Bygones (TV series)

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Bygones is an Anglia Television documentary series exploring East Anglian history and traditional rural crafts first aired in 1967.[1] The series, and in particular the regular Bygones Specials featured many interviews with people who used to do traditional work now lost to history (such as using a horse-drawn plough or threshing) and investigation and preservation of surviving East Anglian culture.[2]

Bygones was presented by Dick Joice from 1967 until his retirement in 1987 when the film historian John Huntley took over.[3] It was made by the Norwich-based television company Anglia for the ITV network. The series was discontinued in 1989, but briefly brought back by Anglia TV in 2007 following an overwhelming vote from viewers on a programme they wanted reinstated.[4]

It features mystery objects where the audience are asked to write in and guess what the implement's original function was. Dick Joice's collection of objects which featured in Bygones[5] has been on display at Holkham Hall, Norfolk since 1979, in what was once the stables.[6]

Some of the most memorable editions of Bygones were documentaries directed by Geoffrey Weaver in the Seventies. "The Harvest" authentically re-created a harvest field around the turn of the 20th century, while "Gone For a Burton" followed the seasonal trip of East Anglian agricultural workers to work in the Burton upon Trent maltings after the hay and grain harvests.[7]

Bygones has a distinctive theme tune played on a barrel organ, and for its 2007 revival was presented by Eddie Anderson, the former assistant of the original presenter Dick Joice,[8] and Wendy Hurrell.[9] Antique dealer Alan Smith often presents a section as well.

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