Houseparty

Houseparty from Southern Television was the Loose women of the 1970’s. The Houseparty door would go and ladies would pile into the coffee morning meet up with either a new crochet pattern or news on Albert’s hernia or Aunt Phylis and her Artheritis.

It must of got viewers as it ran for well over a decade. I don’t think men were allowed on the show, it was just ladies and there crafts from my memory. Of course unless you were sick from school you never saw it.

Houseparty Clip

Other episodes of Houseparty included making cucumber sandwiches or a chilli in a big slow cooker. The women all seemed to know each other from various backgrounds. Vera got a new hoover and demonstrated that for the ladies, while Joyce and Betty told them about the new book they had borrowed from the local library.

Houseparty - 1970s Loose Women

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Houseparty featured the sort of items expected to be found within the covers of a “magazine for women”, such as cooking, knitting, crafts, and general gossip. The studio was arranged so as to resemble a living room and the regular ‘guests’ rang a ‘doorbell’ when they arrived after the programme had started, often bringing items of interest with them. It may have been a rather ‘phoney’ idea but the show was popular; it only ended when Southern stopped broadcasting, though Meridian revived the show for a brief time with the daughters of some of the original cast, in 1993.

The more you think about Houseparty, the more you realise it was actually quite awful, but at the time it was enchanting to see a show presented by women for women. A wide range of topics were discussed and various housekeeping items were demonstrated.

So what happened to the ladies on Houseparty? Cherry Marshall died a few years ago, following long retirement in Frinton On Sea. Lucy Morgan died of breast cancer. Daphne Lee died in France where she had retired. Anne Ladbury occasionally appears on BBC Southern Counties Radio talking about Houseparty. She has some Betamax tapes with editions of Houseparty on. Jean Orba, was the programme organiser of Houseparty and is still around reminiscing on the 70s show.

26 thoughts on “Houseparty

  1. I have fond memories of watching houseparty with my Mum. I would love copies of any houseparty episodes that are available, could you e-mail me any details? Many thanks. Dee.

  2. How nice to read about house party, althoughm I lived in Surrey at the time, I never thought of this programme as middle classed. I always watched it, and used to enjoy all the different activities that went on. I have often wondered what happened to all the “ladies”. I have never watched loose women, but I can’t imagine it would be as interesting as house party was way back then. Of course it would seem rather dated these days.

  3. Loved this programme. Some of them felt like family. Still miss it now. I would be interested to see some videos but my memory is that it was far more honest about the reality of womens’lives than a lot of the programmes we have now.

  4. Wonderful show! Miss it even to this day. There are a couple of snippets here and there on line but does anyone have access to all of the shows, please!?

  5. Houseparty really was NOT the Loose Women of the seventies – I used to watch it regularly with mu mother, and it was interesting and informative – and, unlike Loose Women, they DID NOT talk about celebrities and sex all the time – I remember one of the ladies, Cherry Marshall, talking about Chaucer, and middle English. It was a really excellent programme, and it’s so sad that there’s nothing like it on today. Standards have slipped so far, and it seems as if there will never be a way to change back to the days before the cult of celebrity and the general trashiness and ‘dumbing down’ of today.

  6. I loved houseparty, it was like having a mother teaching all kinds of wonderful things for home and family, nice chats, no swearing, no sarcasm, no course ness, all the programmes in those days were soo much nicer, brought us young mums up to a nice standard not like the rubbish shameless programmes of today, even more so the childrens ones…..bring back ann ladbury and houseparty again, it was nothing like loose women that’s an insult x

  7. My friends and I were addicted to House party when we were students. We couldn’t believe the preposterous women were for real, but none of us had ever been in southern England.

  8. Houseparty was magucal always sat with my nan watching her dacs were cherry and mary who I think were related a lovely warm decent gteat progrsmme x nothing like it now

  9. I’ve examined the footage and this brings back memories of when I lived with my mother in Carshalton. The Pearson Discussion Table with men born in the 1970s and women older than them should recount the existence of the Gas Showrooms.

  10. i was a teenager in the early 70s and would get home quickly to see house party It wasn’t really like Loose women as it had a lot going on trivial as it seems now it was just for women which was its charm. I personally would like to see something like it again but it’s out dated now and gossip seems to be at the forefront not chatter there was no bitching or anger just calm and charm

  11. I have fond memories watching house party with my mum it was great I also remember a well dressed lady called Sylvia Marshall (marshy) loved her also Mary the cook what happened to these great women

  12. During the 1960s ( I was born in 1961) I got to know Sylvia Marshall and remember her well. She worked as a fashion model and my Grandmother was a seamstress who would alter Sylvia’s outfits prior to her fashion shoots.Yesterday whilst viewing a cine film from that time I was pleased to see Sylvia attending a family wedding.She looked very glamorous.

  13. I was a regular viewer of Houseparty. It was miles better than Loose Women. Very of its time but then I have fond memories of the seventies. No irritating mobile phones constantly in your face. Modern tv has now been dumbed down by a tsunami of reality shows, which I hate. I loved Houseparty, and like many others, I watched it with my Mum

  14. Thanks for this lovely post about “Houseparty”!

    My name is Jemilah. I am Cherry Marshall’s grad-daughter and Sarah’s daughter. I appeared regularly on the show when it came back to Meridian and from time-to-time in the original series. Infact my first ever outing aged six-weeks was on to Houseparty. Carried in a now-oulawed yellow plastic kiddie bag 🙂

    Not sure if anyone would be interested but I am back to making music after having two children. When Cherry died something kind of snapped in my heart and I couldn’t play. Ten years on and I am back to it. I call myself Mrs Findlay which is true, and I wanted a musical identity that included my family.

    I have a lyric video for my song “Stay” on YouTube.

    Thanks again for this!

    Very best wishes,

    Jemilah
    xx

    • Hi Jemilah, I was a big fan of Houseparty, ok it was the seventies and obviously different from today’s shows (Incidently I think it was MUCH better than today’s shows too, as the focus now always seems to be on so called celebrities and reality stars) ok that just my opinion I know……………….

      I loved your grandmother Cherry Marshall, a few months ago I spotted a book of hers on Amazon, It is called Prime Time Woman, A Guide to Looking and Feeling Great all your Life, It was a 1986 copy, and I love it. I keep it on my coffee table, and “dip into it” very often I thoroughly enjoying reading about Cherry’s life…………….

      By the way I have listened to your UTube song, Stay, I love it and play it often. I wish you every success with your singing career……………..

      Very Warm Wishes. Diane Tozer x

  15. I would love it if Houseparty was repeated on TV. I used to watch it with my mother and I remember it as being very informative with cooking and sewing and I also loved the chat between the women. No swearing or references to sex and no bitchyness, I loved it when the doorbell rang and someone else came in, I used to think it was just someone calling in and not staged. Please bring it back, Loose Women is rubbish.

  16. My favourite was Sylvia Marshy Marshall. So full of life and a plus size model. Are you still around Marshy. Used to love watching u when I was a young mum. Now a grandma myself.
    Paulette Spreadbury

  17. for some reason I thought Mary Berry appeared doing some cooking but I must of been mistaken anyway I still loved watching it all them years ago.

  18. I loved House Party too, it was great company for me in the 80’s when I was a young mum with to babies. I would watch it whilst they were having their afternoon nap. I thought it was a good alrounder all the women were friendly and you really thought you were there with them and I still miss it to this day as much as miss Family Circle Magazine! Of course I lived in North Hampshire then and I would like to see a revival of it on all national regional networks as I live in a different county now. I loathe loose women and to say it’s today’s version of house party is total rubbish!

  19. What a great group of ladies…and part of my life throughout the late 69s, 70s and until Southern TV finished in 1981.
    Sadly Cherry passed away, Sylvia also , two great ladies who were such characters. .
    Lucy also passed away, Daphne also….
    Would love to see the rest of the team meet up again…Viv, Anne, Jean, and the other lovely ladies who’s antics were such a joy to many people looking in who perhaps lived alone, they truly became “friends”…
    God bless them all.

  20. I watched House Party when I was 22 (1976) and at home, trying to find a teaching job. We had moved to a new area and I didn’t know anyone. I looked forward to the company of the Houseparty women every day much to the amusement of my young husband.

  21. As a small child I had to endure this broadcast. Today, I think any child subjected to this programme would be referred to social services.

    More seriously though, it is painful to watch in terms of feminism or rather the lack of. Its narrative often enforced the notion of housewife chained to the kitchen sink. Thankfully, things have moved on.

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