TV aerial man retires after 55 years working in Great Yarmouth area

If people wanted a TV aerial installed then Colin Hackford and David Rogers were the men to call

If people wanted a TV aerial installed then Colin Hackford and David Rogers were the men to call - Credit: Anthony Carroll

Wherever he has worked across the Great Yarmouth area for the last 55 years, Colin Hackford has been guaranteed a good reception.

When Mr Hackford pitched up on people's doorstops across east Norfolk since 1966 they knew he would provide them with a crystal clear image of their favourite shows.

And Mr Hackford has now hung up his tools as he prepares to retire from his East Coast Aerials businesses, which is in the process of being wound down.

Mr Hackford started the business in Gorleston in 1966 with Tony Harper after working for other companies in the same field.

At its peak - as people clamoured for colour televisions and enjoyed new channels - it had a fleet of eight vans and employed 16 engineers.

As well as installing tens of thousands of television aerials at people's home across the borough of Great Yarmouth, the firm also worked for housing associations, the James Paget University Hospital and other businesses.

Colin Hackford and David Rogers check a television is getting a perfect signal

Colin Hackford and David Rogers check a television is getting a perfect signal - Credit: Anthony Carroll

It also had a contract for satellite dishes.

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But the scenes of Sky dishes and people being able to access hundreds of shows at a flick of a switch or voice command are in stark contrast to the firm's early years. 

Mr Hackford, 78 and a father-of two in Burgh Castle, said: "There used to be three different aerials if you wanted BBC One, BBC Two and ITV.

"The 1960s were what I call a boom time. People were buying colour televisions and BBC Two was going to be launched."

The company then moved to Great Yarmouth and became involved in installing early satellite dishes, which Mr Hackford said could cost £2,800 in 1996 and were steerable so they could fix on a signal. 

One thing Mr Hackford said he was amazed at was that people were prepared to spend £1,000 on a new television but would then save money on an aerial or dish.

Thousands of homes across the borough of Great Yarmouth had TV aerials installed by Colin Hackford's company

Thousands of homes across the borough of Great Yarmouth had TV aerials installed by Colin Hackford's company, East Coast Aerials - Credit: James Bass

He said: "It's like buying a Rolls Royce and putting paraffin in it instead of petrol."

He said he prided himself on the good service the business had provided to people and firms and organisations in the borough.

He added: "There are thousands of homes that have our aerials."

Employee David Rodgers, 69, had joined the firm at the age of 15 and said he enjoyed working out in the fresh air and chatting to customers.

That was the year that was - 1966

Of course 1966 was a glorious year for English football as the national team beat Germany 4-2 in the World Cup final.

England captain Bobby Moore holding the World Cup aloft

England captain Bobby Moore holding the World Cup aloft - Credit: PA/British Pathe PLC

1966 also saw the introduction of Action Man into children's lives.

Chancellor of the Exchequer James Callaghan announced the pound would be decimalised.

In April of that year Time magazine declares London to be a "Swinging City".

The Beatles celebrated their 10th number one, Paperback Writer, in June.

In the world of television, Doctor Who viewers were stunned as the main character William Hartnell regenerated into Patrick Troughton in a story called The Tenth Planet, which also introduced the Cybermen.

In October the Aberfan disaster claimed the lives of 116 children and 28 adults due the collapse of a colliery spoil tip.

During the same month KGB mole George Blake escapes from Wormwood Scrubs and is next seen in the Soviet Union.