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06 May 20 09:49
Date Joined: 20 Apr 01
| Topic/replies: 37 | Blogger: Poulakerry's blog
At the beginning of the extensive essay on Enable in Timeform's recently published 'Racehorses of 2019', the writer comments on the decline in the broad appeal of racing by citing the result of the TV Times magazine poll in 1966 for the most popular personality of the year, the result of which was:

1st  Arkle
2nd Bobby Moore
3rd The Beatles
Pause Switch to Standard View Horse racing's popularity in 1966.
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Report foxy May 6, 2020 9:54 AM BST
Well that astonishes me a poll taken in England had a horse above an England captain in a World Cup winning year.
Report jackdaw May 6, 2020 10:15 AM BST
Well Arkle won his 3rd consecutive Gold Cup that year, beating the top class Mill House by half a circuit of Cheltenham. Whilst England played all their matches at Wembley it amused me to see that one of the group games was played at White City because Wembley's owners refused to cancel the Friday night dog racing!
Report foxy May 6, 2020 10:29 AM BST
Thanks jackdaw for pointing out arkle achievements ,the dog bit amuses me as well something tells me a greyhound fixture would no longer take priority over an England international,how times change.
Report differentdrum May 6, 2020 10:33 AM BST
How times have changed.

These days how many racehorses could the general public even name - Red Rum, Shergar?
Report foxy May 6, 2020 10:35 AM BST
Dessie ,frankel,tiger roll ,
Report no-won-sun May 6, 2020 11:23 AM BST
I'm not really surprised, in fact, I do believe the religion that football has now become, started after the world cup win in 1966 on a phased curve. I remember the era quite well, I was in London and drinking in Hammersmith on the night of the final. No one would know that the match was taking place if they had gone in there. It was all quiet and I don't recall a television on the premises. Near closing time a few guys came in and they were singing and doing a bit of celebrating. I actually recall hearing a bloke ask "What's going on." Somebody told him England had won the world cup. Next thing I remember the guys got a bit too loud and were asked to leave.
Another thing football did not have the wall to wall coverage it enjoys today. Match of the Day was in its infancy and as I recall it the clubs were opposed to any coverage of soccer even highlights they feared a drop in attendance. At the same time racing was a popular pastime with a betting opportunity for the man in the street when betting on games was not widely available and also, and I'm pushing on now, I believe there was more coverage of racing due to the above. I recall in 1970 and the early 70's in general due to publicity football took off bigtime. I also recall the tubes on Saturday being constantly wrecked on the way from games with constant announcements indicating that the tubes were returning to base and apologising for the fact that they had been destroyed by vandals.
No I'm not surprised by the above survey.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 11:26 AM BST
Very interesting that no won sun thank you.
Report sparrow May 6, 2020 12:12 PM BST
I was 19 years old in 1966 and simply do not in anyway believe that survey is representative of opinion at that time.
Report sparrow May 6, 2020 12:13 PM BST
* any way believe
Report GEORGE.B May 6, 2020 12:23 PM BST
That 1966 poll also quoted in Robin Oakley's book

Sixty Years of Jump Racing: From Arkle to McCoy

Type: tv times 1966 magazine poll into google and the link will take you to the page

Not saying that makes it true, but I presume it's a different source
Report onlooker May 6, 2020 12:35 PM BST
Speaking of 'Dogs' - and the 1966 World Cup

Pickles (born 1962 or 1963; died 1967) was a black and white collie dog, known for his role in finding the stolen Jules Rimet Trophy in March 1966, four months before the 1966 World Cup was scheduled to kick off in England.
Report GEORGE.B May 6, 2020 12:42 PM BST
Perhaps the readership of the TV Times at the time was mainly middle aged / older people who enjoyed a flutter.

Whereas a pop music magazine at the time would have seen the Beatles win by a distance, with the Rolling Stones in second place?
Report GEORGE.B May 6, 2020 12:52 PM BST
Apparently at the time the TV Times was only served the London area, so not even a national poll.

The magazine was launched in London on 22 September 1955, at the start of transmissions of the first ITV station, Associated-Rediffusion. Initially, the magazine was published only in the London area, carrying listings for Associated-Rediffusion (Rediffusion, London from 1964) on weekdays and ATV London at weekends, while the other ITV regions were served by their own listings magazines. TVTimes became a national magazine on 21 September 1968.
Report TheAnorak May 6, 2020 12:55 PM BST
This sounds like one of those things that get put up somewhere on the net, and become accepted as fact by other people (Timeform, Oakley), who are just repeating something they've found via Google.

TV Times was only sold in the London ITV region and only listed their programs. Mostly it was a magazine that followed the example of the film mags that were popular post war. It was all profiles and interviews with the stars of ITV programs, pages of ads for package holiday and holiday camps and I don't remember it ever having any sports content. I should add that my mother was a dedicated reader of TV Times, which was delivered to our house weekly.

If Arkle really won a poll for their readership, it must have been based on a campaign in Kilburn!
Report TheAnorak May 6, 2020 12:55 PM BST
You beat me to it George!
Report GEORGE.B May 6, 2020 12:57 PM BST
At least they couldn't be accused of bias given racing was shown at the BBC at the time.
Report GEORGE.B May 6, 2020 1:00 PM BST
Anorak, the poll is also quoted on page 130 of Sean Magee's book on Arkle
Report The Knight May 6, 2020 1:04 PM BST
Pickles the dog apparently died when he was strangled to death by his own lead.

I wrote an article way back in 1998 (prior to that year's World Cup Finals) for the New Law Journal about the legal implications of a dog finding something so valuable, that's how I found out about his untimely demise!
Report foxy May 6, 2020 1:16 PM BST
Blimey the knight you could write more books than Agatha Christie Wink
Report The Knight May 6, 2020 1:28 PM BST
It's funny you say that, Foxy.

The world that existed just before me, and also when I was younger, threw up so much interesting stuff to research and write about. I was only ever a part-time writer as a profitable hobby but the material was all there.

I still have a lot of stuff on file I could write about but the demise of printed media has narrowed my markets, as many of the online publications are too young for me and are just not interested in history anymore (a scandal!)

Nowadays, because our society is so bland and often joyless, there is far less to write about. 

I will leave you with something you might like to research.

Take a look for the stuff about the only female pilot to have flown Concorde. Her story is truly amazing and deserves a much wider audience. What she did could not happen today.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 1:45 PM BST
Thanks the knight I must have got mixed up with my last post I thought I was on your tales threadCrazy
Report driver2 May 6, 2020 2:13 PM BST
no-won-sun, it didn't take the 66 World Cup final, which incidentally reached a record 30 million people in the UK alone, to make the game popular. You might have been having a pint, but "the whole world and his brother" was glued to the tv and what a reward we all got. Have you ever heard of the "White Horse Cup final" of 1923, an estimated 300,000 got into Wembley that day. Where were you on that terrible evening of the 6th February 1958? There was nothing else on the front pages for days while we waited for Matt Busby to pull through. I could go on and on and talk about Matthews, Mortensen, Finney who were icons before I was born, but I think I've made my point. We didn't bet on football in those days, we went to watch it in far greater numbers than horse racing (which has always been my passion, despite my argument}.
Report differentdrum May 6, 2020 2:21 PM BST
Why would there be some sort of perceived London bias towards Arkle?

If the survey had been nationwide I see no reason to believe the result would be any different.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 2:29 PM BST
Driver what was the white horse called in the Bolton West Ham 23 final?
Report sparrow May 6, 2020 2:32 PM BST
driver2 is spot on about the popularity of football prior to 1970 the year which no-won-sun mentions. You only have to look at match attendances to realise that.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 2:35 PM BST
I think uniteds biggest attendance was when they had to use main road after the war and as I hope you all now finished 75 years ago
Report May 6, 2020 2:44 PM BST
The Knight,

Nice write ups on your 'Racecourse Tales' thread. Happy

Take a look for the stuff about the only female pilot to have flown Concorde. Her story is truly amazing and deserves a much wider audience. What she did could not happen today.

As an aerospace consultant i was interested in the above, but it's not strictly true, there were actually a couple of other female pilots, both French, in fact one of them was part of the Aérospatiale flight test team (she was the first to fly the aircraft, but not operationally).

Nowadays of course, female pilots are commonplace, but considering many modern airliners are 'flown' by computers, almost every man and his dog with training could probably do the same, that leads me to an old joke.

In years to come computer technology will be so advanced that aircraft will be flown by a pilot and his dog. The pilot is there to feed the dog, and the dog is there to bite the pilot in case he touches anything.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 2:47 PM BST
The way it’s going there will be no airplanes to fly
Report driver2 May 6, 2020 2:49 PM BST
foxy, I didn't know that he was called Billie without looking it up, I doubt whether many people would get that one. Good quiz question.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 2:51 PM BST
Here’s one for you sparrow I know you like your football.

Just sat listening to the wireless the 230 news bulletin with sport.

Bayern Munich a team I have a lot of respect for have offered city 75 million for a player I am sat thinking the world is on its knees and you get a football team offering 75 million.

Then came city’s reply we would sooner keep him another season till his contract runs out than do such a cheap deal.
Report GEORGE.B May 6, 2020 2:52 PM BST
The other thing about that poll, if you could vote for the Beatles as one rather than individuals, why didn't the same apply to the England team?

Answers on a postcard...
Report The Knight May 6, 2020 2:53 PM BST

I think the girl I am referring to was the first female to fly the aircraft on a commercial flight and certainly the first BA woman pilot to fly it. If you know better, though, please let me know as the story interests me greatly.

But the girl I am talking about had the most humble background and appeared to have got to fly Concorde entirely through hard work and determination.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 2:54 PM BST
Driver it’s probably a hard question nowadays but was a very popular question in the pub quizzes back when people talked to each other in pubs.

Thanks for your honesty take care
Report foxy May 6, 2020 2:56 PM BST
Hello George have we now got a resident detective to go with the many scientists we have?
Report sparrow May 6, 2020 2:58 PM BST
It's appalling when you consider mamy league clubs may not survive the current crisis. Ir reminds me of a question asked of Jimmy Hill with regard to Beckham getting £100,000 per week. He said he wasn't bothered about Beckham as his club could afford it unlike many 3rd Division clubs who were having to pay 4 figure salaries that they couldn't afford.
Report sparrow May 6, 2020 2:59 PM BST
Above to foxy.
Report GEORGE.B May 6, 2020 3:01 PM BST
foxy, I think we may need a sociologist and historian too, to solve why a racehorse (albeit one as exalted as Arkle) would finish ahead of a World Cup winning side / captain in a personality poll!
Report foxy May 6, 2020 3:02 PM BST
Great character jimmy hill
Report foxy May 6, 2020 3:03 PM BST
I think my first post on this thread indicated my thoughts George
Report GEORGE.B May 6, 2020 3:12 PM BST
foxy, obviously who's being asked had a huge bearing on the result:

If the poll was in Charles Buchan's Football Monthly, England team / player comes out well on top.

If it's the girls' magazine Rave, the Beatles win by a landslide

The (mainly) London readership of the TV Times voted for Arkle!
Report foxy May 6, 2020 3:25 PM BST
Was the tv times printed in Dublin in 1966 ?
Report GEORGE.B May 6, 2020 3:31 PM BST
not sure, foxy

Stiff competition that innit: Arkle / World Cup winner Bobby Moore / Beatles

What would be the equivalent nowadays?

Al Boum Photo / Harry Maguire / Ed Sheerin?
Report May 6, 2020 3:33 PM BST
The Knight

I think the girl I am referring to was the first female to fly the aircraft on a commercial flight and certainly the first BA woman pilot to fly it. If you know better, though, please let me know as the story interests me greatly.

But the girl I am talking about had the most humble background and appeared to have got to fly Concorde entirely through hard work and determination.

Totally correct, and was only one of two female pilots to fly Concorde operationally. She certainly achieved a lot in life and as you say, starting from a very humble background.

I used to contribute to an aerospace magazine FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL (still around) and had several letters printed at the time of Concorde's fateful crash, basically defending it's safety record that prior to July 2000 was exemplary. A wonderful aircraft that sadly i never flew in.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 3:36 PM BST
IDE vote for al boum photo but I am biased
Report foxy May 6, 2020 3:38 PM BST
I will always remember where I was the day Concorde crashed Andrew stating the obvious but a really sad day..
Report May 6, 2020 3:42 PM BST
Likewise Foxy, a bit like JFK, that is ironic considering Concorde was flying to the New York airport of the same name on that fateful day.
Report The Knight May 6, 2020 4:36 PM BST

Ok, thanks for that.

I was lucky enough with my wife to go on one of the Concorde day trips in late 1980's. I think it was allowed to open up to speed of sound over Bay of Biscay but not sure now.

Either way, what a machine. It looked like it wanted to grab the air once it was off down the runway and I recall a pilot saying it felt like a living beast trying to get airborne as soon as it could.

I must admit,it bothers me slightly that it used so much fuel (was it right that it used the same amount of fuel in taxing into position that an average family car used in six years?) but sometimes you have to look beyond the drawbacks and just admire what mankind created there.

Also, what an icon. When I was younger, EVERYONE looked up as Concorde flew over. I miss it being around.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 4:58 PM BST
I don’t remember jfk My jfk would be John Lennon Andrew ,the day of Concorde I had been to Brighton It was king George week so I thought I have a day at Brighton on route ,I got in my car and the 5 o’clock news came on and it was obviously the headline story,a few years later I took my children to see the magnificent airplane come to Manchester (ringway) for the final time.

I know he isn’t flavour of the month anymore but Richard Branson tried to save it but ba was having none of it.
Report driver2 May 6, 2020 5:03 PM BST
I was watching the French and British concordes taking off simultaneously on TV, in my home in Thames Ditton, back in 1976. Once airborne, I went out into the garden and watched the BA concorde fly over our house, I'll never forget it and yes, I always looked up when I heard it coming.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 5:09 PM BST
I never went on concorde something I regret ,the view taken by me is make sure you do the things you want to do ,because one day it won’t be possible for various reasons,bransons idea I believe was to run the plane as an upmarket flight without all the extra special trimmings unless the customer payed a premium,it was a good idea many would have paid a bit extra to have the experience.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 5:10 PM BST
Driver people never grew out of gazing up at Concorde it didn’t fly over Manchester much but when it did it was great.
Report jackdaw May 6, 2020 5:30 PM BST
Perhaps Arkle was popular in London because he ran some great races at Kempton and Sandown. He was also owned by Anne, Duchess of Westminster.
Report sparrow May 6, 2020 5:33 PM BST
I lived in London at the time and as much as I loved Arkle who was the best jump horse I am ever likely to see there is not a chance in a million that he was more popular than Bobby Moore or the Beatles.
Report May 6, 2020 7:21 PM BST
The Knight

You were certainly lucky to fly on Concorde, one of my bucket list boxes to tick at the time, but similar to Foxy it was always 'i'll do it next year' although i left UK in 1984 for Greener pastures and that didn't help of course.

The aircraft wasn't anywhere near efficient at low speeds, hence the high use of fuel during taxi and climb, it was designed to be operated best at mach 2.

You would have certainly reached mach 1 during your flight to the Bay of Biscay, but i'm not sure about the next level, i simply don't know. It must have been a fantastic experience anyway, specially at take off and again at cruise height seeing curvature of the earth if it reached that level.

Although a first class aircraft, it wasn't really the same for comfort, the seats were narrow due to the smaller than usual air-frame diameter and the windows could be very warm.

The original name Concorde was renamed by Harold McMillan during the early development phase removing the e on the end as it sounded too 'French'. Tony Benn restored the e saying it stood for England and Elegance.

Richard Branson wanted to buy the British Airways Concordes but there was no way they would have allowed it, even so it was becoming very costly to operate and maintain, so it's not a sure thing they would have been flying for many years after 2000.
Report driver2 May 7, 2020 9:18 AM BST
I worked for a tour operator subsidiary of Air France for 20 years from 1976 and towards the end of Concorde's commercial life we sold trips on Concorde, such as over the Bay of Biscay that Andrew mentions. I remember 1 flight that was promoted with the headline, "Fly to the edge of space". Not me I thought, which turned out to be somewhat prophetic! One particular trip was way under sold, so rather than be embarrassed, Air France decided to sell seats to the staff for £25 each, so I decided to take my 2 sons. Unfortunately, because I only worked for the subsidiary, I was told that I could go but I couldn't take the kids. I didn't fancy it, so I didn't go.
Report no-won-sun May 8, 2020 1:56 PM BST
I just wanted to recap on my post above and to driver2 in particular. I am sorry if I offended, it was never my intention. I watched the World cup my flat on Greenside Road, Shepherd's Bush and after tea that evening, it was Saturday, went to the pub to meet some pals who hadn't watched it. That was one reason I remember there was no TV in the pub. I agree with what you say and I do believe that soccer was hugely popular in the UK, all over in fact. But what I was saying was the FA did nothing to promote it commercially like it is being promoted today. They feared a drop in revenue with gate receipts dropping due to falling attendances. So when the game finished tellys were turned off as the wall to wall coverage was not part of the occasion. Yes, I remember the reports of the huge TV audience for the final and as a lad of 12, I listened to news reports of the Munich disaster, terrible tragedy. I am a Liverpool supporter but I met Sir Matt Busby IMO a gentleman. The wall to wall coverage came when FA realised they had a product on their hand. Until then it was difficult, as is the way with all sports, to get an older generation to see what could be earned. Also, there was a rise in football hooliganism, very much in the late '60s through '70s. Again it is only my own opinion but while it was bad publicity really is there such a thing as bad publicity? I know that horse racing would not have the popularity of football but it was a hugely popular sport at the time and newspapers tended to idolise Arkle to the extent that in a survey given the demographic of those polled it is possible that he would have come out on top ahead of Bobby Moore and The Beatles. For instance, if the poll was taken after Cheltenham 1966 outside Fine Fare, Liptons or Woolworths I believe he would have come out on top. It doesn't alter the fact that no way was racing more popular but it was in the mind and a 6-day occurrence. That would have possibly been an element in the survey. Again
I apologise if any offence was taken it was not intended after all it was an opinion. If anybody reads this it only came to my notice some years ago that the lads who did the scoreboard on the final were from quite close to where I come from in Waterford. They got the job by chance, you would probably be able to charge for guys to do the same today, yes I know we are gone all electronic now.
Report jackdaw May 8, 2020 4:25 PM BST
Bobby Moore was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1966. The competition was restricted to humans otherwise Arkle would probably have won it.
Report Ramruma May 17, 2020 1:13 AM BST
In the interests of research (and early-onset dementia) last week I purchased from Ebay a disc of scanned TV Times from 1966 but I cannot see any mention of this (or any) poll. Perhaps it was in 1967 looking back at 1966, or perhaps I just missed it (and one or two weeks are missing). Does anyone have a date for the poll?

Btw it does look as if there were regional variations of the TV Times outside London.
Report jackdaw June 2, 2020 8:57 PM BST
Based on weight carrying capability:
1. Arkle
2. Beatles
3. Bobby Moore

Beatles placed 2nd based on well known track on Abbey Road album.
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