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Recollections of BBC engineering from 1922 to 1997
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I am very keen to ensure that any notification on this web site would meet the wishes of the deceased's family, but it is not always possible or appropriate for me to contact them.  On the other hand I am aware that many ex-colleagues would like to know of the news.  So, the policy of this web site is to list the name of the deceased below and, if appropriate, provide further information.  Due to the sensitivity of this issue, please let me know if any changes are required.

The date of death is approximate in some cases. The most recent is listed first.  Each date is followed by the name of the deceased and relevant information. Links lead to more information in some cases.

Date of death (Approx)

Name and relevant information (Links lead to more information)

4 April 2017 Gordon Bush worked at Woofferton in 1962 and later moved to the Service Planning Section of Research Department.  He was 85.
April 2017 Russell Tollerfield was a BBC transmitter engineer until 1965, before moving to Radio London, Capital Radio, Radio Victory, Ocean Sound and the annual Isle of Wight RSL station Cowes Radio.
On seeing this entry, Ray Liffen emailed: "In the years 1963 -1966 I was a Technical Trainee. From 23rd March to 1st May 1964 the training was at Skelton (OSE 8 and OSE 9). Russ Tollerfield was already there as a TA. He was a radio ham (G3SQD) but his 'pirate' interests were already in place.  On a particular night he told us to tune our radios to 207 metres (1 below Luxembourg) at 11pm when he broadcast as 'Radio Free Penrith' (a very daring thing to do and obviously a sackable offence if caught).
In later years he joined Radio London and while there compiled the 'Hello Sam' tape. This was recorded on the ship for his friend Sam and includes records, jingles and station idents all jumbled together with details of 'studio tricks' including things like playing records in and out of phase (a new idea in 1965). A rare example of what happened 'behind the scenes' and recorded late at night when no-one was about."
February 2017 Al Malcolm began his career as Youth in Training at Dundee, then Moorside Edge, P&ID, ARS, Daventry then WOF as EiC in May 1975 - 25/6/79 (then to Kranji) returned as EiC Woofferton 24/8/79 - March 1983, two years as Resident Engineer at Kranji. Retired 1985.
24 December 2016 George Morley was an SME at Brookmans Park and was one of the main movers in the successful transition over the period of November 1978 when the wavelength changes were executed.  He could be relied upon to do a superb job and provide the data and notes for what he had done for the future.
November 2016 John Jarvie had a long career in the BBC starting with a spell at Norwich and going on to become Head of Studio Capital Projects Department, during which he was involved in the creation of a number of new local radio station buildings. Later he became engineering general manager at TV Centre.
12 August 2016 John Astle was Head of Business & Engineering at Research & Development in Kingswood Warren.
12 August 2016 David Rayney was Power Station Manager at a number of Overseas sites.
24 June 2016 John Chantler was a Technical Assistant at Woofferton HF transmitting station for many years and a stalwart Officer of the Trade Union. Later he was an HF Conditional Engineer, he retired mid-1987.
21 November 2015 Peter Nicholas, Transmission.  This obituary was published in Prospero (newspaper for retired staff).
16 June 2015 S. W. Amos joined the BBC during the Second World War and became Head of Technical Publications, finally retiring in the early 1970s. He passed away peacefully on Tuesday morning 16th June 2015, aged 99.

His son Roger now has the responsibility of clearing his father's house which contains a very full set of books on electronics and broadcasting technology, most of which he wrote or co-authored, but there are others. All were published decades ago, some in the 1940s, and Roger is seeking a good home for them.  Here is a list.  Please email if you can help.

3 May 2015 Alex Rothney, Site Acquisition. He was 92.
May 2015 Jack Paley, Sandale, Oxford, then Transmitter Manager at Wenvoe. The funeral will take place on Tuesday 12th May at at 1.45pm in Llandough. Please click here to see an obituary written by Peter Condron.
31 March 2015 John Brooks, Designs Department.  Derek Simmons writes: "He was an accomplished draughtsman, became Head Draughtsman, and then transferred to another area of Services Section where he was responsible for handling and progressing all requests for work placed on the Model Shop. He took early retirement as part of the amalgamation of DD & ED in 1987, and went back to the drawing board with a firm local to his home in Horsham, West Sussex".  The funeral will take place on Monday, 27th of April at 1pm in Worthing. Please click here to request further details of the funeral.
6 Feb 2015 Frank Smith, Clerk of Works, Architectural and Civil Engineering Department.  "A plain speaking Yorkshire(?) man with a great sense of humour and bringer of news and gossip. He knew buildings and builders, their tricks and shortcuts. With Frank in charge they built it right or they built it again. He could look at a building and tell you straight way if it was safe to demolish a wall or knock out a hole. A fount of knowledge and always very helpful, an old fashioned "good guy"." (-Stuart Winsor).  "Not only was Frank damn good at his job, he was a damn nice guy as well. His lasting legacy is the quality of the buildings and fond memories from all of us." (-Jim Woodward).  Please click here to see an obituary written by Ken Ward.
January 2015 Frank Orme, Holme Moss and Peterborough transmitting stations. The funeral will probably be on Tuesday 20th January.  Click here to email for details.
January 2015 Phil Bainbridge, Daventry transmitting station.  Click here to see a picture, taken by Phil Richmond, of the ex-BBC people who attended the funeral at Banbury on 22nd January: Left-Right - Frances Cover, Ian Rogers, Paul Dunn, Dave Peck, Mike Littlewood, Mike Betts. Dave Adams, Steve Canham, Phil Critchley, Stuart Winsor, Peter  Wagstaff, Phil Richmond & Robin Westley.
December 2014 Peter Dews, Project Manager at BBC Transmission in Warwick (and more recently Arqiva).  Maurice Miller writes: "When in Projects I worked at many an MF site with Peter enjoying what were some of my best working days in his company. With him we launched Crown Castle’s first commercial DAB mux. Peter was a “good egg” through and through and I will greatly miss him. AM and DAB Radio owes much to this man on whose installations he will live on." 
2014 Tom Small worked at Skelton and Stagshaw transmitting stations before moving to the Central Personnel Directorate where he was involved for a number of years in the BBC's various job evaluation schemes.
August 2014 Bill Busby. "Mr Busby" was EiC Crystal Palace.  He was an influential and towering figure (literally!) in the first 20 years of this important transmitting station. Click here to see an obituary written by Norman Shacklady.
25 Jun 2014 Johnny Johnstone, Head of RF Section Section, Designs Department until 1985. Johnny's wife Jennifer has asked for her thanks to be passed on to the 16 ex-BBC folk who attended the funeral.  Click here to see an obituary written by John Sykes, David Kitson, Rhys Lewis and Martin Ellen.
2 Apr 2014 Gerry Kingdom, Droitwich.
20 Feb 2014 Dai Thomas, ex-Senior Transmitter Manager, Wenvoe, died after a short illness - he was on the golf driving range three days earlier and on fine form.  Click here to see an obituary written by Peter Condron.
17 Jan 2014 May Bainton, Cook at Wenvoe during some part of the 70's and 80's. She was 87.
17 Nov 2013 Neil Burrows, Daventry. Neil's funeral is on Friday the 29th November near Daventry.  Details available on request.
15 Nov 2013 Bill McDowell, Communications Manager, Scotland.
10 Nov 2013 Ross Durling, Links/Comms & Networks Unit, Brookmans Park.
27 Sep 2013 Lee Davison, a transmitter engineer who worked at Woofferton. Dave Porter noted that "If we ever needed a digital/logic circuit he was the font of all such knowledge".
25 Sep 2013 Les Lane, a senior transmitter engineer who worked at Woofferton and Daventry. Click here for a picture of ex-BBC staff at the funeral.  Roy Clarke, John Barry, Stuart Winsor, Dave Adams, Norman Rhodes, Trevor Gandine, Pete Wagstaff, Dave Dymott, Brian Finch, Pete Arnold, Rod Viveash, Steve Hill, Julian Marlow, Phil Richmond.
21 Sep 2013 John Penry Davies, Droitwich.
30 Aug 2013 Bob Short - a larger-than-life character in TPID/TCPD from the end of the 60's to 1978.  As well as contacts from his time at the BBC, Bob was also well known in Amateur Radio and Model Engineering circles.  The funeral will be in Devon on Wednesday 18 September 2013 and details are available upon request.
June 2013 Vic Howett, Communications Department.  Click here for an obituary written by Clive Rickerby.
Feb 2013 Colin Seabright, who is best remembered for his role as Manager of the Audio and Telecommunications Area (ATA) in Broadcasting House, London.  Click here for an obituary written by Ken Turner.
8 Dec 2012

and

7 Jan 2013

Fred Wylie says:
"It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing of two stalwarts of Comms Engineering in Northern Ireland. RJM Elliott, or Mo to all his friends and colleagues died on 8th December 2012 at the age of 93. Mo joined the BBC in 1944 and when I first knew him he was AALE, Asst Area Lines Engineer. With the arrival of television in the region he eventually became MCES, Manager Comms and Engineering Services. He was later appointed to the senior management post of HPSE, Head of Programme and Services Engineering, a post he held with distinction until his retirement in 1979.

Within a month on 7th January 2013, Alan Goodall passed away, age 86 after a long period of failing health.. Alan, born near Scarborough joined the BBC in 1942 aged 16 as a youth in training in Huddersfield and after National Service in the Royal Signals went on to further his engineering career in Bristol, Duchess Street London, where he met his wife Phyllis and then to Glasgow. In 1964 he came to Northern Ireland, with his family, as CPE, Communications Planning Engineer a post he held until his retirement in 1986.

It was my pleasure to have known and worked with these two excellent engineers and fine gentlemen."

15 Dec 2012 Bill Williams passed away in a nursing home near Reigate. Bill worked in Service Planning Section at Kingswood Warren for most of his career.
9 Nov 2012 Terry Buzza has sadly passed away in hospital after a short period of illness. Terry was a Technical Services supervisor with experience at several locations. He joined the BBC as a Transmitter Technician at Holme Moss in the early 1980’s. He then had a period working at the Caribbean Relay Company in Antigua before returning to take up the supervisor position at Rampisham. Terry had short spells working at various overseas locations. His friendly demeanour and high level of skill was a great asset and could always be relied on. He will be missed by all his friends and colleagues who have had the privilege to know him. (Written by Stephen Gray)
31 Aug 2012 John Lunn, Research Department, Kingswood Warren.
14 May 2012 Jim Moon, Site Acquisition Section, Transmitter Department
14 May 2012 Brian Carpenter, Research Department, Kingswood Warren.
24 Apr 2012 Richard Sanders, Research Department, Kingswood Warren.
17 Mar 2012 Henry Kempson, Wenvoe.
15 Feb 2012 Peter Legate, Research Department, Kingswood Warren.
3 February 2012 Maurice Williamson, who was a highly respected senior figure in Transmitter Group.
20 Oct 2011 Dave Juland, who was a Transmitter Technician at Daventry HF Transmitting Station.
16 Oct 2011 Bob Crawford, Senior Transmitter Manager at Kirk o'Shotts passed away peacefully on the 16th of October 2011 at the age of 94. He joined the BBC in 1938 at Westerglen and became Engineer in Charge at Kirk o' Shotts in 1972 until his retirement in 1977 as STM. He retained a great interest in broadcasting until his death
14 May 2011 Tony Morgan, Wenvoe and Hannington.
13 Mar 2011 Geoff Claxton, who worked in Cardiff studios, died when the light ‘plane that he was piloting crashed near Swansea. Click here for an obituary written by Roger Farmer
10 Nov 2010 John Fletcher says: With great sadness I pass on the news that David Kirby died on Monday. As some of you will know, he had been battling a serious illness for many months.  He will be much missed by his colleagues here at BBC R&D.
16 June 2010 Peter Charles McKay worked as a photographer at Kingswood Warren from the early 60’s through to his retirement in 1991.  Sadly he died following complications caused by treatment for cancer, he was 78.  Stuart McKay asked for this notice to be placed here as his father had lost contact with some of his old friends after retiring.
26 May 2010 Phil Wakely 71, had worked at Rampisham as a General Maintenance Assistant, retiring in the late 1990's. Those of you that worked at Rampisham during the 80's and 90's will remember his great attention to detail and his love of Bridport Town football club.
1 Apr 2010 Ron Johnson, formerly Engineer in Charge of the Washford transmitting station. This was one of the early "Regional Transmitter" stations, opened in 1933.

Message from Ron's family: "We are sad to announce that Ronald Oliver Johnson came to the end of life's journey on 1st April 2010 aged 92.  He was the devoted husband to Daphne for over 60 years and loving father to Anthony, Susan and Lesley. The funeral will be held at Taunton Crematorium on 13th April at 1pm.  Family flowers only please.  Donations in lieu of flowers to Diabetes UK c/o Grandfield Funeral Directors, Keenthorne, Nether Stowey, Somerset, TA5 1HZ."

Click here to see an obituary written by Bert Gallon.

Dave Porter says:  "I worked at Washford just for six months and can honestly say he was one of the best EiC I ever met. He led by example and was an inspiration of how to do it properly. The station and its operation and management was a tribute to his professionalism.  If anybody ever needed to see how it was done this was the place and the man.  Since I left I kept in contact and we have seen his offerings to me in terms of reminiscences and technical writings.  In the last ToTT I used some of his training notes for the piece on ferrite combiners.  A true inspiration, I will miss his letters."

17 Feb 2010 John Campion, World Service. Retired in 1982.
12 Feb 2010 Lynda Darlington nee Norman.  Lynda was a secretary in the Studio Group office of Research Department at Kingswood Warren.
Feb 2010

Barry George. Glyn Morgan writes:  "Barry was in Designs Department Measurement Section when I was both new to the BBC and London in 1977. Barry was always a font of knowledge and very supportive in encouraging the younger section members. He had a reputation for devising thought provoking problems as well as the occasional practical joke. Barry later moved into computer support at a time when it was migrating from a small specialist mathematical operation to providing computer access and facilities across the whole department. Here his down-to-earth problem solving skills, and wit, were a benefit to the wider department. Barry took early retirement when Avenue House closed and moved with his wife Ann to Bath. Sadly Ann passed away in 2007. I will always remember him as someone who went to great lengths to help others."

Dec 2009 Doug Latcham, TCPD.
Aug 2009 Les Reece, Daventry.
8 July 2009 Peter Tingey, Designs Department and TCPD.
Mar 2009 Simon Saint, Daventry.
Dec 2008 Charles Sandbank, Deputy Director of Engineering.
20 Sep 2008 George Monteath. He was Head of BBC Research Department form 1976 to 1978 and he was an expert in radio frequency technology.
6 Sep 2008 Allen Herbert  joined the BBC in 1936 as a “Student Apprentice" and went on to to be a leading light in the development of HF antennas. He left the BBC in 1970, but some years later he made a major contribution to On Air.
Sep 2008 Geoffrey Goodship.
Aug 2008 John Shelley. He was a key figure in Designs Department for many years, starting in Neville Watson's Television Transmission Section and retiring as Head of Monitoring & Control Section.
12 Jun 2008 John Gealer, He is is probably best remembered for the expert guidance that he gave to very many engineers who attended his courses at the Engineering Training Department.
20 May 2008 Gordon Frederick ("Jeff") Turner, Antenna STE and A/AEiC Daventry transmitting station. See obituary in the Guardian.
May 2008 Janet Jones [nee Faulkner], Cook at Woofferton transmitting station.
Apr 2008 Percy Winsor, STE Woofferton transmitting station.
Apr 2008 Mike Barnes. Senior Transmitter Engineer at Wenvoe transmitting station.
1 Feb 2008 Ivor Tupper.  Ivor was a talented and highly respected engineer who, amongst other things, did pioneering work on the development of pulsed klystron techniques which significantly increased the efficiency of the BBC's television transmitter network.
 

Annual Prizes in memory of Ivor Tupper

Click here to see an article written for Prospero.

Two annual prizes have been established in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College, London, in memory of Ivor Tupper (1927-2008). Ivor, who spent the whole of his working life with the BBC, was an engineer of outstanding ability who made a substantial contribution to the work of Transmission Group. The prizes are to be awarded for excellence in the fields of signal processing, broadcast and video technology, one at BSc degree level and one at MSc degree level. The first prizes will be awarded in 2010.
Information provided by Bert Gallon.

2006 Brian Bower, Designs Department.
2005 Gordon Parker, Designs Department and Equipment Department.