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Photos by TCPD Page last updated: 2017-05-22

Wrotham at the time of the 1981 rebuild

Some pictures from TCPD taken at Wrotham in 1980/1981.

A crop-and-zoom from a small print, so the quality is not perfect. However, it's probably the only photo still in existence showing the old Radio London aerials on the top cantilever. Six tiers of single three-element horizontally polarised Yagis, tiers 1 3 4 & 6 on 278 deg ETN, tier 2 on 188 deg ETN and tier 5 on 8 deg ETN.

Also visible just above the platform below the national slot cylinder is the R Kent aerial, two tiers of single three element Yagis on 80 deg ETN.

Here are the two masts, the 1949 one on the left and the 1981 replacement on the right, complete with ten tiers of brand new AD&C mixed polarisation aerials.

On the old mast, the SHF dish above the FM cylinder is on Dover, the dish at the bottom of the photo is on Heathfield. These SHF links provided the BBC 1 & 2 programme feeds and were RBL Crystal Palace. These SHF links were not re-engineered onto the new mast, but were instead transferred to Bluebell Hill.

Above: base of the old mast


Below: base of the new mast

These pictures were taken at the time the feeders for the new mast were being installed.

The wording on the white warning sign says:


Judging by the profusion of Rosebay Willowherb it's probably August/September, which would place these photos as late summer 1981. The new mast entered service in December 1981.

Above: the new mast in service.


Below: TCPD whisks us up to the top for a view of the Radio Kent slant logs, with the A20 500 ft below!

Wrotham index

Bluebell Hill A | Crystal Palace | Dover | Heathfield

The introduction of mixed-polarisation for VHF sound broadcasting: The Wrotham installation (BBC RD 1982)

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