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Photos by David Neale Page last updated: 2022-07-16

Earlier pictures

There are no less than five towers at the Bluebell Hill site!

The reason for this is most likely that the site's proximity to Rochester Airport imposes a height restriction, limiting how much can be added to each tower - hence a further tower was built (the second from the right in the photo below) to carry the aerials for the digital TV services.

Bluebell Hill A entered service on 25th February 1974, with BBC 1 & 2 and ITV London. Programme feed was via RBL from Crystal Palace for all three services. On 1st January 1982 the ITV service was re-assigned to the new south-east franchise operated by TVS. Channel 4 was added in December 1982. BBC 1 was re-assigned to their new south-east region on 3rd September 2001, line fed from the studios at Tunbridge Wells. The Bluebell Hill A UHF transmitting aerial was replaced prior to DSO, which was on 13th and 27th June 2012.

Bluebell Hill B was built for DTT and DAB services. DTT commenced during December 1998. DAB service dates are: BBC, 1st September 1997; Digital One, 11th August 1999; London 1, 14th June 2000; London 2, 14th November 2000.

Bluebell Hill C was built for the ILR Maidstone & Medway (Invicta Radio) service, which launched on 1st October 1984, on 103.8 MHz. This frequency was changed on 6th November 1985 to 103.1 MHz.

Left to right. BBL South, a non broadcast tower, BBL C, BBL B, BBL A.

The two Arqiva towers.
(Hang on, this is starting to sound a bit like The Lord of the Rings!)

Bluebell Hill A - provided analogue TV services.

On the left are two receive trough aerials looking towards Crystal Palace.

Next, a few views from on high...

Bluebell Hill B.

On the left close to the top (42m), are the transmitting aerials for the 4 DAB services.

Bluebell Hill C with the ILR aerials at the top (46m).

The shroud covering the analogue TV aerials. Top half was for Channel 4 on UHF channel 65, lower half for the other 3 services on UHF channels 40, 43 & 46.

The pods enclosing the pre-DSO digital TV aerials. Top half transmitted multiplexes 1, B, C & D. UHF channels 59, 45, 42 & 39. Lower half, multiplexes 2 & A. UHF channels 24 & 27.

Belated thanks to Andrew Wood for this photo of the Bluebell Hill transmitter hall.

And finally, from David Neale, the actual bluebells of Bluebell Hill...

Bluebell Hill A index

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