutes. Colley is noted as a bricklayer and Payne as a higher clerical assistant.

Welsh viewers had a choice of three BBC channels as early as 1969 - BBC1 Wales (Channel 5 on the dial), BBC1 West of England (Channel 13) and BBC2. Despite televising this competition from Cardiff, interestingly, none of the other Domestic Heats were shown on BBC1 Wales. Welsh viewers had to tune to Channel 13 to pick up the programme from the West of England!

Made in B/W • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1969

Heat 4

Event Staged: Sunday 1st June 1969
Venue: Open-Air Swimming Pool, Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB exc. Wales):
Wednesday 4th June 1969, 7.30-8.20pm
BBC1 Wales (CYM): Not transmitted.

Teams: Dunbar v. Burntisland

Team Members included:
Burntisland -
Neil Cameron, Robert Cameron;
Dunbar - Robin Forrest (Team Coach), William Johnson (Assistant Team Coach), Robert Bisset, Betty Darling, Brian Dickson, Reg Dyer, Lex Horsburgh, Brian Houliston, John Hutchinson, Richard James, Sheila Laird, Alistair Lister, Caroline Pott, Catherine Regan, Douglas Robertson, Stuart Robertson, Patricia Rogerson, Glenda Sanderson, Vera Sembie, Anna Stewart, Jaci Waite, Billy Wilson.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 D • Dunbar
 B Burntisland

12 *
12

* Result decided by a toss of a coin. See ‘Additional Detail’ section below

Dunbar qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Martigny, Switzerland:
staged on Wednesday 6th August 1969

The Venue

Dunbar, East Lothian

This heat was held at the open-air swimming pool which was located on the sea-front to west of the town’s harbour. Vacated by many in the summer months, it was also used for the local Miss Dunbar beauty contests. However, as with many of the country’s open-air swimming pools, they fell out of favour with the British public when foreign package holidays became popular in the early 1970s offering guaranteed sunshine. Sadly, the pool is long gone as it was demolished in 1980 and no sign of its location exists.

Additional Information

The reason for the unusually high scoring in this heat was because there were nine games in total instead of the normal eight. This occurred because some of the games were designed to have shorter running times. The extra game was added to enable the timing to be right for the BBC’s transmission slot.

This contest finished with both teams on equal points. As with Hastings in Heat 1, Dunbar won qualification for Europe on the toss of a coin!

Made in B/W • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1969

Heat 5

Event Staged: Saturday 7th June 1969
Venue: Castle Park, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB exc. Wales):
Wednesday 11th June 1969, 7.30-8.20pm
BBC1 Wales (CYM): Not transmitted.

Teams: Coleraine v. County Fermanagh

Team Members included:
Coleraine -
Ray Rankin (Team Manager), Betty McWhirter (Ladies’ Team Captain), Ronnie Cameron, Rosemary Lagan, Richard Lyons, Philip McGarvey;
County Fermanagh - Billy Simpson (Team Captain), Rosalind Avery, Gabriel Brock, Barry Flanagan, Jeanette Forbes, Richard Heap, Carol Kennedy, John Latimer, Dermot Lunney, Heather Lyons, Wendy McChesney, Shirley McLeer, John Maxwell, Elizabeth Montgomery, John Nevin, Jean Paget, Mary-Rose Riddell, Maura Ryan, Gordon Thompson, Pat Timmons, Helen Woodhouse.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 CO • Coleraine
 F County Fermanagh

11
9

Coleraine qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Wolfsburg, West Germany:
staged on Wednesday 20th August 1969

Additional Information

Two qualifying competitions to decide the teams to contest this inaugural Northern Ireland It's A Knockout were held the previous Saturday and comprised a total of eleven teams. For further details, please see 1969 NI Qualifying Heats.

Teams competing in the 1969 series of It's A Knockout were shown on the scoreboard from the first Domestic Heat onwards, with the exception of the teams contesting this competition. This was due to the decision to select teams for the Northern Ireland heat via a qualifying competition. Coleraine and County Fermanagh were added to the scoreboard from the Dunbar heat onwards.

County Fermanagh had competed in the Northern Ireland qualification competition as Enniskillen. As they were the only team in the qualifiers from the county of Fermanagh, it was decided that the team would represent the whole county in the BBC TV show and were renamed County Fermanagh for this event.

Coleraine were trailing 8-0 after the third game but made an incredible recovery by winning their Joker game, the last game and the Marathon.

Made in B/W • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives

 

JSFnetGB Series Guide pages researched by
Alan Hayes, David Hamilton, Neil Storer, Christos Moustakas, Philippe Minet,
Sébastien Dias, Ischa Bijl, Paul Leaver and JSFnet Websites