NEVER THOUGHT it ran this long, did you? A Yorkshire schools’ morning stalwart, this historical programme was initially a fairly strightforward lecturey affair, presented in the first instance by JESS YATES of all folk. In ’69 the familiar, semi-dramatised tales of ordinary folk format, with a splash of compare-and-contrast class consciousness thrown in (beginning with a “look back into the past comparing the life of a chimney sweep boy with that of a little girl in one of the comfortable houses in which he works”), was in place, doled out in weekly portions to inattentive primary school classes the land over. The Victorian era was heavily mined at first, then in ’76 came a wartime family saga. In 1978 the scene shifted to the time of the General Strike. By ’79 it was back to the Victoriana, with a clearly delineated 1874-1887 period. 1984 brought the well-remembered 1902-1926 series detailing the antics of the rich mill-owners the Holroyds and the poor Selbys. Each episode contained a section based around newsreel footage when the plot flagged. Wistful oom-pah-pah-pah wandering theme etched indeliby into the ear drums of a generation.