Richard Buckby, David ( Speedy ) Adkins, Ron Case, John
Walch and Arthur Allen
on the Ascension Island airstrip on 29 May 1968.
Where are they now ?
Well, as a result of seeing this web page, here is one answer:
John Walch has been at Radio Sheffield since 1972,
having previously worked at Daventry, Woofferton, Bartley,
Westerglen, and of course Ascension (1968-9). At
the last check he was the 2nd longest serving member of BBC staff,
having joined on 17th September 1962 and it is now 9 March 2006.
David Dunmall at the transmitter control desk in
Aerial view which
must have been taken from an RAF helicopter sometime in 1982. This was after
the 'invasion' of Ascension Island by Her Majesty's Forces at
the time of the Falklands war. The picture shows the four trunked feeders from the Tx building to
the array switching station. The office and administration block is on
This shows the condition of the aerial field, or lava field. A
most dangerous place at night and two people always set off together to
investigate any faults in the darkness. These problems were mainly caused by cracks in the plastic pipe carrying
compressed air for array switching. Later UV-proof pipes were
installed. The Mini-moke was used extensively on the island, as
were Land Rovers, but both were very dusty means of transport on the
early untarred roads.
Rain! The big joke when Jeff Cant first arrived in
September 1969 was that "It never rained on Ascension Island".
However, it did just that frequently until Christmas. This is the
front of English Bay Transmitter building after rain in December 1969
with Dave Dunmall's car parked outside. Strangely, the next year
1970, no rainfall was recorded at all for the island.
Tape. Jeff Cant checking a pre-shipped tape on one of the four Leevers-Rich
tape machines in February 1970.
This is the little studio at Butt Crater where Maurice Turner, our
Programme and Administration Officer would record his 5 minute local
weekly news broadcasts, Feb 1970. He also made up frequency and
programme announcements for broadcast on the World Service.
Receivers. Exterior of the receiver building in January 1970. It was below
Two Boats village and behind hills, being shielded from the TX site at
Tuning. Jeff Cant tuning a RACAL receiver terminal in Feb 1970.
At that time the check receiver was mounted on a Dexion trolley.
Monitoring Desk. Jeff Cant at the monitoring desk, taken later in 1971 after the check
receiver had been fitted into the switching desk.
roamed the dry and dusty volcanic plains of Ascension. At night
they would appear at Butt Crater Receiver station and drink the water
which dripped from the wall-mounted air-conditioning units.
Sometimes there was an old tin drum which we filled up for them.
These are some lucky customers in 1971.
The 25th Anniversary took place in July 1991. Jeff Cant
arrived at ARS for the second time in September 1991 but he supplied
these pictures for BBCeng.
And now. If you can take the shock!