It's A Knockout 1974
British Domestic Series

Presenters: Eddie Waring and Stuart Hall
Referee:
Arthur Ellis

Designer: Stuart Furber
Producer:
Barney Colehan
Director:
Bill Taylor
A BBC North West Production

GB

It's A Knockout 1974

Heat 1

Event Staged: Sunday 14th April 1974 (Easter Sunday) at 3.30pm
Venue: Princes Park, Southport, Merseyside, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 3rd May 1974, 8.15-9.00pm

Nationwide / Radio Times 'Miss Knockout': Pauline Davies from Warrington, Cheshire

Teams: Southport v. Wyre (Fleetwood)

Team Members included:
Southport -
Harry Boyle (Team Coach), Charles Buxton (Team Captain), Sheila Brookfield, Mike Dolman, Gina Forrigno, Helen Jenkins, Ian Jenkins, Shirley Rodwell, Kevin Stringfellow, Chris Whittle;
Wyre -
Ken Morris (Team Coach), Ray Coulthurst (Team Captain), Janet Curwen, Mike Donnelly, Christine Edwards, Peter Evans, Maureen McChrystal, Susan Naylor, Howard Rawnsley, Graham Turner, Gail Wilson.

Games included: Punch Bag Swing and Cycle Humps.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard
(see Additional Information)

1st
2nd

 S • Southport
 W Wyre (Fleetwood)

18
2

Southport qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Bouillon, Belgium:
staged on Tuesday 28th May 1974.
This result secured Southport the Radio Times Trophy for 1974
for the highest scoring team in the British heats.

The Venue

Princes Park, Southport, Merseyside

Wyre (the local authority for Fleetwood and the surrounding area) became the first competing It’s a Knockout team to take its name from the local authority which governed it. This followed the complete redistribution of county boundaries under the Local Government Act of 1972, and throughout the United Kingdom from 1st April 1974, new counties such as Greater Manchester and West Midlands first appeared on maps.

Returning Teams and Competitors

The Southport team returned to demonstrate the games at the British International Heat in 1975, when the programme was held in the town’s open-air bathing pool.

Additional Information

As the points for the Marathon were allocated, Southport were awarded 4pts for winning the game. However, the scoregirl inadvertently added only 3pts to the total and the score was showing as 15-2. This error went unnoticed for the remainder of the programme, with Southport winning the last game bringing the score to 17-2. Even after the programme ended, the mistake had not been picked up on, and it was only once the editing room staff ran through the programme with the production team the following week, that the blatant error was realised. To ensure fair play and with the possibility at the time, that the score could be beaten by another team later in the series, the BBC had to make a decision to overcome the error. Firstly, they could change the rules so that the winning score for the Marathon was 3pts for each of the programmes or admit the error. The first option had now passed because the second heat in the series had been recorded two days before the error was realised. As a consequence of this, presenter Stuart Hall corrected the mistake at the third heat at Ripon Racecourse, by explaining the reason and that the score for Southport had been corrected to 18pts.
 

The Southport team navigate the Cycle Humps game

 

Pauline Davies, who was Miss Knockout in this heat, went on to become Miss England in 1976 as well as a contestant in the Miss Europe competition later the same year!

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives, but short excerpts from this edition exist in the BBC compilation, Best of Knockout 1974. Details in Knockout TV.

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1974

Heat 2

Event Staged: Sunday 21st April 1974
Venue: The Courtyard, Warwick Castle, Warwick, Warwickshire, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 10th May 1974, 8.15-9.00pm

Nationwide / Radio Times 'Miss Knockout': Karen Apted from Birmingham, West Midlands

Teams: Warwick v. Rugby

Team Members included:
Rugby -
Derek Dolphin (Team Manager), Bob Trenholme (Team Coach), Chris Aldous, Kristine Ash, Margaret Baker, Ashley Bartlett, Jean Beards, Barry Booth, Dawn Branston, Dawn Brown, George Buss, Linda Carter, David Cooke, Mandy Davis, Simon Davis, Ann Denny, Rajenda Desai, Richard Ellis, Keith Foster, Mary Gibbon, Sharon Hobbs, Victoria Jones, Patricia Kidd, Carol Lake, Rosamund Lane, Naheed Malik, Geoff Marlow, Graham Paterson, Kathy Paterson, Roy Pebody, David Pope, Bill Robertson, Tony Russell, David Thompson, James Turner, Murray Walker, Jackie Watts, Maurice West;
Warwick - Arthur Harrison (Team Coach), Steven Amos, Leslie Barnett, Michael Day, Bryan Fraser, Robert Gibbs, Linda Robinson, Linda Shaw, Pat Stevens, Bill Stone, Paul Tallis, Susan Whyford.

Games: Drum Roll, The Greasy Ball, Water Lasso, Up ‘n’ Over the Pole, Bounce and Score, The Covent Garden Stallholders’ Nightmare and Elastic Skaters;
Marathon: Netball Slide.

Game Results and Standings

Games

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

0

W 0 4 0 0 0 2 4

2

Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
R 4 4 6 8 10 10 10

10

W 0 4 4 4 4 6 10

12

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 W • Warwick
 R Rugby

12
10

Warwick qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Zandvoort, Netherlands:
staged on Wednesday 12th June 1974

Rugby qualified as the highest scoring losing team for
Jeux Sans Frontières
at Northampton, Great Britain:
staged on Wednesday 21st August 1974

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - Drum Roll

This was a seemingly one-sided contest for the visiting team of Rugby. Having won the first game on their Joker, they were leading by 4-0.


Game 2 - The Greasy Ball

Not to be outdone, the home team of Warwick immediately struck back by also winning their Joker to level the scores 4-4.


Game 3 - Water Lasso
Game 4 - Up 'n' Over the Pole
Game 5 - Bounce and Score

Then things started to go wrong for the Warwick team and Rugby won the next three games and were now leading 10-4. The home crowd were looking somewhat despondent, but then the tide changed.


Game 6 - The Covent Garden Stallholders' Nightmare

In the sixth game, somewhat obscurely entitled ‘The Covent Garden Stallholders’ Nightmare’, the teams had to build a stack of milk crates as high as possible, by placing them underneath each other one by one, whilst a team member was holding the bottom crate. As the two stacks went higher and higher to almost incredulous heights, Rugby had successfully lifted 31 crates in a stack whilst Warwick were lagging behind with only 29 crates. The crowd knew that if the team lost this game then it would have been impossible to close the gap to Rugby's total. The Rugby team decided to chance their luck and tried to add the 32nd crate underneath, but the pile at the top began to wobble. The home crowd noticed this and began to jeer and whistle to unsettle the player’s nerves, but despite all his efforts to contain the stack, the pile tumbled to the ground and the game was up for Rugby. The Warwick player stood absolutely still on seeing this and waited for the whistle some 15 seconds later from Arthur Ellis. The two points scored in this game brought the score to 10-6 and Warwick now had a chance. It all depended on their final performance on the Marathon.


Marathon - Netball Slide

The Marathon - entitled 'Netball Slide' - was basically a large humped slide which had two large nets attached to it on one side. The players had to descend the slide and throw balls into the nets, scoring one or two points dependent on which net they aimed for. After their third participation in the Marathon, Rugby were leading having scored 54pts, Warwick were on 39pts after their two previous attempts and the team needed to get at least 16pts to beat Rugby. Anything less and once again the contest would have been over for the home team. As time limit approached for the final time on the Marathon, Warwick had scored 13pts. It was now or never and from their final three descents, the team managed to score an additional 4pts to win the game 56-54 and secure the 4pts from the Marathon win. The team had fought back from the brink and the scores were level again at 10-10.


Game 7 - Elastic Skaters

The final game - 'Elastic Skaters' - was a straight water collecting race up a course, with the water being delivered by roller-skating players with large elastic ropes attached to their midriffs. The Warwick team seemed to have caught a second wind and were determined that with all their efforts on the last two games, they were not prepared to give up now. The final score of the game saw Rugby lose to Warwick by just two marks on Arthur Ellis’s dipstick, and the Warwick crowd went absolutely crazy. The team had done the impossible, won by 12-10 having been trailing 10-4 after Game 5, and had booked their trip to Zandvoort in the Netherlands!

Additional Information

After the contest, British High Street travel agents Lunn Poly were offering a choice of ‘package tours’ to Netherlands to see the Warwick team compete in Jeux Sans Frontières. One package offered a three-day holiday with coach transport for £25.50, whilst another offered a five-day visit with air transport for £46.00. Both tours were inclusive of hotel accommodation in Amsterdam! These amounts may seem minute by today’s standards, but the average wage in Great Britain in 1974 was around £58.00 per week (£3025 per annum)!

An article was published in local newspaper The Rugby Advertiser on Friday 31st May 1974 entitled ‘Knockout’ Dilemma for Rugby, and concerned the cancellation of the Portsmouth & Southsea v. Swanage programme the previous Sunday. The article stated the following: "A big surprise for Rugby’s It’s A Knockout team came this week when the BBC invited them to go to Bayreuth in West Germany on September 4th. On Sunday, Portsmouth & Southsea were due to have met Swanage, but the contest had to be cancelled at the last minute due to a strike by BBC technicians. The winning team would have gone forward to play in Bayreuth. Rugby were narrowly beaten by Warwick in April and had been firmly tipped to go to Northampton (even if the contest in Southsea had gone ahead) on August 21st as losers with the highest number of points. But now the Rugby team have been given a choice of the two. Councillor Gerald Calver, who is on the Knockout committee said this week that a decision would be made today, and it could well be that Rugby say no to the Bayreuth challenge and opt for Northampton."

An article in the same newspaper the following Friday was entitled Rugby Stays at Home and stated the following: "Rugby has decided not to accept the BBC’s invitation to go to West Germany instead of Northampton for the next round of It’s A Knockout. At a meeting of the It’s A Knockout sub-committee last Friday, it was decided by seven votes to three to go to Northampton as originally planned on August 21st for the best losers’ heat. The best losing teams from six countries will be Rugby’s competition at Northampton (a statement that was incorrect) and team members will not be allowed into the old race course site where the contest is being fought, unless they can show their passports. It must be the first time that people from Rugby have had to show their passports to get into Northampton!"

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives, but a short excerpt of the opening sequence from this edition exist in the BBC compilation, Best of Knockout 1974. Details in Knockout TV.

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1974

Heat 3

Event Staged: Sunday 5th May 1974
Venue: Ripon Racecourse, Ripon, North Yorkshire, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 17th May 1974, 8.15-9.00pm

Nationwide / Radio Times 'Miss Knockout': Cherry Parrish from Marston, Bedfordshire

Free Gift from JSFnetGB!
Download the Original Souvenir Programme from this event (PDF)

Kindly donated by Neil Storer

Teams: Ripon v. Rotherham

Team Members (Full Squads):
Ripon -
Mike Falkingham (Team Manager), Peter Squires (Team Coach), Mike Hart (Men’s Team Captain), Valerie Briscombe (Ladies’ Team Captain), Peter Appleton, Carol Bainbridge, Michael Barry, Helen Brocklebank, Judy Carling, Margaret Clough, David Colbert, David Day, Peter Ellis, John Falkingham, Mick Forsyth, Michael Gray, Arthur Gyte, Thelma Harrison, David Hirst, David Holmes, Susan Hurst, Andy Jackson, Sue Lever, Alan Marshall, Frank Marshall, Alistair McBain, John Newbould, Jean Ogden, Rod Pickles, Des Quinn, Lana Simpson, Eric Southern, Penny Stanhope, Margaret Storey, Jill Thornton, Caroline Varley, John Williamson, Roland Wood;
Rotherham - John Bideford (Men’s Team Captain), Susanne Jones (Ladies’ Team Captain), Eileen Baker, Sandra Beasley, Keith Brown, Marion Brownett, Vivienne Burns, Peter Coulton, David Crutchley, Lynne Dalton, Malcolm Daltry, Pamela Elliott, H. Evans, Len Evans, Ian Ferguson, Anne Fitzgerald, Carole Fletcher, Bill Green, Christine Green, Brian Harney, Kathryn Harrison, Susan Hibbert, Peter Hunt, Susan Hunt, Lynne Hutton, John Jones, Karen Maplebeck, David O'Hara, Brian Pearson, Mary Pearson, Glen Pine, Lyn Sergeant, Richard Shaw, Alan Simpson, Gerard Tyler, Victor Tyler, Stephen Webb, Granville Wild, J. Winchcombe, Joy Wooller.

Games: Bicycle Netball, The Elastic Slide, The Pecking Hen, Drummin’ it Home, The Water Jump, Down ‘n’ Grab and Rip-Off at Ripon;
Marathon: Slide 'n' Score.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 RH • Rotherham
 RP Ripon

13
9

Rotherham qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Barga, Italy:
staged on Wednesday 10th July 1974

Due to the cancellation of Heat 6, Ripon qualified as the second highest scoring losing team
for Jeux Sans Frontières at Bayreuth, West Germany:
staged on Wednesday 4th September 1974

Additional Information

When the winning team’s name of Rotherham was placed on the scoreboard with the others, the original venue for the Italian International Heat was shown as the city of Viareggio on Italy’s west coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. By the time the Domestic Series had come to an end this was still thought to be the venue for the Italian International Heat. It was not until 1st June 1974 - four days after the first International Heat had been held in Bouillon, Belgium - that the BBC were informed by RAI Television of the change of venue.

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1974

Heat 4

Event Staged: Sunday 12th May 1974 at 5.00pm
Venue: Farnham Park, Farnham, Surrey, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 24th May 1974, 8.15-9.00pm

Nationwide / Radio Times 'Miss Knockout': Ann Rutherford from Tottenham, Greater London

Free Gift from JSFnetGB!
Download the Original Souvenir Programme from this event (PDF)

Teams: Farnham v. Thamesdown

Team Members (Full Squads):
Farnham -
James Wilson (Team Manager), Robert Bradley (Team Coach), William Allen, Yvonne Andrews, Gareth Angel, Christopher Bonner, Judy Comber, Ian Carter, Andrew Christmas, Geoffrey Clark, David ‘Scotty’ Colston, Helen Cooper, Valerie Cooper, Richard Curtis, Barrie Dinsdale, John Dinsdale, Janice Farry, Nicholas De Meric, Barbara Freeman, Pamela Gale, Jefferson Green, Peter Grenham, Lynne Hammett, Sara Hatcher, Felicity Hayes, Ian Hiscock, Glynis Hughes, Jean McLeod, Andrew McSherry, Keith Maisey, Keith Morris, Keith Mortimer, Hugh Osborne, Robert Osbourne, Gillian Parry, Sandra Parsons, Ian Powell, Jeanette Quay, Brian Roberts, Jill Simpson, Kenneth Smith, Margaret Smith, Dino Timms, Susan Tunnicliffe, Andrew Tutt, Michael Vernon, Ronald Wallis, Barry Welch, Susan Wheeler, Sarah Wickins, Martin Wilkes, Ray Woodstock and Robert Young;
Thamesdown - Dougie Savill (Team Coach/ Manager), Pat Harris (Women’s Team Captain), Philip Bollom (Men’s Team Captain), Bill Allen, Wendy Callister, Jean Cooper, Bob Francome, Lesley Freebury, Brenda Gill, Mike Goddard, Stan Harbron, Kenwyn Hazell, Gary Hollingshead, Hugh Irwin, Margaret Kelly, Peter Kempshall, Helen Lovelady, Toni Marchant, Janice Morris, Steve Ottaway, Lynne Perry, Sue Perkins, Linda Phillips, Ian Ribbens, Brian Roberts, Nigel Roberts, Angela Robertson, Bryan Saunders, Steve Savill, Sam Smyth, Allen Webb and Dave Wood.

Games (Official Titles): Fireman’s Throw, Ballista and Flour Bags, Motor Bike Relay, Canvas Run, Wheelbarrow Race, Water Trapeze and Push and Slide;
Marathon: Ball Race.

Game Results and Standings

Games

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

2

T 0 0 0 0 0 2 4

0

Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
F 2 6 8 10 12 12 12

14

T 0 0 0 0 0 2 6

6

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 F • Farnham
 T Thamesdown

14
6

Farnham qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Avenches, Switzerland:
staged on Wednesday 24th July 1974

The Host Town

Farnham, Surrey

Farnham is a town located 34½ miles (55.5km) south-west of London in the extreme west of the county of Surrey. Lying adjacent to the border with Hampshire, it is 11 miles (17km) west of Guildford and 28 miles (45km) north-east of Winchester along the same axis as London. The town lies in the fertile valley of the Wey and its rich soil proved particularly suited to growing hops which, until World War I (1914-1918), were grown on every available plot of ground in the neighbourhood. Only a few hop grounds now remain, but in the last century there were more than 40 hop kilns at work in the town and 53 public houses!
 

Carnival day on Farnham's historic Castle Street

 

The town takes its name from the Anglo-Saxons with Farnham listed as Fearnhamme in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Fearn refers to the fern and bracken of the land and Hamme to the water meadows. In AD 688, King Caedwalla of Wessex gave Farnham to the Church and it remained in the hands of the Bishop of Winchester for over 1,000 years. The Norman castle, which is a symbol of the town, was used as a convenient stopping place by most of the early sovereigns on the road from London to Winchester, the old capital of England, to the continental port of Southampton. King John enjoyed hunting in the Bishop’s woods and stayed at the castle no less than eighteen times with his faithful Bishop Peter des Roches. Henry VIII and Emperor Charles V also hunted here.

Under King John, Farnham became a borough and it received charters from the Bishop in 1248 and 1566. It grew in prosperity and during the 17th Century became the largest wheat market in the south of England, sending great quantities of corn to London. At one time, up to 1,100 wagons would draw into the town on market day, and today the many long yards still to be seen behind the shops in the borough and West Street bear witness to this fact.

The Castle came under attack during the Civil War and for three years was the headquarters of the Parliamentary army. Thousands of soldiers were quartered in and around the town and drilled in the park. After hostilities ceased, the Keep was ‘slighted’ to make it indefensible and its stones were used to pave the Farnham streets.

In the 18th Century, the cultivation of the hop brought even greater prosperity and at this period the splendid Georgian houses in Castle Street - generally considered the finest in Surrey - were built by rich hop growers. The town’s most famous son, William Cobbett (1763-1835), was an English pamphleteer, farmer and journalist. He believed that reforming Parliament and abolishing the rotten boroughs would help to end the poverty of farm labourers, and he attacked the borough-mongers, sinecurists (persons in office that requires or involves little or no responsibility) and "tax-eaters" relentlessly. He was also against the Corn Laws, a tax on imported grain. Early in his career, he was a loyalist supporter of King and Country, but later he joined and successfully publicised the radical movement, which led to the Reform Bill of 1832, and to his winning the parliamentary seat of Oldham. His birthplace is at the public house now named after him in Bridge Square and his tomb is in the parish churchyard near the north door of the church. At his funeral in 1835, the London coaches stopped for a quarter of an hour to enable the passengers to attend the ceremony.

A few steps from Cobbett’s birthplace is the Maltings, a fine 19th Century industrial building, which the people of Farnham bought in 1968 when they raised £28,000 by public subscription in six weeks to save it from demolition. The Maltings Association were sponsors of this It’s A Knockout event and have converted the building into a first-rate Community Centre and large hall to provide accommodation for the 200 or more voluntary organisations that flourish in the town.
 

Aerial view of Farnham Castle with Farnham Park directly to the north

 

The games at this heat were held in Farnham Park which was once the deer park of Farnham Castle, built by Bishop Henry de Blois, grandson of William the Conqueror, just before civil war broke out between his brother Stephen and Matilda, fighting for the crown of England. In 1928, when the incumbent Bishop left the Castle, the park was sold to the town of Farnham to remain an open space for all time. The park has a landscape of rolling grassland and veteran trees and a boundary that has remained unchanged for over 600 years. Its 320 acres (130 hectares) has retained much of its 17th century parkland character and has the feel of open countryside. It offers avenues, hidden dells, hills, valleys, ponds and streams. Its elevated position provides panoramic views of Farnham and surrounding countryside. It is managed using traditional methods such as coppicing and thinning in the woodland and hay making and grazing the grassland to maintain an open landscape.

The Venue

Farnham Park

The games at this heat were held in Farnham Park which was once the deer park of Farnham Castle, built by Bishop Henry de Blois, grandson of William the Conqueror, just before civil war broke out between his brother Stephen and Matilda, fighting for the crown of England.

 

Aerial view of Farnham Castle with Farnham Park directly to the north

 

In 1928, when the incumbent Bishop left the Castle, the park was sold to the town of Farnham to remain an open space for all time. The park has a landscape of rolling grassland and veteran trees and a boundary that has remained unchanged for over 600 years. Its 320 acres (130 hectares) has retained much of its 17th century parkland character and has the feel of open countryside. It offers avenues, hidden dells, hills, valleys, ponds and streams. Its elevated position provides panoramic views of Farnham and surrounding countryside. It is managed using traditional methods such as coppicing and thinning in the woodland and hay making and grazing the grassland to maintain an open landscape.

The Rehearsals

When the two teams locked horns in the early afternoon rehearsal, the result ended up at 14-6 to Farnham. Though clearly the stronger of the two sides, it is surprising that Farnham trounced Thamesdown twice on the same day by exactly the same score!

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - Fireman's Throw

1 Heat. 4 males. Each team is equipped with a large canvas sheet with which they must throw a large ball over a number of hurdles. For the hurdle to be successfully negotiated the ball must also be caught in the canvas sheet. Any ball dropping to the ground will not be counted.


Game 2 - Ballista and Flour Bags

2 Heats. 2 males, 2 females. Each team is equipped with a ballista with which the man has to propel flour bags over a wall. The bags must then be caught by the remaining two team members with a canvas hoop. The team catching the greatest number of bags will be the winners.


Game 3 - Motor Bike Relay

1 Heat. 2 males, 1 female. This is a motor bike relay - the course consisting of a number of obstacles, all of which must be negotiated. At the far end of the course is the girl who collects the balloons from the men. Having returned to the start the first man hands over to the second and so on. The team handing over the greatest number of balloons will be the winners.


Game 4 - Canvas Run

2 Heats. 4 males, 2 females. The four men pull the carpet back and forth. The two girls - one at a time - have to run along the carpet and through a number of hurdles whilst carrying a large jelly. The team which is able to successfully negotiate the greatest number of hurdles will be the winners.


Game 5 - Wheelbarrow Race

1 Heat. 2 males, 2 females. Each team is equipped with a large wheel and axle. The two girls hold each end of the axle and the two men hold the girls. They have to negotiate a course along which a number of balloons must be burst. The team completing the course in the shortest time will be the winners..


Game 6 - Water Trapeze

2 Heats. 3 males. The men - taking it in turns - have to work their way along a rope which is hanging above the pool and burst balloons with their feet. The winning team will be the one which is able to burst the greatest number of balloons in the time allowed.


Marathon - Ball Race

3 males. Each man takes it in turn to go down the slide. The man places a ball in the chute at the top of the slope and then having slid down the slope has to catch the ball before it hits the ground. Any ball touch the ground before being caught will not be counted. The team which is able to collect the greatest number of balls will be the winners.


Game 7 - Push and Slide

1 Heat. 2 males, 2 females. The four team members, working together, have to push a very large inflatable ball up a greased slope. The team able to successfully do this the greatest number of times will be the winner.

Returning Teams and Competitors

After this time, a team from Swindon participated again in 1999 when the town participated under its unitary borough’s name which was created after the abolition of Thamesdown in 1997.

Additional Information

Spectator entrance fees for this event ranged from 10p per person for general admission to the standing enclosures, 30p for seating in the open, to £1.50 for a seat in the covered grandstand. In addition to the It's A Knockout events, attractions were on offer in a second arena and these comprised displays by the members of HMS Mercury, the Swindon Brass Band and Swindon Town Girls. A children's fair, stalls, slideshows and exhibitions were also to be enjoyed in this area, where the public could also avail themselves of refreshments in the lunch and tea tent and the fully licensed bar. The grounds opened at 10.00am, with entrance to the IAK arena at 3.30pm. Recording was scheduled to commence at 5.00pm.

The Thamesdown mascot was a train engine with a swan’s head made from gabardine twill and stuffed with foam rubber. It measured 3ft in length by 2ft wide and it was amusingly called 'Clacketty Quack'.

This was a one-sided competition with Farnham leading from start to finish. In fact, after the fifth game both Jokers had already been played and the score was standing at 12-0 to Farnham. The team were looking very strong on the Marathon and by this time the team were now looking to beat Southport’s earlier score of 18pts. However, despite being despondent about the now-inevitable outcome, the Thamesdown team were not going to lie down: they surprised everybody by narrowly beating Farnham on the sixth game and bringing the score to 12-2. The Marathon featured a large slide which the teams had to descend and then catch a ball coming down a chute. Before Thamesdown’s last run, Farnham were sitting healthily in the lead with 27 catches over their three rounds, whilst Thamesdown had caught 17 balls over two rounds. Not to be outdone the team caught 12 balls (the highest of the six rounds) to win the Marathon 29-27 and bagged 4pts, bringing the score to 12-6. However, Farnham reasserted their superiority in the last game and wound up winners by 14-6.

After the contest, travel agents in Farnham were offering all-in trips to Avenches to support the team from just £79, which amounted to almost a week and a half’s wage in the UK at the time!

Thamesdown was created under the Local Government Act of 1972, and was comprised almost solely of the town of Swindon.

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives, but short excerpts from this edition exist in the BBC compilation, Best of Knockout 1974. Details in Knockout TV.

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1974

Heat 5

Event Staged: Sunday 19th May 1974, 3.30pm
Venue: Skegness Swimming Pool, Skegness, Lincolnshire, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 31st May 1974, 8.15-9.00pm

Nationwide / Radio Times 'Miss Knockout': Penny Hilditch from Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Teams: Skegness v. Mablethorpe and Sutton-on-Sea

Team Members (Full Squads):
Skegness - Rick Swift (Team Manager), Brian Marshall (Team Coach), Betty Grave (Assistant Coach), Mick Devey, Angeline Evison, John Epton, Dorothy Epton, Kathleen Elliott, Bryn Foxon, Stanley Fountain, Barry Fletcher, Kenny Graham, Bryan Johnston, Kathryn Jenkins, Ian Jenkins, Doug Knowles, Steven Ladds, Peter Linton, Lynne Muggeson, Walter Maddison, Alan Mitch, Wendy Pilcher, Jean Marshall, Alison Pollock, Jean Paton, Philip Mason, Christopher Peacock, David Palethorpe, Lynette Sellers, Norman Stanley, David Smith, Evelyn Smith, Paul Strzelecki, Philip Vere and John Willoughby;
Mablethorpe and Sutton-on-Sea
- Bill Stoney (Team Manager), Pete Lindop (Team Coach), Mel French (Trainer), Leonard Ball, Don Barton, Percy Bosworth, Steve Cocker, Andy Cone, Vanessa Cox, Paul Davenport, Elaine Douse, Elizabeth Hanson, Robert Indge, Richard Jebbett, Geoff Lindop, Andy Mayfield, John Mayfield, Dick Riggall, Pauline Robinson, Gareth Rogers, Trevor Shave, Elizabeth Stoney, Linda Tyler, Sue Wileyman, Hilary Williams, Sue Wright.

Games: Canoe Race, Water Netball, Pyjama Race, Island Crossing, Boat Sinking, Netting the Ball and Raft Pyramid;
Marathon: Target Slide.

Game Results and Standings

Games

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

0

S 2 2 0 2 4 1 4

2

Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
M+S 0 0 2 2 2 4 4

4

S 2 4 4 6 10 11 15

17

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 S • Skegness
 M+S Mablethorpe and Sutton-on-Sea

17
4

Skegness qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Aix-les-Bains, France:
staged on Wednesday 7th August 1974

Additional Information

The Skegness team took control of this heat from the outset by winning the first two games. Despite Mablethorpe and Sutton-on-Sea pulling back two points in the third game, the home team won the next two games (the fifth game played with their Joker) and were leading 10-2. Mablethorpe and Sutton-on-Sea presented their Joker on the sixth game, but Skegness held them to a draw and the contest had been handed to home team with the score now at 11-4. A Marathon win and victory on the last game boosted the team’s score even more and the final score was 17-4, a difference of 13pts between the two teams!

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1974

Heat 6

--- PROGRAMME CANCELLED AND NOT TRANSMITTED ---

Scheduled Recording Date: Sunday 26th May 1974
Planned Venue: Southsea Castle Park, Southsea, Hampshire, England

Transmission:
Scheduled - BBC1 (GB):
Friday 7th June 1974, 8.15-9.00pm (not transmitted)

Nationwide / Radio Times 'Miss Knockout': Hazel Wilson
Radio Times Trophy to have been presented by: John Holmes,
English Rugby League World Cup Winner

Teams: Portsmouth and Southsea v. Swanage

Team Members included:
Portsmouth and Southsea - Mike Ballard (Team Captain), Bob Atkinson, Ian Chivers, Terri Hadey, Alan Hallam, Steve Knutt, Debbie Walters;
Swanage - Bob Beauchamp (Team Manager), Désirée Haw (Team Coach), Chris Tonge (Team Captain), Tony Bessant, Philip Bird, Ann Bishop, Angela Burt, Clare Candy, Eddie Chinchen, George Crane, Sara Dodson, Elena Dunford, Maria Foot, Steven Foster, Kate Fry, Ray Graves, Ian Harris, Chris Haw, Marguerita Hennessey, Tony Hennessey, Karen Legg, Christine Lever, Peter Lovell, Linda Moore, Jeremy Olsen, Jonathan Olsen, Roger Pickering, Andy Prior, Susan Reddell, Nick Saville, Andrew Shaw, David Sole, Steve Stickland, Maurice Stockley, Sally Swann, Terrance ‘Herbie’ Swann, Robert Weekes, Margaret Wyatt.

Scheduled Games included: Wheelbarrow Race, Tightrope Balance, Shield Race and Waiter’s Slide.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

-
-

 P+S Portsmouth and Southsea
 S Swanage

P
P

Presenters, Officials and Production Team

Presenters Stuart Hall and Eddie Waring even arrived on location by helicopter in the morning, unaware that the programme had been cancelled.

Returning Teams and Competitors

As a compensation for the Portsmouth & Southsea and Swanage teams not being able to compete due to the union action, the BBC granted both teams an entry into the new look It’s a Knockout in 1975.

Additional Information

This programme was scheduled but ultimately not recorded or broadcast due to an industrial dispute between the BBC and members of The National Association of Theatrical Television and Kine Employees. The strike was called in the early hours of the morning of the event's planned staging.

An article in the Hampshire Telegraph dated May 30th 1974 reports: “It’s A Knockout was being called quite a few other short harsh-sounding phrases on Sunday afternoon. An unexpected strike by members of NATTKE blacked out all outside broadcast programmes that day. For six hours on Sunday morning, the BBC and Portsmouth Council struggled to salvage what was to have been a major Bank Holiday attraction at Southsea Castle”. A BBC spokesman explained, “We would offer the game to Portsmouth but the union says the whole site is blacked out and if any games are touched it could escalate to something worse”. The article continued by saying, “The council expects to lose something like £2500 over the cancellation. Compensation is being discussed, and the teams, if they are still together have been offered a choice of dates in the 1975 series”. Producer Barney Colehan stated, “In nine years of the programme we have carried on in gales, torrential rain and everything else the weather could throw at us, and scoreboards have even blown down. This is the first time we have ever been put off the air!”

The winning team would have qualified for the West German heat, but the cancellation of the recording and broadcast caused the BBC to rethink the qualification process. As in previous years, in 1974 the BBC planned to award the final European place to the highest scoring losing team in the Domestic competitions. Due to the unexpected cancellation of the sixth heat at Southsea, the It's A Knockout organisers were forced to award another place to the second highest scoring losing team. This resulted in Rugby qualifying with 10 points and Ripon (with 9 points) receiving a surprise reprieve. As the losing team with the highest points, the BBC offered Rugby the chance to travel to Bayreuth in West Germany, and award the British International Heat to Ripon instead (as they had qualified with only second-highest losing status). Following consultations and a vote at the Rugby Knockout sub-committee meeting on Friday 31st May 1974, it was decided to stay with the Northampton option.

 

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