Granadaland: Histories and Memories of Granada TV in the North West of England, 1954-1990

The Manchester Centre for Regional History is delighted to have been awarded a grant from the Granada Foundation to explore the histories and memories of Granada TV in the North West of England.
Granada Television was founded in 1954 by Lord Bernstein and began transmitting in 1956 to the North West of England. It has been broadcasting to the nation ever since. Its heyday was probably in the period between 1960 until 1990 when the Broadcasting Act led to significant changes to the shape of British broadcasting. During this period Granada produced some of the finest television of its day including Brideshead Revisted, World In Action, What the Papers Say, Seven Up, Coronation Street and The Jewel In The Crown. During the 1980s The New York Times described Granada as ‘the finest television company in the world.’
Researcher Stephen Kelly and presenter Gordon Burns, live coverage of the Labour Party conference at Blackpool, 1980.
The aim of this project is to begin collecting the memories of those who worked for Granada at its Manchester and Liverpool offices between the 1960s and the 1980s. These interviews will include presenters, producers, researchers, camera operators, stagehands, production assistants and others who worked for the company. In particular, the project hopes collect memories from the earlier years as many of these people are now elderly. If their memories are not collected soon they will be lost forever.
The project interviewers are experienced oral historians with specialist knowledge both of oral history and of Granada Television (in two cases the interviewers worked at the television company during the period above) to carry out a series of ten pilot interviews with former Granada employees. Two of these interviewers (Stephen Kelly and Judith Jones) have written numerous books based on oral history, including an oral history of ‘Coronation Street’ and have produced a number of BBC Radio 4 programmes based on memory interviews.
Once some of the pilot interviews have been carried out, they will be transcribed and archived at Manchester Metropolitan University so that they will be available to researchers and the general public. We will also endeavour to collect photographs and other memorabilia, which will be similarly archived. Initial dissemination of this material will be through a presentation to the Manchester Histories Festival in Spring 2014 about the role of Granada and its cultural and economic importance to the North West region.

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