Recollections of BBC engineering from 1922 to 1997
The British Broadcasting Corporation
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Designs Department - List of Reminiscences

Home Up Memory Lane Memorabilia

Approximately in chronological order.

  1. Designs Department's Predecessors, by "L.G." Smith
    Going right back to the start of the BBC, this article describes arrangements for designing equipment up until 1947.

  2. Reminiscences of S N Watson and T Worswick
    Transcript of a tape recording made at Television Centre on 22 February 1971, as a contribution to the important book "BBC Engineering"
  3. The first colour television from London to Moscow, by David Savage
    Pioneering developments in 1964.
  4. Notes on the BBC's 1964/5 demonstrations of NTSC in Moscow, by Peter Tingey
    This contribution gives a flavour of the practical problems encountered during the tests.
  5. Some incidents at Western House, by By Peter Tingey
    Nine short stories.
  6. Early days of Designs Department, by Gordon Parker
    This article gives an excellent flavour of the pioneering work that was done to develop the BBC's television service.  It covers the distribution of 405 line television throughout the UK, the introduction of colour and the first electronic standards converter.  Gordon subsequently became Head of Designs Department.
  8. First Steps in Designs Department, by David Savage
    David explains how, on returning to the BBC after National Service, he became involved with television transmission engineering.  As well as giving a view of life in the Department, this article highlights an important aspect of television engineering that is often overlooked.
  9. The Virtue of a Goniometer, by Peter Tingey
  10. My First Steps into Designs Department, by Neale Davison
    A glimpse of the atmosphere in Designs Department from the perspective of a new recruit in 1966.
  11. Memories of Designs Department from 1970 to 1985, by Martin Ellen
    I wrote this article to get the ball rolling and encourage other people to contribute to the web site. 
  12. My Career in the BBC: Part 1,  by Richard Russell
    Richard's career in Designs Department included several high profile projects such as the BBC Microcomputer and the first fully-electronic Network Clock displayed on BBC1 and BBC2. As a result, this article gives a very good illustration of the pioneering work done by engineers in the Department.
  13.  Steve Snook's BBC career, including Equipment Department, Management Services Group and Designs Department.
  14. Animated clocks:  Dave Jeffery's Flash Files (external link)
    This site includes a Flash file version of the BBC's first electronically generated clock, as originally designed in 1979 by Richard Russell.
  15. Embarrassing "Dippings", by Peter Tingey


  16. Third time lucky how I came to join Designs Department, by David Birt
    David gives an interesting perspective from the viewpoint of an accomplished engineer who joined DD fairly late in his career.  The article also has links to pages recalling fascinating aspects of his pre-BBC career.
  17. My Experimental Days of Colour Television at the BBC by Peter Tingey

  18. My Career in the BBC: Part 2, by Richard Russell
    This article follows on from Part 1 (see No. 11 above) and covers the rest of Richard's BBC career.  It is listed here, on a Designs Department page in order to keep the two parts together but, as Richard explains, both he and the Department moved on as a result of organisational changes.  Richard's achievements were spectacular and represent BBC engineering at its best. More content added on 20/9/07:  Studio lighting; Success out of failure.