Column: Adventures in a creepy house

Peter Firth as Archie Weeks in The Flaxton Boys
Peter Firth as Archie Weeks in The Flaxton Boys

This week I’m writing about ‘The Flaxton Boys’, a great 1960s children's programme.

Little is heard about it nowadays, but it had a strange and mysterious quality which rendered it riveting. I’d love to hear readers’ memories of it too.

Set in Flaxton Hall, Yorkshire, the main memory I have of the programme is the hole in the wall and two eyes peering through at the goings on. This was incredibly creepy and other viewers will know exactly what I’m referring to.

Set in a large mansion, we saw the lives of the youngsters yet there was a darker side to the mansion which was implied, yet never stated.

Storylines included hidden treasure and creepy happenings and we were led on an adventure each week with the two boys. Everyone wanted to know what was really going on and who the person lurking behind the wall was.

Also it was always shown during the day which somehow seemed incongruous, given the spooky vibe of the programme.

Another vivid memory is that of a great ‘60s programme, called ‘Journey To The Bottom Of The Sea’.

Set in the Cold War period, it had a strange beeping sound which, to the ears of a child, really added a sense of drama to the programmes.

Again, those in the know will know exactly what I am referring to.

Each week saw the poor submarine staff dealing with one drama after another, and sometimes those of the nonsensical kind, such as some enormous sea monsters grappling with the vessel.

This would bring on stranger and more frantic sounds, and show the men being rocked helplessly about, though their 60s haircuts were always immaculate. We never saw their lives off the sub and this gave a somewhat claustrophobic vibe to the programme.

In many ways, it reminded of an aquatic Star Trek which was similar in its storylines and plots sans the science fiction theme.

It was serious stuff as they battled with this threat or that and unmissable each week.

These programmes were a delight to young children who could escape their everyday activities into a world of adventure and dramatic twists and turns.

Great and treasured memories.