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BBC Engineering Division - The McLean Papers

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Sir Francis McLean was Director of Engineering from 1963 to 1968 and he directed the introduction of colour television, as well as many other developments.

His granddaughter Tessa McLean has kindly donated a significant collection of his papers to BBCeng and they will gradually be added to this page.

Many of them were donated in the form of foolscap flimsies so the quality of the text is poor, but good work has been done by Nick Cutmore to scan and enhance them.

The six items below were added in June 2021 and many more will be added over the next year after they have been checked with respect to the publication policy of this website.

Machines, Money, Methods and Men: 15th March 1966
Notes and script for a talk to a management conference at Uplands.
It deals mainly with staffing issues - "Men"!

Colour Television in the UK and Europe: 21st September 1966
Full script of a speech to an I.E.E.E. Broadcast Symposium in Washington.
It describes the present state of the art and acknowledges that the UK and Europe has profited enormously from the experience gained during the introduction of colour TV in the USA.

Technical aspects of the introduction of a colour TV service: 28th September 1966
Full script from a seminar at Mullard, emphasising the need to build up expertise in colour television technology.

Telecommunications - The Next 10 Years: 17th October 1966 
Full script of a prestigious "Granada Guildhall Lecture".
It covers the state of the art regarding cable, terrestrial wireless and satellite systems.  The issues covered include spectrum, propagation, powers, compression, components, and economics.  In some ways it predicts the internet, satellite broadcasting, MPEG coding and even transmission of moving pictures from Mars!

Scientific collaboration between the universities and the Engineering Division of the BBC: 20th December 1966
Full script of an introduction to Engineering Division at a two-day symposium.

Royal Television Society: 28th February 1967
Full script of his "reply to toast" at a prestigious RTS banquet.
"..it was the flickering light of the television that brought about the end of the Dark Ages"!