Nostalgic few in Havering still watching telly on a black and white box

18:00 18 January 2014

More than 40 households in Havering still use a black and white set

More than 40 households in Havering still use a black and white set


TVs are better and more complicated than ever but for an old-fashioned few nothing beats their trusty black and white set.

Amazingly, 43 households in Romford and 12 in Brentwood still use monochrome tellies, according to figures released this week by TV Licensing – nearly 48 years after colour transmissions began.

The determined viewers would need to have bought a suitable set-top box to continue to use their antiquated TVs after the digital switchover three years ago.


Iain Logie Baird, associate curator at the National 
Media Museum, in Bradford, and grandson of television inventor John Logie Baird, said: “Despite over 25 million people opting for a colour TV Licence in the UK, it may be some time 
before the black and white television disappears completely from our living rooms. The National Media Museum has hundreds of black and white television sets in its collection and there will always be a small group of people who prefer monochrome images, collect vintage sets or just don’t want to throw away a working piece of technology.”

The demand for black and white licences has been in steady decline for years.

At the turn of the millennium there were 212,000 black and white licences issued but now there are fewer than 12,000 sets in use nationwide.

Emma Cowlard, spokesman for TV Licensing in London, added: “We may be on the brink of losing black and white sets to the history books, but older technology will always be replaced by exciting new ways of watching live. It’s important that no matter how you watch live TV, whether on a black and white set, or online, you’re correctly licensed to do so.”


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