|List of Reminiscences
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BBC World Service equipment and studio operations in Bush House from the
late 1950s to the last transmission on 12th July 2012.
Television Outside Broadcasts from 1937
(with some experiences up to 1962)
Early developments in the BBC's National and International outside
BBC News at
My early days at
TV Centre by Dick McCarthy.
Operations at BBC South
Early days at one of the "Island Sites"
Radio Engineering family Trees from
by Geoff Woolf).
numbering system (Contributed by Geoff Woolf).
Mike Jordan's ExComms pages
Pictures and memories of the BBC's large Outside Broadcast
base at Kendal Avenue, London.
Here are three pictures of Dinky models contributed by G.C. Bom,
together with captions contributed by Philip Upton.
The model with the extending mast was known throughout the BBC as an
"Eagle Tower" because the actual tower was designed and built by a
company called Eagle Engineering based in the town of Warwick. The most
usual chassis for these towers was the Bedford RL which was a four wheel
drive chassis widely used by the British Army in those days. The version
modelled by Dinky dates from 1952. It carried a microwave dish aerial
about 1200mm in diameter and transmitted a single 405-line black & white
television signal on a frequency of 4GHz. The maximum extension of the
tower was about 20 metres.
The "Roving Eye" vehicle was an early attempt by the BBC to have a
vehicle which could produce live TV pictures from a moving vehicle for
use at events such as horse race meetings. It had a single black and
white camera channel (possibly Marconi or Pye) and sent the signals to a
fixed base on a UHF frequency, probably about 400MHz. It entered service
in 1956 and was built on a Karrier Bantam chassis with bodywork by
Mickleover Transport of London. Karrier was a brand of commercial
vehicle then common in the UK. I believe Karrier were part of the Rootes
Group who also built Commer and Hillman vehicles.
This vehicle was the Mobile Control Room or MCR. That was the official
name but all BBC staff have always used the name "Scanner" for these
vehicles. They usually had capacity for four camera channels and housed
the vision and sound production staff at an outside broadcast location.
The version modelled by Dinky was on a Bedford chassis. They were
probably the Bedford S but were known as "the big Bedford". A batch of
four of this design were put into service in 1954 with bodywork by
Marshall of Cambridge.
Contributed by Geoff Woolf:
A BBC Television Mobile Control Room from the "Eagle Annual of
Cutaways" published in 2007. Geoff says that this is an excellent
book which is a compilation of a great many cutaway drawings from the
old Eagle comic.
The drawings in the book are not dated, but Jeff Longbottom has
emailed to report that the original drawing appeared in the Eagle Comic
published on 4th November 1961.
Click the image to see a larger version, and use the Back button on
your browser to return.
Following an application made by Martin Ellen, this image is
reproduced by kind permission of the Dan Dare Corporation Limited.
This picture was taken in the front car park of
Kingswood Warren, the home of
BBC Research, and the
year was probably 1959. It shows two outside broadcast radio link
vehicles with "Eagle Towers".
Further information is available on the
Information Exchange &
Contact page. Scroll down to the Dinky toy picture like the one
High Definition Television OB Vehicle
A modern equivalent in almost the same spot as the
picture above, some 46 years later.
This picture was taken at the R&D open day in 2005.
A view from the top!
Picture taken at 250 metres above ground by a BBC
Transmission engineer who was commissioning a masthead
rotator system for BBC News & Current Affairs (used for receiving
External web sites
broadcasting equipment and memories
Pictures of old BBC radio equipment and memories from the people who used it.
The Tech Ops History site
Pictures and memories from "the golden age of television".
An incomplete history of
London's television studios
Deals mostly with the main large studio complexes that have a history that
goes back to the origins of ITV and the BBC.