right, now strictly speaking, berthaBertha wasn’t a robot, she was a factory machine who would usually solve the crisis of the day by manufacturing some vital item. nevertheless, i reckon she definitely qualifies through virtue of having big robot hands, a big robot mouth, and generally being totally sweet. i remember watching this show in my very early childhood and being wowed by the important socio-economic class issues of the time. i mean, who could forget the episode where the workers go on strike and shut Bertha down? of course, the bit where they go on to scab after being tempted by a large pot of tea somewhat ruins it, but we’ll forget about that… there was definitely a worker/boss divide in the show that mirrored the miner’s strike going on at the same time.

Tom Berthaback to the robots. Bertha made a range of items such as springs, garden gnomes, other robots, cuckoo clocks, windmill shaped money boxes… Bertha truly is the most versatile factory robot ever created. hardly surprising that the bosses often relied on her as their best machine! i have to say, my memories of the show are somewhat vague, and it’s only the theme tune that sticks well in my mind. all the other details i’ve had to look up, but this has jogged my memory, leading me to remember that there was in fact another robot in the show called T.O.M. (Talk Operated Machine). i’ve been watching some YouTube vids and i forgot how cool he was! especially when he dropped a plant pot on one of the boss’s head from the top of a flight of stairs. this was during the workers’ strike. great show of solidarity T.O.M.!

anyway, i’m off to watch as much Bertha as i can find on YouTube. i’ve given you two cool robots for the price of one in this issue, so that should keep you ticking over for a little bit. all i need to do now is get rid of the theme tune that’s running round and round in my head…