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The Magazine's Public Information Film festival
Here's your chance to vote for the nation's favourite public information film.
Over the past month, we've been featuring some of the best public information films from the archives, to mark the Central Office of Information's 60th anniversary.
And now here's your chance to choose your favourite. The winner will be announced next month.
[PLEASE NOTE: VOTING HAS NOW CLOSED]
Here's a reminder of the contenders, with links to individual stories.
Jobs for Young Girls ("Don't let your daughter feel let down".)
Joe and Petunia ("That's what they call them - sailing dinjies.")
Clunk Click ("It's going to happen to a lot of you ladies")
Litter Defence Volunteers ("Public enemy number one!")
Learn to Swim - Rolf Harris ("Kids and water - they LOVE it!")
Lonely Water ("Sensible children! I have no power over them!")
Reginald Molehusband ("People came from miles just to see it")
Splink!- Jon Pertwee ("Now we'll all remember")
Green Cross Man ("Uh oh. This looks dangerous.")
Tufty ("Oh mummy! Willy has been knocked down.")
Play safe - Frisbee ("Jimmy!")
Rabies warning ("Wash the wound immediately")
Teenagers learn to swim ("I wish I didn't keep losing me birds")
Close to the edge ("John was a fool who didn't act cool")
Charley says ("Miaow")
Think Bike ("Nasty.")
Disused fridges ("a caravan, a ship, a castle...")
TV licence - Columbo ("It's in the f-ront room.")
Fireworks ("There's nothing more stupiderer...")
Think Bubble ("Badness is on the inside, not the outside")
Bullying - Tell Someone ("Mum, I'm being bullied")
Protect and Survive ("Brush or shake off any fallout dust.")
The Molehusband hunt
In spite of our extensive search, and as our festival draws to an end, we have to report that there is still no joy in our hunt for a copy of the Reginald Molehusband film. We still live in hope, however, and invite anyone who thinks they might know where a copy is to contact us using the form below. (PS. We do know about the audio file on TV Cream, thank you. We're actually after a copy of the video.)
Ever since Reginal Molehusband first came on the scene, even now my wife still congratulates me on my parking (even though I get it right 99% of the time.
It's got to win the vote among the older ones.
Henry Schnarr, Wokingham
I can't believe the Alvin Stardust Green Cross Code adverts from the 80's are in your vote! I grew up to those!
James Rimmer, Evesham
Where's the musical version of "Learn to Swim"?. Someone must remember it.
"Breaststroke, Backstroke, Butterfly and Crawl,"
"Dog Paddle, Bellyflop, you can do them all,"
Many a drunken night has been spent trying to remember the whole song. A Veritable Tongue Twister.
Phil Cairns, Bristol
The two best PIFs ever made and they're not on the list.
Wear Something White and Don't Overcrowd Your Car (late '60s - early '70s) had everything - catchy music, humour, good visuals - surely I'm not the only one to remember them so vividly and with such affection
Linda Moody, Berkshire
What about the Alvin Stardust road safety advert. Classic!
Jason Kayley, Oswaldtwistle
What about the classic "Only a fool breaks the two-second rule"? about keeping your distance on the motorway. It even beats my second favourite "Think once, think twice, think BIKE!" Classic
My vote is for charley says, that for me is the most memorable advert and i think everyone knows about it too!
Richard Williams, Cardiff, Wales
I just can't understand why the "How to act when you have a burst pipe" film wasn't shown or the one with two different drivers giving different responses to elderly people crossing the road and the kind and patient bloke called Plumstick being recommended for promotion and salary increase because of his kind understanding nature towards the elderly. You see, you lot didn't just miss one classic, you missed three.
"Charly says always tell your mummy before you go out somewhere."
I wonder what he'd have to say about substance abuse...
Keith, London, UK
What about the bicycle riding information film with the old bloke in a flat cap executing a right hand turn on his push bike. At the end were the words "this is why he's still alive"
'Sir Iaac Newton tells us why, an apple falls down from the sky, and from that fact it is quite plain, all other objects do the same, a brick, a bar, a bolt, a cup, invariably fall down, not up....." Shame you didnt include that one in the list of public info films - it was a classic - and what about Green Door, (there's a mad, bad axeman who is deep in sin, behind the green door, or the cool, cool conman who will take you in, behind the green door..." fab, but there's no beating Lonely Waters (sensible children, I have no power over them!) xKathryn
Kathryn Atkin, Sheffield
Anyone remember another Public service film where there was a commentater who commentated on a mans day as though he was a car. One of the lines was "Fuel comsumption: Heavy", as the man wolfs down a big fry-up breakfast :o) Help a bloke remember!!!
Alan D, St Albans
What about Snatch of the Day - that was superb
What about those worthy films on wonderful historical or cultural sites; they were public information films (the announcer always said so). Where are they? I wish somebody would show them all again.
Tim Atkinson, Boston, Lincs
There used to be an absolute gem in which a handyman for some reason had no plug on his electric drill, so resorted to wedging the bare wires into the power socket using matches. With tragic inevitability, the "earth" wire came loose, causing much juddering of the now ex-handyman. Never since have I been tempted to skimp on plugs for my electrical appliances, so it worked a treat. Oh yeah - "Lay back, stay back" was good too - very catchy.
It's time the green cross code and the clunk click public information films were brought back to our television screens. These days there are too many pedestrians who attempt to cross the road anywhere but where they are supposed to (ie pelican and zebra crossings) and a high number of drivers who do not use seatbelts either for themselves or their children.
Debbie Alstead, Bingley
What about the marvellous "Bedtime Routine" film reminding us about bedtime fire prevention? So appropriate in this day and age of Come Dancing revivals. Cut to a 1950's couple dancing the "Bedtime Routine" around their home. He's in a smoking jacket, she's in a flouncy pink nightie...."Get a routine...show your intentions...fire prevention!...fire prevention!.. make sure you close every door...we mean, your life could depend on your bed-time routine!"
John, London, UK
Reginald Molehusband and Joe and Petunia were classics but surely The Weaverbird deserves a mention?
Paul Excell, Oxford, Michigan. USA
Too late for my favorites then:
"Polish a floor, put a rug on it, you may as well set a man trap." or (truck driver, southern accent) "Your rear light!"
Jim E, Nottingham
Surely the rock-athemed 'Stay back and ride wide' biker overtaking PIF deserves a mention.
My mother - ever the irreverent one - came up with her own version of the Splink! road safety film, assuming that there actually was a car coming at the critical moment: Stop at the Pavement; Look, Advancing car; Ta-ta! (Or, for short, SPLAT!). We thought it was at least as good - and at least as memorable - as the original.
Richard Pennington, Camberley, Surrey
My favourite was always when Willy The Weasel got knocked down when running out to the ice-cream van in the Tufty films.
Sue Taylor, New Brighton
I vote for "Wear something white at night!". Must be good to be remembered after so many years.
Ralph Carpenter, Ashford, Kent
What a hard choice to make. Class phrases like "Buses alter their routes to avoid him" Reginald Moleshusband, "Nice view Petunia" live on. Are you sure there isn't a "doing a Reginald Moleshusband" in the dictionary. All we need now is a Tinger and Tucker revival on a Sunday afternoon!!
Debbie, Isle of Man
I remember one PIF that really scared me...'Just to watch the trains go by...'. A broken model plane hanging limply from the overhead cables...terrifies me still!
Bridget, Bury St Edmunds
Augustus Winthrop. The oldest living cyclist IN THE WORLD!!!
Where is he? With his clear hand signals no wonder he stayed alive so long.
The one that always sticks in my mind is the one that explained how Motorway informational signs worked, accompanied by the music of "Take Five", by Dave Brubeck. Another one was to do with dipping headlights, a little girl shouting "Menace!" at the end.
Ian Grey, Morley
I still think the "Wear Something White at Night" was brilliant and should be re-vamped for today - for pedestrians, runners, bicycle and motor bike riders. I also remember one about a driver coping with dazzling un-dipped headlamps on an approaching car with the driver answering his child's questions [and wondering why he didn't murder it!!].
Caroline Evans, Gwernogle, Carmarthenshire
What about the "We recently road-tested the current model of pedestrian..." film. How could this classic be overlooked?
Pity you've not listed 'Bedtime Routine', my favourite: "Fire prevention, fire prevention, make sure you lock ev'ry door, we mean, your life could depend on your bed-time rou-tine...." All sung in a 1920's camp Ivor Norvello style.
Does anyone remember the bike song with the lyrics '..use some tape, if you like but get yourself seen'? what were the rest of the lyrics?
James Ash, woodford
Can anyone remember the circus strongman ? A PFI about how to lift heavy weights correctly - Bent knees, Straight back - he then gave an incorrect demonstration Staight Legs, Bent back causing a clockwork "Can cause injury! can cause injury!" It was very much in the style of Terry Gillam! Those were the days!
Rob Griffiths, Horley
"Think once, think twice, think don't drive your car on the pavement"
I always, without fail tell my husband " Well done, Reginald Molehusband!" when he parks the car ... much to his annoyance! That gets my vote. But, what about the animation " I'll get it, Grandad!" or " Don't dazzle - dip your headlights" ? I still say that one to passing cars at night, too. I loved the P I F's!
I have very fond memories o the one where the driver is reversing his lorry, only to be stopped and "helped" by a guy in a flat cap giving him directions in very basic French "are there many of you French fellas in Sheffield?"
John, Little Rock USA
These are all very well, but what about the BBC trade test transmissions from the early days of colour tv Some really good tv! Anybody else remember them?
What happened to the banjo-playing hillbillies showing drivers how to use passing places? Can't beat Rolf though.......
Doug Henderson, Edinburgh
"Only a fool breaks the two second rule."
I saw that as a kid, now as a motorway commuting adult I still remember that one. Very practical advice. Any chance of repeating it and maybe making a new one about not hogging the middle lane? Thanks.
Mike, London, UK
You must be out of your tiny little minds! Now, where's that leather glove and mood ring.
Pete , York
I voted for the missing Reginald Molehusband but I would also like to see the burst pipe again
John McDonald, Newtownards, Northern Ireland
What about the cycling without light ads where someone used to shout after a bicycle disappearing into the gloom - "Your rear light!"
Jane Jacobs, Houston, TX, USA
You've left out one of the best ones! There was a 1920's Charleston-style song-and-dance routine involving having a bedtime routine of turning off lights, stubbing out cigarettes and unplugging the TV before ging to bed. It was priceless!
Graham Dower, York
Even now, aged 45, whenever I think about attempting a slightly risky crossing of a busy road I hear Alvin Stardust admonishing me that 'I must be out of my tiny mind'. Surely the highlight of Alvins long and varied career!
David Roach, Bradford
But what about the one telling you to "Get yourself seen" on your push bike with the lyrics
"Make it big,
Make it bold,
Make it bright,
And get yourself seen!!"
I can still hear the song rattling in my head even now..
And the one for how to use a pelican crossing - the guy gets to the other side just as it starts raining saying "Ahh I wish I'd brought me brolley" - But its only on the other side of the road mate - just dash back over and get it - you've got time!! Maybe I didn't quite get the message with this one!
Stephen Thom, Leeds
Do you have a clip of the film about purse snatching? It went something like "Oooo my purse" (high pitched high of an old lady) then a patronising deep male voice saying "Lock after your purse love; before somebody else does" when I was at school we used to do a sketch about it between friends.
Damien Frost, Rotherham
Charley says... ah,memories, memories!!
Doesn't anyone remember the PIF about the serious guy who is in a fierce hurry. Eating his breakfast, walking down the footpath, and is oblivious to fact he is being commented on throughout by a news reporter type dude with microphone waiting at every turn. E.g. when he turns at the end of his house path the guy says "Road handling? Fair."
Until he finally walks right out in front of a car and does one onto the windshield. Not sure what the message was though.
C¿mon - someone else must remember this!!!!! Pleaseeeeeeeee.
Don't mix cross-plies and radials!
Tom Murphy, London, UK
To this day in our household, the cry of -'they came from miles around to watch Reginald Molehusband park, and one day, he got it right'-rings out when we witness a particulary 'amusing' attempt to park.
Another, which I don't think is on your list, is the elderly couple sat on the cliff 'watching' the man drown, and the wife waving and saying 'it's that nice man from table number 3'!!!
Diane Jones, Oxfordshire
"Do you know where your lad's going tonight?" Up to no good, no doubt. If ever there was a campaign that would stand the test of time, perhaps now to the tune of lad/girl I'd have thought this was it, sad to see it miss out.
Nigel Yeo, Wolverhampton
All wonderful nostalgia - does anyone recall the Young Ones doing their take on the "think Bike" PIF? by stating "think once - think twice, think don't ride your car on the pavement" Everyone is a classic - if the EU funded these for todays generation will we at last see a tangible return on our money?
Dean Judge, Rugby
What about the Tufty the Squirrel and Willy the Weasel and their road safety adverts? Was anyone else a member of the Tufty Club or was I the only one.....?
My vivid memory is of the 'Dip don't dazzle' film - great message and animation.
Peter Dobson, Columbus Ga
Another one mising from the list is the one with Frank Thornton (played Captin Peacock in 'Are you being served?') giving what I seem to remember as a sort of review on a 'Man'. While the man going about his day Frank Thornton whould come up with remarks such as '..fuel consumpsion is heavy and needs topping up throughout the day' while the man was tucking in to a large meal, 'Breaks - Fair...' the man turns sharply at a corner '... but in wet conditionations breaks were unrealiable.', a woman empties a bucket of water in front of the man and he slips and falls. It then went on with the man walking out into the road withhout looking and getting knock down while the commentator says 'but where our model really did badly was resistance to damage'. It then ended with the man in hospital and I then the commentatory says something like..'Although replacement parts are not available the makers assure us that this model should last you a life time.' I think the whole point of the film was to get people to look after them selves and becareful when out and about.
Paul Hough, Liverpool
I don't remember the boy's name but it started off with "(name) doesn't play football anymore..." and a shot of some unused football boots hanging on the back of a bedroom door. then went on to explain that if you play about on railway lines, you might get your legs chopped off! That was always my favourite one along with the Frisbee/electricity substation one.
Marc, London, England
Where's the PELICON crossing cartoon where the blokes says "Wish I'd brought me brolly". I still think of that even nowadays.
Graham Freeman, Guelph, ON, Canada
Anyone else remember "But Dave is a good swimmer", proving even if you a little ugly but can swim you get the girl
Forget Rolf, what happened to the cartoon of the body builder who couldn't swim and the skinny guy who could. 'My Dave swims like a fish' !!!
David Carragher, Bunham, Berkshire
Great selection. The only omission I can think of is the "Bedtime Routine" film about turning everything off before going to bed - lights, unplugging the TV, etc. The message being that not to do so could result in a fire as the couple singing the song told us, "You're life could depend on it". Ahead of its time really as we are now encouraged to do likewise for environmental reasons.
Paul, Hove, England
Whatever happened to all the PIFs telling us (or our parents) how to use the new motorways, back around 1959/1960? My favourite was the family stopping in the nearside lane of a deserted M1 to have a picnic (not even on the hard shoulder), before actor Jack Warner (doing the v/o in best Dixon style) told them to move along. Or the animation from a couple of years later with a very considerate HGV driver explaining why lorries had been banned from the third lane. I'd love to see those again (and no, they're not on "Charlie Says"!).
Jon, SE England
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