The cultural pattern of Wales, which has emerged over the centuries, now has added expression through the modern medium of television.
This website illustrates some aspects of the Welsh programmes produced by TWW at their Pontcanna Studios, Cardiff, for viewers served by the St. Hilary transmitter of the Independent Television Authority.
Each month the Welsh programme Land of Song is seen throughout Great Britain by some ten million viewers — the largest audience ever obtained by a Welsh programme series. It is the most consistently successful musical programme ever presented on television.
The groups of singers who appear in the programme were formed and trained by TWW musical director Norman Whitehead and, with the programme centred on the imaginary village of Llantelly, director Christopher Mercer places the show in a different setting each month.
Other musical programmes presented by TWW have included Trysor o Gân, an intimate programme featuring leading Welsh instrumentalists and singers and Hoff Alawon, in which distinguished guests selected their favourite music.
After varied experience in the London theatre, Ivor Emmanuel gained a significant personal success in TWW programmes. On independent television he has become an ambassador of song for the land of his birth.
Following the particular success of his work with the Pontcanna Children’s Choir, he and the children were selected to appear in the 1960 Royal Variety Performance in an excerpt from Land of Song.
Each week since TWW went on the air, Myfanwy Howell has, with only rare breaks, introduced the miscellany programme Amser Te. More than 130 editions have been presented.
It is a programme with a very definite feminine appeal and the large post bag includes many letters from people outside Wales.
Apart from gardening, handicrafts, musical items and interviews with well known and interesting personalities, the programme has become especially well known for the recipes which end each edition. These have been published.
Born in Anglesey, Mrs. Howell is a magistrate and well known throughout Wales for her public work.
A pioneer Welsh programme by TWW was the series Camau Cyntaf presented by Miss Cassie Davies as an experiment in using television for teaching a language.
This was the first time, anywhere, that a TV company had made this particular use of its resources. Many different modern teaching techniques were used during this series by Miss Davies, who was formerly H.M. Inspector of Schools. A further series is in course of preparation.
Miss Cassie Davies says:
“The aim of this first series was to give non-Welsh speaking people some knowledge of the language, to help those who have a little knowledge to brush up their vocabulary and to help maintain the interest of those who speak the language fluently.”
Many of the Welsh programmes series have been designed specially for the younger generation by the TWW Welsh Department.
A well illustrated series on careers, Dewis Gyrfa, open to school leavers of all ages, was conducted by Mr. Jenkin Jones and featured acknowledged experts in many fields.
Colegau Cerdd has currently featured Welsh students at present studying in music colleges. Many other programmes compered by Hywel D. Roberts have been popular, especially the inter-county quiz Am y Gorau. The series Ar Brawf awarded prizes to those students who passed a cross examination designed to test personality.
As the young electronic medium of communication, independent television looks to the future.