IN THIS modern world of iPads, social media and Skype, it is easy to forget how far technology has really come in the last few decades.

But just 50 years ago the latest technological transformation not only fascinated the neighbours but it made headline news.

When a couple living in Dunbar became East Lothian’s first owners of a colour television, The Haddingtonshire Courier reported this extraordinary purchase to its readers as follows.

East Lothian’s first colour television set has been installed in the home of a Dunbar couple.

The set, a G.C.E. model costing £300, was bought by Mr and Mrs W. McAdam, Beltonford, from East Lothian Co-operative Society Ltd.

“During a week’s trial they found that it worked perfectly after their aerial was adjusted to receive signals from Aberdeen instead of Blackhall and decided to keep it.

Dunbar is ideally situated to pick up colour signals from Aberdeen which are broadcast for about 25 hours per week.

After December 2, however, Mr and Mrs McAdam should receive 40 hours of colour viewing each week, including the outside broadcasts and news bulletins.

There are so many aspects of this report to fascinate today’s modern generation of television viewers: the suggestion that at some point in the day channels went ‘off air’; the idea of only 25 hours of programming being in colour; the fact a couple happily revealed their purchase and the cost, not to mention where they lived.

It was a simpler time absolutely and a time when new technology captured the imagination in a way that is perhaps forgotten now as we become blasé about the next big thing.

Colour television in the United Kingdom was first broadcast by BBC2 in July 1967 for the Wimbledon tennis championships and was not rolled out nationally until December 2.

It would be a further two years before it extended into BBC One and ITV channels and, of course, it took time for households to convert to the new expensive colour TV sets.

In fact, colour television was first demonstrated publicly by Scots inventor John Logie Baird decades earlier in 1928.

His company spent years developing some of the world’s first colour television sets.

However, the onset of the Second World War, which saw BBC TV services suspended, put his company out of business.

Baird continued to finance his research personally and gave the world’s first demonstration of a fully integrated electronic colour picture tube on August 16, 1944.

Sadly the inventor’s untimely death two years later brought an end to his pioneering research and it fell to the United States of America to take on the work and produce commercial colour television.

The first official colour programme broadcast on BBC One was a Petula Clark concert which was broadcast from London’s Royal Albert Hall on midnight November 14, 1969, the hour timed for the beginning of the new colour TV licence year, costing £10 annually.

ITV’s first colour show was a Royal Automobile Club report followed by two children’s shows The Growing Summer and Thunderbirds.

Colour TV brought us a dizzying array of colour as shows including The Avengers and The Prison cashed in on eye-catching sets and outfits.

However, the biggest winner in the early days of colour was snooker. The sudden ability to differentiate the coloured balls raised the profile of the sport and Pot Black was born, carrying on for decades as a favourite show.