Call to promote John Logie Baird's Falkirk links as coin struck for TV pioneer

A councillor has given a good reception to a new coin commemorating the "father of television" - but says we could do more to broadcast John Logie Baird's connection to Falkirk.

By Kirsty Paterson
Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 4:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 4:42 pm

Lynn Munro, who represents Bo'ness, was delighted to see that one of the new Royal Mint's new 50 pence coins marks the 75th anniversary of the death of the trailblazing Scot.

The inventor's great-grandfather was the tenant of Sunnyside Farm in Camelon, while his grandfather farmed at nearby Sunnybrae Farm.

Baird himself never lived here - his father, a minister, took up a post in Helensburgh which is where John was born.

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John Logie Baird televison (Pic: Michael Gillen)

However, his connection to the area remained strong.

The pioneer collaborated with engineer John Hart, who ran a radio and bicycle shop in the Pleasance in Falkirk, and evidence suggests that very early experiments took place in Falkirk in 1924.

From those groundbreaking days, Baird was able to transmit pictures of objects in motion by 1926 and he went on to demonstrate colour television in 1928.

One of the earliest machines - the Falkirk Televisor - was later donated to Falkirk museums by John Hart's widow.

Mrs Munro said: "There is a blue plaque to John Logie Baird, but considering the importance of TV and his family connections to Falkirk I am surprised there is not more.

"However, we should take heart from the fact that his contribution is certainly recognised on a national level."

Mrs Munro believes that the equipment should be on display somewhere in the town centre with details of the new coin to celebrate the Falkirk connection.

She said: "It seems extraordinary that these first pictures in TV were being experimented on in Falkirk almost 100 years ago.

"We should celebrate these pioneering engineers who were at the forefront of the technology of TV transmission.

"We want more young people to take up engineering and sciences and so we should celebrate John Logie Baird and John Hart.

"We need to tell the story for the current generation and Falkirk Council and Falkirk Community Trust - who are the custodians of this equipment - should ensure that we too celebrate these achievements."

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