Recollections of BBC engineering from 1922 to 1997
The British Broadcasting Corporation
web site is:

Studio and Outside Broadcast Operations

Home Up TV OB 1937 TV Sound


Special Electronic Effects (Intro for non-technical).pdf

Electronic Effects (TV Tech Ops booklet).pdf

Lighting for TV.pdf

Bush House codebar switch operation.

Bush House Traffic Position.

BBC Sound Recording Report Form (4 Part) New in June 2020


Bush House

List of Reminiscences

Performance Aspects of the Broadcast Chain (1988)

"BBC choose Emitape". (Contributed by Neale Davison).

The Birth of a Radio Station - Sheffield. (Contributed by Peter Mason).

BBC tape machine maintenance guidelines (Contributed by Nick Cutmore)

Long-distance time base correction! at the Television Training Department.

Normal Stop
BBC World Service equipment and studio operations in Bush House from the late 1950s to the last transmission on 12th July 2012.




Television Outside Broadcasts from 1937 (with some experiences up to 1962)
Early developments in the BBC's National and International outside broadcasts.

BBC News at Alexandra Palace.

My early days at TV Centre by Dick McCarthy.

Memories of Operations at BBC South
Early days at one of the "Island Sites"

Radio Engineering family Trees from 1983 and 1989 (Contributed by Geoff Woolf).

Drawing numbering system (Contributed by Geoff Woolf).

Mike Jordan's ExComms pages
Pictures and memories of the BBC's large Outside Broadcast base at Kendal Avenue, London.


Here are three pictures of Dinky models contributed by G.C. Bom, together with captions contributed by Philip Upton. 

The model with the extending mast was known throughout the BBC as an "Eagle Tower" because the actual tower was designed and built by a company called Eagle Engineering based in the town of Warwick. The most usual chassis for these towers was the Bedford RL which was a four wheel drive chassis widely used by the British Army in those days. The version modelled by Dinky dates from 1952. It carried a microwave dish aerial about 1200mm in diameter and transmitted a single 405-line black & white television signal on a frequency of 4GHz. The maximum extension of the tower was about 20 metres.

The "Roving Eye" vehicle was an early attempt by the BBC to have a vehicle which could produce live TV pictures from a moving vehicle for use at events such as horse race meetings. It had a single black and white camera channel (possibly Marconi or Pye) and sent the signals to a fixed base on a UHF frequency, probably about 400MHz. It entered service in 1956 and was built on a Karrier Bantam chassis with bodywork by Mickleover Transport of London. Karrier was a brand of commercial vehicle then common in the UK. I believe Karrier were part of the Rootes Group who also built Commer and Hillman vehicles.
This vehicle was the Mobile Control Room or MCR. That was the official name but all BBC staff have always used the name "Scanner" for these vehicles. They usually had capacity for four camera channels and housed the vision and sound production staff at an outside broadcast location. The version modelled by Dinky was on a Bedford chassis. They were probably the Bedford S but were known as "the big Bedford". A batch of four of this design were put into service in 1954 with bodywork by Marshall of Cambridge.


Contributed by Geoff Woolf:

A BBC Television Mobile Control Room from the "Eagle Annual of Cutaways" published in 2007.  Geoff says that this is an excellent book which is a compilation of a great many cutaway drawings from the old Eagle comic.

The drawings in the book are not dated, but Jeff Longbottom has emailed to report that the original drawing appeared in the Eagle Comic published on 4th November 1961.

Click the image to see a larger version, and use the Back button on your browser to return.

Following an application made by Martin Ellen, this image is reproduced by kind permission of the Dan Dare Corporation Limited.



Eagle Towers

This picture was taken in the front car park of Kingswood Warren, the home of BBC Research, and the year was probably 1959.  It shows two outside broadcast radio link vehicles with "Eagle Towers".

Further information is available on the Information Exchange & Contact page. Scroll down to the Dinky toy picture like the one below.


High Definition Television OB Vehicle

A modern equivalent in almost the same spot as the picture above, some 46 years later.

This picture was taken at the R&D open day in 2005.



A view from the top!

Picture taken at 250 metres above ground by a BBC Transmission engineer who was commissioning a masthead rotator system for BBC News & Current Affairs (used for receiving programme contributions).


External web sites

Old broadcasting equipment and memories
Pictures of old BBC radio equipment and memories from the people who used it.

The Tech Ops History site
Pictures and memories from "
the golden age of television".

An incomplete history of London's television studios
Deals mostly with the main large studio complexes that have a history that goes back to the origins of ITV and the BBC.