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More pictures from Ascension

Contributed by David Dunmall (first two) and Jeff Cant

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 December 1969.

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 the left. 

Lava.  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.

Studio.  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 English Bay.

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.

Feral donkeys 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!  Click below.