Recollections of BBC engineering from 1922 to 1997
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Transmitter Operations - Reminiscences

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Divis - The Movies!

Contributions provided by Norman Marsden, ex-EiC Lisnagarvey
(where he was also responsible for other sites in NI, including Divis)

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Television arrives in Northern Ireland

The BBC set up the first television transmitter in Northern Ireland at Glencairn, a GPO receiving station just down the hill, on the Belfast side, from Divis Mountain.  This temporary mobile transmitter was one of a number set up in the UK in 1953 to give coverage of the coronation broadcast, in advance of permanent transmitters being built.  In 1954 the BBC made and broadcast a television programme about this transmitting station and the initial building of its permanent replacement site at Divis. 


Antenna replacement 1992

The UHF antenna and cylinder replacement involved using a temporary UHF antenna.  As this resulted in reduced coverage for a few weeks, the NI region put out announcements and a ‘trailer’ warning of the event and explaining the necessity of the work. These raw unedited shots were made as part of the publicity (only a few seconds were actually broadcast).  The video was put together by Peter Melly an ex-transmitter engineer who transferred to Belfast studios.


Both of these videos were edited for bbceng on YouTube by Martin Ellen.