Jeux Sans Frontières 1969

Entrants 1969: Belgium (B) • Switzerland (CH) • West Germany (D) •
Great Britain (GB) • Italy (I) 

Presenters / Commentators of International Heats:
Paule Herreman (RTB - B)
Jan Theys (BRT - B)
Georges Kleinmann and Madeleine Stalder (SSR - CH)
Jan Hiermeyer (SRG - CH)
Mascia Cantoni (TSI - CH)
Camillo Felgen and Tim Elstner (ARD-WDR - D)
David Vine and Eddie Waring (BBC - GB)
Giulio Marchetti, Renata Mauro and Enzo Tortora (RAI - I)

International Referees: Gennaro Olivieri, Guido Pancaldi
Referee (BBC): Arthur Ellis

Producer (BBC): Barney Colehan
Produced by RTB-BRT (B), SSR-SRG-TSI (CH), ARD-WDR (D),
BBC North West (GB), RAI (I)
(ORTF not involved this year.)

 

Key:
International Heats
 
l = Qualified for International Final / l = Heat Winner (Silver Trophy)
International Final
l = Gold Trophy   l = Silver Trophy   l = Bronze Trophy

DST = Daylight Saving Time
(ONLY Italy observed DST)

B

Jeux Sans Frontières 1969

Heat 1

Event Staged: Wednesday 25th June 1969
Venue: Markt, Brugge / Bruges, Belgium

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BRT (B):
Wednesday 25th June 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
RTB (B):
Wednesday 25th June 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
SSR (CH-French):
Wednesday 25th June 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 25th June 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 27th June 1969, 9.05-10.20pm
RAI Due (I):
Friday 27th June 1969

Teams: Brugge-Zeebrugge (B) v. Interlaken (CH) v. Lauingen an der Donau (D) v.
Hastings (GB) v. Adria (I)

Team Members included:
Hastings (GB) -
Tom Hogarth (Team Manager), Roger Dennett (Deputy Team Manager), Ken Nesh (Team Coach), Paul Adams, Stephanie Dale, William Farnfield;
Adria (I) -
Aldo Pasini (Team Captain), Franco Monti (Vice Team Captain), Robert Amà, Licia Barzan, Gianfranco Bellato, Adriana Bevilacqua, Franco Costantini, Gastone Carraro, Luigi Carraro, Maria Pia Cavallari, Virgilio Crema, Nelko Domeneghetti, Andrea Facco, Raffaella Franzoso, Giorgio Freghina, Elena Maltarello, Tullio Malusa, Renzo Martello, Maria Mazzariol, Rino Moda, Pietro Morandin, Donatella Pastore, Paolo Persuin, Giorgio Pozzati, Lucia Ranzato, Giovanni Rinaldi, Leandro Riondato, Daniela Scagnetto, Paolo Scagnetto, Ruggero Stragliotto, Vanna Vanni, Paolo Vianello, Luciano Vomiero, Christina Zanchi.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th

 I • Adria l l
 CH • Interlaken
 D • Lauingen an der Donau
 GB • Hastings
 B • Brugge-Zeebrugge
l

33*
32*
29*
24
20

(*) These scores are unconfirmed.

The Venue

Brugge / Bruges, Belgium

This JSF heat was staged in the beautiful Flanders town of Brugge / Bruges.

Returning Teams and Competitors

Six members of the Italian team, Adria - Virgilio Crema, Maria Mazzariol, Aldo Pasini, Daniela Scagnetto, Paolo Scagnetto and Ruggero Stragliotto - represented their country on several occasions. With the exception of Aldo Pasini, they all participated again as members of the 1970 Bassano del Grappa team and with the Jésolo team of 1971. Maria Mazzariol and Ruggero Straglioto also represented Marostica in 1974, whilst brother and sister Paolo and Daniela Scagnetto featured in the Jésolo team in 1976. Paolo returned as co-team coach for Rosolina Mare in 1993 and Porte Tolle (Donzella) in 1994. At the age of 39, Maria Mazzariol participated again with the Treviso team in 1990! Team captain Aldo Pasini returned as co-team coach for Rosolina Mare in 1993 as well as both the Porte Tolle (Donzella) and Comacchio teams in 1994!

Additional Information

Five minutes before the start and with the Eurovision Network ready to feed pictures across the continent, there was a complete power failure and all the lights went out. One quarter of the medieval town had been blacked out, but the other three-quarters were lit as normal. It's testament to the programme's profile that when the producers contacted the electricity suppliers, power was restored to the town centre... and for the rest of the programme, three-quarters of Brugge was in total darkness.

The main scoreboard this year was manually operated and the leading teams were displayed in position order after each game (as would later be the case in the 1980s). Each of the five name-places was made up of a roller which had all five teams’ names printed on it along with the ident letters of the country represented, so that each of the teams could be displayed at any of the five positions, despite their position and score. Jokers were displayed on the scoreboard as small white boxes next to the teams’ running totals, as opposed to later series’ when these were replaced by an ‘X’.

The Belgian team of Brugge-Zeebrugge qualified for the International Final from this, their home heat, despite finishing in last place. The team must have thought their qualification hopes were dead in the water, but as the 1969 series progressed, every subsequent Belgian team finished in last place too! The team from Gosselies equalled Brugge-Zeebrugge's 'achievement' of last place with 20 points, but lost out as they had not won a single game, whereas their rivals had one 1st place finish. At least the team of Brugge-Zeebrugge came away from the International Final with a 3rd place finish and a Silver Trophy.

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

 

GB

Jeux Sans Frontières 1969

Heat 2

Event Staged: Wednesday 9th July 1969
Venue: The Playground, George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh, Scotland, Great Britain

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BRT (B):
Wednesday 9th July 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
RTB (B):
Wednesday 9th July 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
SSR (CH-French):
Wednesday 9th July 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 9th July 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 11th July 1969, 9.05-10.20pm
RAI Due (I):
Friday 11th July 1969

Winners' Trophy presented by: Allan McDonald, Headmaster of George Eliot's School

Theme: Games in the Playground

Teams: Ixelles (B) v. Lausanne (CH) v. Weiden in der Oberpfalz (D) v.
Shrewsbury (GB) v. Lecco (I)

Team Members included:
Lausanne (CH) -
James Davre;
Weiden in der Oberpfalz (D) -
Maritha Alecks, Krista Behr, Hans-Werner Friedrichs, Krista Herrmann, Rosemarie Hinckel, Rita Rauchenecker and Monica Schüler;
Shrewsbury (GB) -
Stuart Lister (Team Manager), Gail Evans, Ruth Elcock, Diane Whitney, Jackie Chidlow, Maureen Roberts, Olwen Lea, Tove Fjeld, Penny Kinsella, Bernice Davies, Margaret Ratcliffe, Dave Moore, Chris Maydew, Glyn Ashton, Philip Wardle, Geoffrey Hunt, Charles Frank, Robert Davies, Malcolm Ibbotson, Kelvin McDonald, Roger Ratcliffe and Shrewsbury Town FC footballers Peter Dolby, Ken Howells, Joe Healey and Paul Bevan.

Games: The Lauriston Grand Prix, Flying High, The Pupils' Pillow Fight, The Scottish Steeplechase, Lassoing the Clowns, Balls in the Clock Tower and The Ghost Riders;
Jeu Intermédiaire: The Pelican Roulette;
Jokers: Small Joker Playing Cards.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour

1 2 3 4 5 6 JI 7
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B

1

2 --- 4 4 6 1 1

CH

2

5

2

---

2

10

3

5

D

6

3

5

5

---

2

5

4

GB

5

10

5

2

3

---

5

2

I 4 --- 5 2 5 8 3 3
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 1 3 3 7 11 17 18 19

CH

2

7

9

9

11

21

24

29

D

6

9

14

19

19

21

26

30

GB

5

15

20

22

25

25

30

32

I 4 4 9 11 16 24 27 30

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
2nd
4th
5th

 GB • Shrewsbury l l
 I • Lecco
 D • Weiden in der Oberpfalz
 CH • Lausanne
 B • Ixelles

32
30
30
29
19

The Venue

Edinburgh, Great Britain

This heat was held in the playground of George Heriot’s School located in the Old Town area of Edinburgh. With a pupil roll of around 1600 pupils, it was originally founded as George Heriot’s Hospital in 1628 by bequest of the royal goldsmith George Heriot. The building was eventually changed to educational status in 1659.

The Games in Detail

Game 2 - Flying High

Game 2 - ‘Flying High’ - was harder to execute than it first seemed. The idea was that two team-mates would be swung towards each other on playground swings and pass balls from one to the other. However, the player passing the ball also had to throw it through a large hoop above them before the other player could catch it. In normal circumstances this would have been easy, but the pushers had to time it correctly as well as measure the force at which they pushed each swing. Although they could time it to come together at the same time, there was a ‘small gap’ of time which had to be allowed for the ball to be thrown, to go through the hoop and to drop towards the catcher. The British team had a very good technique and were so confident they would win, that they played their Joker on the game. Fortune was on their side on the night because they not reckoned on the Swiss team’s performance and almost came unstuck. Both teams managed the same score on the game and 10 pts were in the bag for the British team. This was their second of three consecutive winning games which, with the exception of the first game when the West German team played their Joker and led them by 1pt, the Shrewsbury team stayed at the top of the scoreboard throughout the programme.


Jeu Intermédiaire - The Pelican Roulette

The Jeu Intermédiaire - ‘The Pelican Roulette’ - was a simple game but which proved to be an interesting and, at the end, exciting game. The game involved a mechanical digger, a drainpipe slope and a revolving roulette-type wheel with four open compartments set at a 90° angle to the drainpipe slope exit. On the whistle, the male competitor had to position the digger over a podium which housed a small football. Guided by his female team-mate, he had to pick the ball up with the claws of the digger and then proceed to the top of the drainpipe slope. The girl then had to time the revolution of the roulette wheel and on her signal, he opened the jaws of the digger’s claw to release the ball and to set it in motion down the slope. If she timed it correctly, the ball met one of the open compartments as the wheel revolved round and the ball would fall inside the wheel. If she failed, then the ball hit the closed compartments of the wheel and the ball dropped to the floor. Either way, the game was repeated until time limit. British presenter Eddie Waring stated that during rehearsals, the West Germans had been very good at the game and sure enough on the night they did not disappoint, scoring four correct hits. The British went last and, after a shaky start, they outshone their rehearsal performances by equalling the score of four hits set by the Weiden in der Oberpfalz team in the previous round. This result secured the team their fourth winning game of the night, and gave them a 3pt lead going into the final game. Viewers watching this heat may have been slightly confused by this game’s title and wondered what part of the game referred to a pelican. In fact, the ‘pelican’ reference was to the large mechanical digger built by Coles of London called 'The Pelican'. The company originally began producing cranes for the construction industry way back in 1878, but branched out in the early 1960s to produce earth-moving vehicles. It was named ‘The Pelican’ because it was the first of its type to have the large suspended bucket at the front of the overhead hydraulic arm, said to represent a pelican’s large bill.


Game 4 - The Scottish Steeplechase

Like the Jeu Intermédiaire, Game 4 - ‘The Scottish Steeplechase’ - was a simple game, but it turned into a nightmare for the British and Italian teams. The game involved a girl from each team dressed as a clown and a female team-mate dressed as a jockey mounted on a small wooden horse on wheels. On the whistle, the ‘clown’ had to inflate a balloon by mouth in the normal manner until it burst, and so as to prevent the balloon being burst by fingernails, the girls also had to wear cotton gloves. The balloon bursting signalled to her team-mate that she could begin the game, and it was basically a race up a ridged incline (to simulate fences) with the assistance of a male team-mate, who pulled the horse by a rope from the top of the slope. On reaching the top, all she had to do was to collect a balloon and return back down the slope to her ‘clown’, who then burst the balloon with her foot and the game was then repeated. The Belgian and West German teams participated in the first round of the game and had no trouble inflating and bursting the balloons, with both of them achieving their goal in less than 30 seconds. The second round of the game pitted Great Britain against Italy, and both had trouble inflating their balloon to bursting point. The British girl was given another balloon after her original one seemed to deflate on its own, and the team’s captain protested that the balloon had been faulty. British presenter David Vine stated that there was no question of foul-play as all teams had had equal chance as the balloons had been drawn from a bag randomly. The game continued but neither of the girls could burst their balloons within the 2 minutes time limit and they both were awarded 2 pts each.

Presenters, Officials and Production Team

As the teams were introduced, Camillo Felgen commented to the West German audience at home that although the British team's name was spelt as Shrewsbury (like shoes-berry) it was pronounced ‘Shrowsbury’ (like crows-berry). He then went on to repeat this later in the programme adding that this was an example of the peculiarities of the English language.

Memories of JSF

Viewer Cad Delworth has a fascinating memory of this JSF heat: "One heat of the show was held in Edinburgh, in the grounds of the school I attended (George Heriot's School). Anyway, at the time we had a TV set which did both VHF (405 lines) and UHF (the new-fangled 625-line colour service). I lived probably within a couple of miles of the school, and being that kind of 'techie child', I found that by turning the UHF tuning barrel right down to channel 21 or probably more like 20, I could hear one side of the on-site communications! I listened enthralled to the familiar voices of the presenters - and some of the crew - for hours, since this was during school holidays, and working in TV or radio was my ambition. So far, so ordinary, but during one of the breaks between games, where presumably some female contestants were changing into or out of swimming costumes behind a screen, I distinctly heard one of the presenters say "Oooh! What do we have here?! It's some young ladies undressing! It's the George Heriot's strip club!" followed by laughter."

Additional Information

The heat was opened by the Hawick Pipers playing Scotland the Brave and school children from Edinburgh danced the traditional Scottish sword dance in national costume. Whilst this was occurring, West German commentator Camillo Felgen explained to his national television audience the number of famous people associated with the city. These included Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of the first telephone), Arthur Conan Doyle (author of the Sherlock Holmes stories), Sir Walter Scott (author of Ivanhoe) and Robert Louis Stevenson (author of Treasure Island and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde).

Communication problems returned to haunt the programme in this heat. As the scores for the penultimate game were being announced the live audio and visual link from Edinburgh was lost and a placard was placed on-screen stating ‘We regret this breakdown’. However, the audio link from the commentary box was not lost and audio continued. Fortunately, the breakdown only lasted a minute before normal service was resumed.

Unusually, the scoreboard for this edition featured both the French and Flemish names for the Belgian team - Ixelles and Elsene - alternate names for the same suburb of Brussels.

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

 

I

Jeux Sans Frontières 1969

Heat 3

Event Staged: Wednesday 23rd July 1969
Venue: The Artificial Lake and Palace Courtyard,
Palazzo Reale di Caserta (Royal Palace of Caserta), Caserta, Italy

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BRT (B):
Wednesday 23rd July 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
RTB (B):
Wednesday 23rd July 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
SSR (CH-French):
Wednesday 23rd July 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 23rd July 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
RAI Due (I):
Wednesday 23rd July 1969, 10.05-11.20 (Live - DST)
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 25th July 1969, 9.05-10.20pm

Theme: Arts and Crafts

Teams: Andenne (B) v. Arth-Goldau (CH) v. Kempen am Niederrhein (D) v.
Cardiff (GB) v. Frascati (I)

Team Members included:
Cardiff (GB) -
J.W. Colley, W. Payne;
Frascati (I) -
Giovanni Bellini.

Games: The Acrobats, The Marionettes, The Florists, The Sculptors, The Dolls, The Clowns and The Bowl of Spaghetti;
Jeu Intermédiaire: The Pinball Machine;
Jokers: Country Coded Cards.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour

1 2 3 4 5 6 JI 7
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B

1

--- 2 3 6 3 1 1

CH

5

3

---

4

3

5

3

10

D

4

2

8

---

4

4

4

2

GB

3

4

4

2

---

6

5

4

I 2 5 5 5 10 --- 2 3
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 1 1 3 6 12 15 16 17

CH

5

8

8

12

15

20

23

33

D

4

6

14

14

18

22

26

28

GB

3

7

11

13

13

19

24

28

I 2 7 12 17 27 27 29 32

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
3rd
5th

 CH • Arth-Goldau l
 I • Frascati
 D • Kempen am Niederrhein
 GB • Cardiff
 B • Andenne

33
32
28
28
17

The Venue

Caserta, Italy

The venue for this heat was the Royal Palace of Caserta which is a former royal residence in Caserta, southern Italy and constructed for the Bourbon Kings of Naples. It was the largest palace and one of the largest buildings erected in Europe during the eighteenth century. The games were held in two locations at the palace. The huge artificial lake built at the extreme north-western corner of the palace’s boundary saw presenters Enzo Tortora and Giulio Marchetti with Gennaro Olivieri as referee with and the palace courtyard saw presenter Renato Mauro with Guido Pancaldi adjudicating.

The Games in Detail

Game 5 - The Dolls

The Swiss team fell foul of their own determination to win the fifth game - 'The Dolls'. The idea of the game was that two large mannequins floating in the lake had to be climbed by a male team member whilst being counterbalanced by two other team members. On reaching the head of the doll, he had to place a necklace, descend and pick up another necklace. After he had placed four necklaces, he returned to the base and a girl then had to climb the doll and place a tiara on its head. Whilst all the other three competing teams on the game held the tiara in one hand and climbed using the other, the Swiss girl hung the tiara around her neck. The other girls seemed to have some trouble climbing, but she reached the top quite quickly. However, in her haste one of the tiara’s points had become entangled with her country ident dossard and she struggled to free it. Eventually, she had to untie the dossard around her neck to release the tiara. The time she lost doing this allowed the Italians to win the game playing their Joker and for the West Germans to sneak into second place.


Game 7 - The Bowl of Spaghetti

The final game in this heat - 'The Bowl of Spaghetti - was interesting for two reasons. Firstly, the idea of the game was that five chefs with spaghetti forks had to run to a large bowl of spaghetti which was placed in the middle of the arena. Using only the forks, they had to carry the spaghetti from the bowl to a large basket, repeating the operation until all the spaghetti had been removed from the bowl. During the game, West German commentator Tim Elstner stated that the bowl contained 10 km of spaghetti made of a heavy duty nylon material, which was the reason the competitors found it a struggle to carry it back to the baskets. Secondly, the Swiss went into the game six points behind the Italians but played their Joker. The Italians did very well on the game and when their basket was weighed, the team believed they had done enough to win. However, the Swiss and British baskets were then weighed and both were heavier. As Gennaro awarded the points, commentator Tim Elstner let out a sigh of surprise. He had forgotten about the Swiss Joker and this meant they were awarded 10 pts on the game and leapt from 4th place to 1st. With the British coming 2nd and scoring 4 pts, the Italians were pushed into 3rd place (3 pts) on the game and lost the competition by a single point. Talk about leaving it to the last moment!

Returning Teams and Competitors

Italian competitor Giovanni Bellini made the seventh of his nine appearances in Jeux Sans Frontières at this heat. He had previously participated for both of the successful Montecatini Terme teams in 1966 and 1967 as well as Terracina in 1968 (all of which reached either the Semi-Final (1966) or the International Final (1967 and 1968). He made further appearances as a member of the Ancona team in 1970 and Bracciano in 1975.

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

 

CH

Jeux Sans Frontières 1969

Heat 4

Event Staged: Wednesday 6th August 1969
Venue: Piscine Municipale (Municipal Swimming Pool), Martigny, Switzerland

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BRT (B):
Wednesday 6th August 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
RTB (B):
Wednesday 6th August 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
SSR (CH-French):
Wednesday 6th August 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 6th August 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 8th August 1969, 9.05-10.20pm
RAI Due (I):
Friday 8th August 1969

Winner's Trophy presented by: Edouard Morand, Mayor of Martigny

Theme: Wild Animals

Teams: Halle (B) v. Martigny (CH) v. Minden an der Weser (D) v.
Dunbar (GB) v. Foggia (I)

Team Members included:
Dunbar (GB) - 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.

Games: The Spanish Bull, The Brown Bears, Diving for the Salmon, The Pollinating Bees, The Skating Penguins, The Golden Eagles and The Chicken's Eggs;
Jeu Intermédiaire: Feeding Time!;
Jokers: Cartoon Mice.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour

1 2 3 4 5 6 JI 7
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B

4

2 2 4 --- 2 1 1

CH

5

4

3

3

10

---

4

5

D

1

---

10

5

2

5

3

3

GB

4

4

---

4

4

4

2

2

I 4 10 4 --- 2 3 5 5
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 4 6 8 12 12 14 15 16

CH

5

9

12

15

25

25

29

34

D

1

1

11

16

18

23

26

29

GB

4

8

8

12

16

20

22

24

I 4 14 18 18 20 23 28 33

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th

 CH • Martigny l l
 I • Foggia
 D • Minden an der Weser
 GB • Dunbar
 B • Halle

34
33
29
24
16

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - The Spanish Bull

The first game - ‘The Spanish Bull’ - involved two young men from each team having to enter a wire-fenced arena by means of climbing the fencing with a large polystyrene block bearing their country’s insignia. Once in the arena, they had to avoid the rampaging bull and then try to build a tower using the building blocks. Once placed in the arena, the competitors had to exit the same way they entered and then repeat the task until limit time of the game. However, this was not as easy as it sounds because whilst the team were trying to avoid the bull, other teams were trying to encourage the bull towards any of their rivals’ towers to try and get it to knock them down. The bull was utilised for the same purpose in the last game, where male team members had to use trapeze swings to avoid the bull whilst collecting chicken’s eggs and placing them in a large net.


Jeu Intermédiaire - Feeding Time!

When Great Britain played their Jeu Intermédiaire, the team’s strategy was to fire on all guns and race across the beam instead of going slow and avoiding the punch-bags. However this tactic backfired on them because they were only able to score a total of seven trays and because of this they ran out of trays to use. The referees had to swiftly bring in more trays and added another 15 seconds on to their limit time to show fair play.


Game 5 - The Skating Penguins

On Game 5 - ‘The Skating Penguins’ - the Swiss and British teams played their Jokers. The game involved two boys on ice skates dressed in penguin costumes attached to either end of the course by a large elastic cord. On the whistle, the two penguins had to skate towards each other and hand a fish from one to the other. Switzerland and Great Britain played first and whilst the Swiss could only manage to hand over three fish, the British failed to score. The West Germans and Italians played in the second round but neither of them was able to score either. Switzerland were awarded 10 pts on their Joker, while Great Britain, West Germany and Italy were awarded a joint last place registering 2 pts each (with Dunbar's score doubled to 4 pts) because they had failed to score. Interestingly, Great Britain chose to play their Joker on the only game of the first six where they didn't finish in second place!

Looks Familiar?

This heat was similar to the Italian International Heat of the previous year, as it featured live animals, in this instance in the first game and the Jeu Intermédiaire. In the latter they were used for purely cosmetic purpose, as the game concerned zookeepers crossing a pool on a narrow beam with trays of fish, whilst avoiding large punch-bags swung by the opposing teams. After they had crossed the pool with the trays, they were handed to a stagehand who fed the fish to penguins. However when the Italian team played one of their team members threw the trays into the very small pool which housed the penguins, and injured one of the penguins. Following complaints from animal welfare authorities that both games constituted a cruel use of animals, live animals were never used again in Jeux Sans Frontières after the 1969 series, though their use continued in Intervilles, the French Domestic series.

Additional Information

Electrical power supplies seem to have been something of an Achilles heel for Jeux Sans Frontières in 1969. After the problems encountered in the first heat from Brugge, Belgium which caused three quarters of the picturesque Flanders city to be blacked out, a similar crisis struck the Swiss heat from Martigny. Interviewed in 1977 for the Swiss press, Jean Bovon - the director of this and the 1977 heat for SSR - revealed that due to power supply problems, the rest of Martigny had to be blacked out to allow the recording and Eurovision transmission to continue.

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

 

D

Jeux Sans Frontières 1969

Heat 5

Event Staged: Wednesday 20th August 1969
Venue: VfL Stadion, Wolfsburg, West Germany

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BRT (B):
Wednesday 20th August 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
RTB (B):
Wednesday 20th August 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
SSR (CH-French):
Wednesday 20th August 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 20th August 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 22nd August 1969, 9.05-10.20pm
RAI Due (I):
Friday 22nd August 1969

Winner's Trophy presented by: Camillo Felgen, ARD-WDR Presenter

Theme: German Funfair Attractions

Teams: Gosselies (B) v. Chiasso (CH) v. Wolfsburg (D) v.
Coleraine (GB) v. Alba (I)

Team Members included:
Wolfsburg (D) -
Bärbel Auweiler, Bernd Auweiler, Volker Auweiler, Wolfgang Auweiler, Sigried Müller, Monika Plaat, Werner Prante, Maria Skritek, Leo Sprey and Leo Zimmermann;
Coleraine (GB) - Ray Rankin (Team Manager), Betty McWhirter (Ladies’ Team Captain), Ronnie Cameron, Rosemary Lagan, Richard Lyons, Philip McGarvey.

Games: Push-Me Pull-Me Llamas, Replicating the Doll, The Spinning Tea-Cups, Taking Pigs to Market, The Giant Boxers, The Candy Floss Sellers and The Wheel of Death;
Jeu Intermédiaire: The Trapeze Artiste;
Jokers: Joker Playing Cards.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour

1 2 3 4 5 6 JI 7
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B

4

2 2 --- 6 4 1 1

CH

1

3

3

4

---

3

4

10

D

3

5

4

3

10

---

5

3

GB

2

---

10

2

4

2

3

2

I 5 4 --- 10 2 5 2 4
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 4 6 8 8 14 18 19 20

CH

1

4

7

11

11

14

18

28

D

3

8

12

15

25

25

30

33

GB

2

2

12

14

18

20

23

25

I 6 9 9 19 21 26 28 32

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th

 D • Wolfsburg l l
 I • Alba
 CH • Chiasso
 GB • Coleraine
 B • Gosselies

33
32
28
25
20

The Venue

Wolfsburg, West Germany

This heat was held at the VfL Stadium in Wolfsburg which served as the home ground for football team VfL Wolfsburg - Verein für Leibesübungen (People for Physical Education) Wolfsburg - until 2002. In 1995, the town council granted the football team a much-needed five million Euro loan to build a new stadium on the eastern side of the town. The old stadium still stands and is currently used by the town’s amateur side.

The Games in Detail

Game 4 - Taking Pigs to Market

Again the motion for animal rights was brought to the fray in this heat. Game 4 - ‘Taking Pigs to Market’ - involved four enclosed lanes each containing four piglets. On the whistle a ‘farmer' had to mount and 'steer' a simulated mother pig and two of her piglets along the lane and lock them in a pen at the end. Three-quarters of the way down the lane, the farmer was able to dismount the mother pig and herd the piglets along the remaining course by any means possible. This allowed for the piglets to be slapped and kicked to get them to move.


Game 7 - The Wheel of Death

The final game in this heat was based on the historic fairground attraction - ‘The Wheel of Death’ - and involved five male team members inside a high-netted cage filled with hundreds of footballs on a carousel which was set in motion by five stagehands. After it had picked up the required speed, the carousel was set free and on the whistle the men inside the cage could then start throwing the balls out of the cage to their team-mates who were each located on a high podium around the outside the cage. This had to be timed right as the laws of kinetic energy and centrifugal motion meant that the balls had to be released some distance before reaching the podiums. The Swiss team played their Joker on this game and they won the game by the smallest margin, picking up 10 pts. However, unlike national rivals Arth-Goldau in International Heat 3, this had no effect on the final result as they were 12 pts behind the leading team before the start. Incidentally, the game equipment used on this game did not operate as planned. After the stagehands released the carousel it was supposed to continue spinning throughout the game but an unexpected fault with the mechanism caused it to slow down and stop. The stagehands rushed in to restart it but after a short while it stopped again, and the procedure had to be repeated.

Additional Information

The Swiss team member from Chiasso who participated on the Jeu Intermédiaire was presented with a brand new Volkswagen Camper van as he was the highest scoring player from the four opponents to Wolfsburg.

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

 

Teams Qualifying for International Final

Country

 Team Qualifying Heat Position Points
B  Brugge-Zeebrugge 1 B 5 20

CH

 Martigny

4 CH 1 34

D

 Wolfsburg

5 D 1 33

GB

 Shrewsbury

2 GB 1 32
I  Adria 1 B 1 circa 33
 

GB

Jeux Sans Frontières 1969

International Final

Event Staged: Wednesday 3rd September 1969
Venue: South Promenade and Bathing Pool, Blackpool, Great Britain

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BRT (B):
Wednesday 3rd September 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
RTB (B):
Wednesday 3rd September 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
SSR (CH-French):
Wednesday 3rd September 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 3rd September 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
BBC1 (GB):
Wednesday 3rd September 1969, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
RAI Due (I):
Friday 5th September 1969

Teams: Brugge-Zeebrugge (B) v. Martigny (CH) v. Wolfsburg (D) v.
Shrewsbury (GB) v. Adria (I)

Team Members included:
Wolfsburg (D) -
Bärbel Auweiler, Bernd Auweiler, Volker Auweiler, Wolfgang Auweiler, Sigried Müller, Monika Plaat, Werner Prante, Maria Skritek, Leo Sprey and Leo Zimmermann;

Shrewsbury (GB) - Stuart Lister (Team Manager), Gail Evans, Ruth Elcock, Diane Whitney, Jackie Chidlow, Maureen Roberts, Olwen Lea, Tove Fjeld, Penny Kinsella, Bernice Davies, Margaret Ratcliffe, Dave Moore, Chris Maydew, Glyn Ashton, Philip Wardle, Geoffrey Hunt, Charles Frank, Robert Davies, Malcolm Ibbotson, Kelvin McDonald, Roger Ratcliffe, Barry Shearman and Shrewsbury Town FC footballers Peter Dolby, Ken Howells, Joe Healey and Paul Bevan;
Adria (I) - Aldo Pasini (Team Captain), Franco Monti (Vice Team Captain), Robert Amà, Licia Barzan, Gianfranco Bellato, Adriana Bevilacqua, Franco Costantini, Gastone Carraro, Luigi Carraro, Maria Pia Cavallari, Virgilio Crema, Nelko Domeneghetti, Andrea Facco, Raffaella Franzoso, Giorgio Freghina, Elena Maltarello, Tullio Malusa, Renzo Martello, Maria Mazzariol, Rino Moda, Pietro Morandin, Donatella Pastore, Paolo Persuin, Giorgio Pozzati, Lucia Ranzato, Giovanni Rinaldi, Leandro Riondato, Paolo Scagnetto, Ruggero Stragliotto, Vanna Vanni, Paolo Vianello, Luciano Vomiero, Christina Zanchi.

Games included: The Mallet Trial and The Greased Plank (Tie-break).

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
1st

3rd
4th
5th

 GB • Shrewsbury l
 D • Wolfsburg
l
 B • Brugge-Zeebrugge
l
 I • Adria
l
 CH • Martigny

32
32

31
26
24

(Scores unconfirmed.)
Rankings taken from BBC production team member Brian Clark's contemporary notes.

The Host Town

Blackpool, Lancashire

Blackpool is a Lancashire seaside town, situated on the Irish Sea. It is located 43km (27mi) north of Liverpool and 64km (40mi) north-west of Manchester, along the north-west coast between the Ribble and Wyre river estuaries. It was a coastal hamlet until the mid-18th century, when it became fashionable in England to travel to the coast during the summer to bathe in sea water to improve well-being.
 

The Blackpool Tower, opened in May 1894,
is Great Britain's most identifiable seafront construction

 

In 1781, visitors attracted to Blackpool's 11km (7mi) sandy beach were able to use a newly built private road, built by Thomas Clifton and Sir Henry Houghton. Blackpool rose to prominence as a major centre of tourism in England when a railway was built in the 1840s connecting it to the industrialised regions of Northern England. The railway made it much easier and cheaper for visitors to reach Blackpool, triggering an influx of settlers, such that in 1876 Blackpool was governed by its own town council and aldermen. In 1881 Blackpool was a booming resort with a population of 14,000 and a promenade complete with three piers, fortune-tellers, public houses, trams, donkey rides, fish-and-chip shops and theatres. In addition to its sandy beaches, Blackpool's major attractions and landmarks include the Blackpool Tower, the annual Blackpool illuminations, the Pleasure Beach theme park and the UK’s only surbviving first generation tramway dating back to 1885, which stretches 18km (11mi) from the airport at Squires Gate all the way to the fishing port of Fleetwood.

The Venue

South Promenade Bathing Pool and Promenade

The games at this International Final were held in two locations along Blackpool’s famous promenade opposite its famous Pleasure Beach and were separated only by the wall of the South Promenade Bathing Pool itself. Built in 1923, the South Promenade Bathing Pool was affectionately referred to as Blackpool’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’ and was frequented by the rich and famous in its early years.
 

An aerial view of the South Promenade and former Bathing Pool

 

The cost of building the classical-style Coliseum with its Roman pillars around the pool alone was in the region of £75,000. Many stars of the cinema even took time out to bathe in its beautiful surroundings which included Sir Harry Lauder (1870-1950) in 1932 and Hollywood blonde-bombshell Jayne Mansfield (1933-1967) in 1959, and in 1934 Associated Talking Pictures used the pool for scenes in the Gracie Fields (1898-1967) musical Sing As We Go. Within a year of opening the pool had attracted over 94,000 bathers and by the end of the decade the number of visitors had totalled over nine million!

Said to have been the largest pool in the world, it was set amongst the large promenades, nestling on the edge of golden sands within the bracing air. The stadium received the world’s press, television and cinema, as a result of being the venue for the Miss Blackpool and Miss World Contests. The pool had an unusually shaped oval perimeter, the pool itself being D-shaped, and having a concaved pageant platform. There was a "cut out" for the diving boards at one end, where the depth of the water was 4.57m (15ft). The pool area was of huge scale, approximately 114.6m long x 51.8m wide (376ft x 170ft). The shape necessitated a swimming events area which was partitioned when necessary. There were of course refreshment areas and restaurants. The diving board area was the order of the day, having 2 x 3m (9ft 10¼ins) springboards, 2 x 7.5m (24ft 8ins) firm boards and a 10m (32ft 9¾ins) high-board (which on windy days was claimed to have swayed!).

Sadly the pool and its buildings no longer exist. Due to its very expensive running and maintenance costs and the trend for holidays on the continent, its viability could no longer be sustained, and was closed to the public in 1981. The new leisure complex The Sandcastle Water Park has occupied the site since 1986.

Returning Teams and Competitors

Shrewsbury team member Barry Shearman was ‘roped-in’ at the last moment to participate in the game, ‘The Mallet Trial’. Local Blackpool hotelier Barry was in the crowd during rehearsals and observed the British team were having difficulty in lifting the mallet to ring the bell. He commented to the team captain that he would be able to do it for them if he wanted. He was offered the chance and immediately ‘roped-in’ to compete on the game for Shrewsbury, which on the night of the International Final it duly won. Incidentally, 29-year old Barry would return in 1971 to participate for the Blackpool team and played the Blackpool team’s Joker in 1981 - in the guise of his alter-ego professional wrestler Rex Strong - when the town participated for the final time.

Additional Information

The competition drawn after the final event, a tie-breaker was arranged. This was not intended to declare a winner, but to decide which team would have the Golden Trophy to keep in their council chambers. This tie-breaker was won by the German team from Wolfsburg, so they had the right to take the trophy, even though the result was a draw. At a reception later, it was announced that the German team had decided to hand the trophy over to Shrewsbury as they felt that both teams deserved the trophy. The organisers agreed to later present Wolfsburg with an exact replica of the Golden Trophy. A remarkable and creditable gesture from the German team. As there was now a tied result, it meant that the Belgian team from Brugge-Zeebrugge was promoted to receive the silver trophy instead of the bronze, and the Italian team from Adria received the bronze trophy for their 4th place finish. As there were only five competing countries this year, it resulted in only the Swiss team Martigny not receiving a trophy in this International Final! This situation was to be repeated again in the 1988 International Final.

The prize money for the team winning the competition was £4,000, with £2,000 for finishing in second place. As joint-winners, Shrewsbury and Wolfsburg shared £6,000, going home from Blackpool with £3,000 a team.

Shrewsbury performed a rare feat in Jeux Sans Frontières history. In their journey that lead to their winning the Golden Trophy, they didn't once step outside their home territory. They played their domestic heat in Shrewsbury, Great Britain, their international heat in Edinburgh, Great Britain and competed in the International Final in Blackpool, Great Britain. This has only been equalled on four occasions, by Como (Italy) in 1970, Acores (Portugal) in 1989, Vigevano (Italy) in 1991 and Bolzano Sudtirol (Italy) in 1999. The last instance is not as out of the ordinary as those previous, as all 1999 heats were staged in Italy!

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