Recollections of BBC engineering from 1922 to 1997
The British Broadcasting Corporation
web site is: www.bbc.co.uk
BBC Engineering Division
This page is badly in need of restructuring. Until this is done, recent items will appear near the top of the page, above the "Introduction" heading.
New in Jun 2020: The nucleus of BBC Engineering was formed to a large extent by engineers who created the pioneering broadcast station 2MT. An excellent resource for more information is provided by the Radio Emma Toc website. The engineers can be seen in the first picture on this page. Among those shown, Maclarty went on to become, in the BBC, the first head of the equivalent of Planning and Installation Department, Kirke became Head (or Assistant Head?) of Research Department, Wynn became a Deputy Director of Engineering, Ashbridge became a Director of Engineering and uniquely, for a period during the war, was Deputy Director General, and Eckersley was of course the BBC's first Chief Engineer. So, quite a hot-house of talent!
Managing BBC Engineering - A paper presented to the I.E.E. in 1981.
Engineers made it possible for the BBC to come into existence and Engineering Division was a major part of the BBC.
The BBC Staff List for 1938 appears to list all staff (about 3900)
and it provides a good indication of the place held by Engineering within the
organisation at the time. About a third of the BBC's staff were in
Engineering Division and "CONTROLLER (ENGINEERING)" is listed third, under the
D.G and D.D.G.
The recruitment booklets listed below provide a good introduction to the breadth of activities. The 1989 booklet is probably the best. Click on the links to see PDF versions.
Engineers in the
...and here is a recruitment leaflet from Appointments Department, which was not part of Engineering Division, but it includes references to engineering careers. It seems to have been written before the era of equal opportunities! 1965 perhaps? "Opportunities for Young Men and Boys in the BBC in London".
Senior engineering posts can be seen in this list of Abbreviated Titles which covered the whole of the BBC.
Click here for Recollections of BBC Engineering.
Click here to see a brochure for the 1972 Engineers-in-Charge Annual Meeting, which marked 50 years of BBC engineering (10MB PDF file). The people who attended are pictured in the brochure, but you can also click the picture below to see a larger version. Make sure that your browser is not set to automatic image resizing. In Internet Explorer go to Tools/Internet Options/Advanced and under Multimedia uncheck Enable automatic image resizing. In Firefox use Ctrl++.
Engineering Division's leaders, listed below, were members of the BBC's Board of Management.
A significant proportion of the BBC's staff worked for Engineering Division:
The reduction was due to the transfer of some engineering staff to the Television, Radio and External Broadcasting Directorates. (This web site is predominantly about Engineering Division, but the scope is intended to include all engineering activities relating to the BBC.)
In 1995 Engineering Division was abolished and the remaining engineers formed Technical Resources, a part of BBC Resources. (Happily, Engineering Division was established once again two decades later!)
Engineering activities are summarised on the Home page and further details can be seen by clicking on the area of interest.
Engineering Personnel Department only appears under Training at present (E.P.D. Management course pictures).
The following areas are not presently within the
scope of this web site, but this could change on request:-
*Steve Snook contributed the following message in March 2009: