In 1960, Anglia Television, which had only been broadcasting for several months, launched its first series for children.
Afternoon Club, which was seen was on five consecutive days - Monday to Friday - but only shown in the Anglia region, was introduced by Valerie Oldfield, the company's first woman continuity announcer. Other regulars on the series were Uncle Gee (Hugh Gee) who would show children how to make puppets out of different types of material that they may find lying around - like conkers for instance, Sandy Sandford telling stories and devising secret recognition signs for the children to use, John Seymour showing how to make things like a model aircraft or more practical things like a garden swing and a sledge, and art director, photographer, painter and illustrator Cavendish Morton (a member of the Norwich Twenty Group - a group of artists in Norfolk stimulated by contemporary art movements) who encouraged the kids by organising painting competitions.
Regular features also included a birthday 'shoutout', a film series about children in other countries and an interschools quiz. The series ran until 1963 when it developed into The Junior Angle. That series had its own 'club' and was aimed at slightly older children, adding music features and a junior news bulletin which predated John Craven's Newsround by almost a decade. But the real feather in the series cap was the appearance of Kingsley Amis giving tips to children on story writing.
Published on April 4th, 2021. Written by Malcolm Alexander for Television Heaven.