Recollections of BBC engineering from 1922 to 1997
The British Broadcasting Corporation
web site is:



The references below are grouped into Topics, Places, Museums, Organisations and Other Resources, with links to this web site and many others. 




Chronology of Communication Events: A global perspective from an author based at Harvard.

Early broadcasting

Radio Emma Toc. Information about 2MT.
Early Radio and Television UK magazine articles on early radio and television, from the period 1925-1940, the politics, economics, technology.


Features Index on MB21.  Recommendation: Tales from a Cold Field, by Ray Cooper.

Research, Designs, Equipment, Comms Projects, Transmitter Projects, Studio & O.B. Ops., Comms Ops., Transmitter Ops. and War on BBCeng.

Studios BBC Radiophonic Workshop
A good website full of video, captioned pictures and technical articles about the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, showing its development over the years.

Radiophonic Museum
Radiophonic Museum of BBC Audio Engineering and Design (in Stockport). This is a living, working museum rather than just a repository of relics in glass cabinets. Much of the restored BBC heritage is used on a daily basis by a younger generation of musicians and engineers who have never seen anything like it and find it amazing to work with. 

Normal Stop
BBC World Service equipment and studio operations in Bush House from the late 1950s to the last transmission on 12th July 2012.
The link no longer works.  If you know where the content has gone please let me know.

Old 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.

Museum of the Broadcast Television Camera
This site is under construction, but already has many pictures of television cameras as well as information about them.


Mainly in Designs, Eng Inf and Technical Reviews on BBCeng.
'Wonders of World Engineering':  Engineering articles from the 1930s, including Television and Droitwich.


100 Voices that made the BBC The Birth of TV

The British Heritage Television Group Alexandra Palace and more.

MHP - Home of the Test Card Gallery: Dedicated to everything television.

The Test Card Circle: Test cards and associated music that was played during BBC and ITV Trade Test Transmissions.

Animated clocks: Includes the BBC's first electronically generated clock, as originally designed by Richard Russell.

VT Old Boys: From VERA to D3 - the entire history of videotape in the BBC.

Slow motion video - 1966 style: An article by Peter Rainger, ex-Head of BBC Designs Department.

TV Outside Broadcast History: Includes descriptions of the technical systems used for major UK OBs.

O.B. vehicles: Article from 1951 in Commercial Vehicles publication.
Early "Color" Television: US website that includes early BBC colour work. New in May 2021


UK Terrestrial Radio & TV Transmitters: Information about past, present and future transmitters.

ET4336 RCA transmitter.  Radio Bygones Magazine, No. 87 Feb/Mar 2004 (Part 1) and No 88 (Part 2).

A Passion for Radio: A personal view of BBC transmitting stations.  Many good pictures.


Places (e.g. Transmitting stations)

...on BBCeng

See Specific Transmitter Sites.

...on mb21

See The Transmission Gallery.


Radio Emma Toc: A website celebrating the UK's first regular radio broadcast service, wireless station '2MT'

Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace Television Society.   "Direct Television from Alexandra Palace".


Athlone transmitting station: Early Marconi and Brown-Boveri transmitters that still exist (RTE not BBC).

Brookmans Park

Brookmans Park: The London Twin-Wave Broadcasting Station,  A Descriptive BBC Souvenir 1930.

A History of BP transmitting station




  If you know of any important examples of BBC equipment that are in danger of being scrapped, please contact an appropriate museum.
Science Museum, London Science Museum: Information about 2LO, the BBC's first transmitter.
Science and Industry Museum, Manchester Science and Industry Museum.  Includes items from Studio B (regional TV) which was installed at BBC Oxford Road in Manchester in 1980 by the BBC Studio Capital Installations Department.
Museum of Communication, Scotland Museum of Communication Burntisland,
Wireless in Wales Wireless in Wales Vintage Radio Museum Denbigh.
Radio Museum in Somerset The Radio Museum, Watchet.


Cambridge Museum of Technology Pye, founded in Cambridge in 1894 and taken over by Philips in 1967, was a major supplier of cameras, transmission equipment and other kit to the BBC and other broadcasters, as well as making domestic radios and televisions. A new permanent exhibition at Cambridge Museum of Technology has an excellent selection of old equipment that will please anyone interested in engineering and industrial design and is well worth a visit.



Organisations  (past and present)


Arqiva owns the transmitting stations that used to form the home service of BBC Transmission prior to privatisation in 1997.

Babcock Communications Part of Babcock International Group. Operates transmitting stations that used to form the world service part of BBC Transmission prior to privatisation in 1997.  Between 1997 and 2010 this function was carried out by Merlin Communications and then VT Communications.


See top half of Home page for links to pages on BBCeng that deal with BBC Departments.

BBC Research publication archive including "BBC Engineering" and "BBC Monographs"

BBC Comms Department: A site intended for the interest and benefit of ex-Communications Department staff.

BBC Radiophonic Workshop: An engineering perspective. [Link no longer working]

BBC Memories web site: Memories sent in to BBC Heritage by ex-BBC staff. (Web site now closed!)

BBC Pensioners Association

Noticeboard for former BBC staff

BBC Heritage

BBC Written Archives - Broadcast Engineering - Acquired Collections New in May 2021


Kelly Books Limited New & second-hand books & magazines relating to radio and television.

Crown Castle

Crown Castle International: Owned Crown Castle UK between 1997 and 2004, then sold to National Grid Wireless. 

Eddystone Radio

Eddystone User Group: Dedicated to radio receivers (Eddystone was also a BBC contractor for transmitters).


Marconi Calling: Early years of wireless technology.

Henry Joseph Round:  Co-designer of 2LO and an unrecognised pioneer who achieved a great deal more.

Marconi Veterans Marconi Veterans Association
NTL NTL Pension Association: NTL provided radio and television transmission services for commercial broadcasters.




British Vintage Wireless Society: Preservation and restoration of Vintage radio and related equipment.

Time Machine : A museum project that includes a BBC studio clock system and one of the earliest oven controlled oscillators used by the BBC.


Other resources

WayBack Machine - Internet archive This website captures bbceng web pages, amongst many others, and includes BBC Engineering Monographs

Archives of publications related to broadcast engineering Wireless World 1913 to 1984.

World Radio History  This website used to be called American Radio History. It includes many publications relevant to BBC engineering. The link goes to the BBC Books and Publications section, but many other publications are linked from the site's home page.

Matt's Links Private website with items relating to BBC engineering.