Recollections of BBC engineering from 1922 to 1997
The British Broadcasting Corporation
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Designs Department - Pictures of People - 1950

Home Up 1950 Caption

Designs Department staff in 1950, photographed in the concert hall of Broadcasting House, London
Picture contributed by David Savage

DD in 1950. With names.

DD in 1950. Without names.

Notes about some of the people in the picture (in the order shown in the caption):
Please send me corrections and additions to this list.

R.B. Brockington was head of the drawing Office.

Harry Day became an Outside Inspector, dealing with sub-contractors.

Tina Stanley was secretary to Charlie Field (see below) and is believed to have run a B&B in Bath in the 1980s. Further information would be appreciated!

Walter N Anderson became a founder member of the ITA Engineering Group in 1954 and went on to be Head of Experimental and Development Dept., ITA, later IBA.

Alan Gee went to Engineering Information Department.

John Shelley became Head of Monitoring and Control Section, DD.

John Tucker went to the organisation running Radio Luxemburg and later became organiser of the IBC exhibitions.

Ken Quinton became head of Robert Maxwell's cable TV enterprise.

Dennis Packham became Chief Engineer, Tyne and Tees TV.

F.J.Stringer was Head of Sect 2 (Lines) at the time of the photo.

Neville Watson became Head of Designs Department and then Chief Engineer Television.

Jim Moon became Head of Site Acquisition Section, Transmitter Department.

Geoff Jowers went to Studio Capital Projects Department.

David Ellison was the Coil Winder in Freddie Stringer's Section (Section 2), at the time.

Peter Rainger became Head of Designs Department, Head of Research Department and then Deputy Director of Engineering.

Don Brothers became Assistant Head of Transmitter Capital Projects Departments.

Harold Anstey became a senior engineer at Television Centre.

Jack Holgate became Head of Recording Section (?), DD.

H.Davies was Head of Recording Sect in 1950.

Ken Barrett went to Personnel Department.

Tony Pilgrim became a senior (probably most senior) engineer at Birmingham Pebble Mill.

George Dilworth became Head of Test Laboratory, DD.

Harry Boutall became chief transmitter engineer at the ITA/IBA.

Stuart Padel became Head of TV Transmission Section, DD.

David Savage became Head of Monitoring and Control Section, DD.

George A. McKenzie left DD in 1959 and moved to the ITA/IBA Experimental & Development Dept.

Gordon Parker became Head of Equipment Department, then Head of Designs Department.

Desmond Morse became Head of Communications Department after George Stannard (below).

Geoff Larkby became well known for his extremely innovative projects.

John Bliss became Head of Telecine Section (later called Special Studies Section), DD.

Tom Worswick became Head of Transmission Group, DD.

George Stannard became head of Communications Department before Desmond Morse (above).

Maggie Spencer was one of the BBC's few professional lady engineers. She later became George Stannard's second wife.

John Michael Chorley was an engineer in Section 2 (Lines).

Edward Pawley produced the book "BBC Engineering 1922-1972"

J.H.Holmes became Head of Lines Department, retiring in 1962, Then, with two others, he assembled the material for "BBC Engineering 1922-1972".

Dr Rendall became Head of Designs Department.

Harry Rantzen was the first Head of Designs Department (and father of the broadcaster Esther Rantzen).
A programme called "Who do you think you are" featuring Esther Rantzen, broadcast on 3 September 2008, referred to Esther's father by saying "Harry, who was chief engineer in the early days of the BBC...".  However the caption on the above picture says that he resigned from BBC Designs Department in 1950.  He then
went to the USA to head-up the communications section of the UN Organisation, but he returned to the UK some two years later and joined ST&C, from whence he originally came, as a sort of engineering consultant, and stayed there until he retired. The photo in Esther's programme made him look a much less formidable character than he was perceived to be by some of his staff in BBC Designs Department!

Charlie Field was head of DD Section 4, Services Section.

Roy Toombs became Head of Radio Frequency Section, DD.

H.D.M. Ellis was Head of Sound Section (Sect 3) at the time of the photo and later (before 1959) Head of Equipment Department

Frank Peachey became Head of RF Section, DD.