By Tony Smith
(Click the pictures to enlarge them)
Bilsdale Cylinder Mast.
Taken during the installation of some electrical cables up to the top.
These pictures are of Bilsdale in one of its better moods.
Crystal Palace Tower (above and next five pictures below)
These were taken over a period of time when the Tower was rigged for a
number of installations between July to October 1979.
This is the view you get as you climb into the man carrying cage on the
ground. It always reminds you of a really urgent job that needs doing
elsewhere right now.
These were taken during that peaceful ride up to the work place up top and
show how much London has changed.
As you passed by Geof Platts antennas all T.C.P.D. staff in the cage were
required to face the tower and salute.
When you are on your leaning belt outside of the Tower and look down it
always reminds one Not To Drop any spanners!!!
Clun UHF. Taken during the UHF installation at Clun. November 1979.
The Clun UHF relay station is located up a forestry track and fairly high
up. While we were working on the UHF antenna system a thick fog developed
and blotted out the surrounding countryside completely. During the fog we
began to hear the most awfully loud croaking sounds coming out of the
woodland beneath which then circled the tower before moving off down the
valley. Just then as I was leaning over the platform handrail to try to see
what was going on down in the woods the sun came out and I reacted quickly
with the camera to the photographic Spectre thing.
Later that night down in the local pub we were sat around by the fire
supping our pints when that awful croaking sound blasted out right behind
us. We all leapt up in shock where as the locals did not bat an eyelid. Then
the barman pointed down the bar and said "don't worry it's only old Don and
as he is both deaf and dumb that's his way of ordering his pint!!"
This is the shadow Mendip casts at midday on the summer solstice. But
allowing for the extra hour we add on for our summer time it means it's got
another hour to go before it points due North. As I had the ten past twelve
lift to catch back down to the ground I could not wait.
Holme Moss and the "Warm Glow Café"
Taken during the installation of mast lighting cables and fittings up
through the VHF cylinder June/July 1980.
This is looking down the mast from the dropping off point of the cage.
These show that the only way to get up to the `Warm Glow' was by first
working your way up through the VHF Cylinder antenna as this Gentleman is by
either cleating in cables or in his case firing M8 studs into the mast leg
(with A.C.E.D.`s permission) with a Hilti Gun.
These show that the small room at the top of the VHF cylinder (the "Warm
Glow Café") soon fills up with customers and if you are not quick enough all
of the supplies are soon consumed as shown by Tim Sullivan and Ian Clark. It
did not have curtains at the portholes and the toilets left a lot to be
desired but it did give shelter during sudden turns for the worst in the
If you did happen to get wet and the weather had improved then you could get
the Café owner to open the top hatch and let you out onto the promenade
deck. Normally before you were let up there though the Café owner would pop
up with his "Rare Fly Detector" and check to see if the engineers on the
ground had been throwing to much coal in the Broadcast boilers.
Here Ian Clark is trying to drag Tim Sullivan up through the top hatch.
If the weather was fine up on the promenade deck then you could expect some
wonderful views across the countryside but the waiter was unlikely to bring
you up a gin and tonic.
Once you have got a nice healthy tan up on the top deck you can travel down
in stile and maybe spot another on those photographic spectre things around
the cage and the last picture shows the sort of spectre it could be.
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