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Photos by Shaun Chew Page last updated: 2016-06-06
Cheltenham (Eagle Tower) Gloucestershire
NGR: SO948217 Maps: Google  Bing (Ord Surv) Site Height: 60m      Structure Height:
Digital TV:
BBC Radio:
Ind. National Radio:
Ind. Local Radio: Greatest Hits Radio (Cheltenham): 107.5 
Digital Radio:

The Eagle Tower (formerly the Eagle Star Building - once owned by the insurance company) in Cheltenham. It's the tallest building in Cheltenham.

Now, pay attention...!

It was installed by SBS when the original station moved to FM from 603kHz AM. On AM they were originally called CD 603, Boss 603 and then Cheltenham Radio, and had a tx site at Cheltenham Racecourse (I've checked and there appears to be no sign of it left). When they moved to FM, they were called CAT FM (Cheltenham And Tewkesbury FM).

Of course, BBC Radio Gloucestershire used to use 603kHz from Gloucester MF (now used by Virgin), but had to surrender the frequency to allow Cheltenham Radio on the air. BBC Glos then went without countywide coverage until the two 1413kHz transmitters were built. 603kHz is now silent across Gloucestershire.

According to BBC Glos's engineer, Gloucester MF was a troublesome transmitter, which kept shutting down when birds landed on the antenna. Perhaps that's why NGW have perched a plastic owl on the transmitter hall to scare them off!

I'm unsure as to which is the transmit antenna on the Eagle Tower. I thought it may have been the vertical dipole left of centre, but I've been told by SBS that they originally installed an end-fed dipole. But that's not to say it's not been changed at sometime, so it's anyone's guess. I did try to get up onto the roof (I had a friend who worked there), but it never materialised. What I am fairly certain of is that the black square on the far right is the microwave receive antenna (a Moseley system was used). CAT used to broadcast from the Regent Shopping Arcade, but when it changed to Star, the studios moved outside Cheltenham, to Arle Court Film Studios. This antenna also changed direction. More recently the station rebranded The Breeze in line with other Celador owned stations.

The Eagle Tower as seen from Churchdown Hill

Churchdown Hill

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