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The ITA's main 405-line VHF television transmitting station for the Yorkshire area entered service on 3rd November 1956 on channel 10.

The original selection of the site for the Yorkshire station posed considerable problems, largely because coverage of the main concentration of population within the hill-shadowed towns of the West Riding had to be combined with the provision of a service as far away as Kingston-upon-Hull, some 50 miles across the Yorkshire Plain. Sixteen different sites were studied theoretically and tests with a balloon transmitter were made at four before Emley Moor, 841 ft above sea level on the eastern slopes of the Pennine Chain, was finally selected.

Originally a 450ft tower was used to support the aerial, a semicircular power radiation pattern delivering 200 kW ERP (effective radiated power) in all easterly directions but only a few kilowatts backwards to the west into the natural barrier of the Pennines, thus preventing waste and an unnecessary overlap with the service area of the Winter Hill station in Lancashire.

The coverage of the Emley Moor station was improved during 1966 when the service was transferred to a new high mast erected adjacent to the existing tower. The new 1,265 ft mast, at one time the tallest in Europe, replaced the open lattice type of tower. The new design used curved steel segments to form a 9 ft diameter cylinder for the 900 ft mast column. A 350 ft lattice section on top, together with the capping cylinder, brought the total height to 1,265 ft. 

Although the new mast was built by the Authority primarily for the new UHF colour transmissions, it brought an improved VHF service to a number of local areas, particularly Sheffield and Hull.

emley.jpg (19894 bytes)
Photo: The old and the ill-fated 'new' masts at Emley Moor, 1966

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