Stories

CALL THE MAYOR

If it was a slow news day back in the second half of the 1960, you grabbed the phone, dialed the council chambers and said, "Hey Jack, it's a slow day up here...have you got anything for us?"   It was a rare, rare day when the then Mayor of Toowoomba (Jack McCafferty) didn't have something to say.

While interviews/statements etc were shot sound-on-film, the majority of  stories were shot silent.  When shooting stories involving workmen it was my practice to ask them to talk as they would be doing  under normal circumstances.......making the vision appear natural.    WELL! what they then said to each other was  totally unprintable and certainly not for grandmar's  ears or children.  The word rude had no hope of covering a description of their dialogue.   However, little did it matter as the film went to air covered by the newsreader's voice-over......and so it went for story after story.

Now, our neighbour had a deaf son and one news time I was working in the back yard when the son let out a roaring laugh which, I'm sure, could be heard half way to Brisbane.   The penny dropped...he could lip read, and was reading what the workmen were saying.   Oh no! I thought, if he can lip read,.... how many others in our broadcast area can also lip read. 

From that moment on I was a very careful news man, and what the workers said from then on was definitely suitable for grandma....and children.

PS:   To save anyone else getting the blame on this activity, I'll confess.   It was I...Bob Hargreaves. (But make sure you don't tell anyone.)