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Wenvoe Open Day - 1965

A film by Norman Marsden

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This silent film, shot on super 8mm film, is of variable quality but shows an example of one of the last transmitter open days to be held.  Colour television was being broadcast on BBC2 but only in experimental service (full service commenced in 1967) and many people had never seen a colour TV set which may explain the huge numbers of visitors.


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Notable scenes:

  • Queue of visitors in late morning.
  • External views (the white cylinders on the ground were part of the transmitting antennas for Pontypridd, Aberdare and Kilvey Hill relays).
  • General external view with OB vans on site.
  • Clive Hosken (rigger), Dave Jagger (TMT Leader) in the ‘Skyclimber’.
  • By mid afternoon the queue of visitors had grown enormously as shown in this shot from the roof of the building.
  • A television camera being inspected.
  • EiC Jack Broadbent talks to SME Pete Thomas and Ron Weaver.  No doubt the subject is how to cope with the number of visitors!
  • AEiC Dave Sandbrook with (unknown) and Jack Broadbent.
  • Clive Hosken and TA Cliff ??
  • Engineer Ron Weaver (later transferred to Cardiff studios) sets up a camera.
  • A Dalek on loan from TV Centre was an added attraction.  It turned out to be very useful in enticing visitors out of the colour theatre where there was serious congestion, as they wanted to stay and watch the colour TV pictures!.
  • Dalek revealed! Engineer Alan Davies with son(s?) show how the dalek is operated. Norman Marsden tried this himself and says that he takes his hat off to anyone who can control this fiendish contraption!

TMT  = Transmitter Maintenance Team
EiC    = Engineer in Charge
AEiC  = Assistant Engineer in Charge
SME  = Senior Maintenance Engineer
TA    = Technical Assistant
Dalek = A fictional extraterrestrial race of mutants from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who!

Norman Marsden transferred the 8mm film to VHS tape some years ago and then, in 2007, transferred the VHS recording to DVD-RAM mpeg files using a Panasonic DVD recorder in ‘standard play’ quality (about 4Mb/s).  He then transferred the DVD-RAM file to PC hard disc using VideoReDo plus which replaces/repairs any lost frames and time code tags.  After receiving the file on DVD, Martin Ellen edited it using Pinnacle Studio and uploaded it to bbceng.