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Photos by David Foord and Peter Bigwood Page last updated: 2021-12-09
Westerglen Falkirk
NGR: NS868773 Maps: Google  Bing (Ord Surv) Site Height: 155m      Structure Height: 152m
Digital TV:
BBC Radio: Radio 4: 198 kHz Radio Five Live: 909 kHz
  R. Scotland: 810 kHz 
Ind. National Radio: Absolute Radio: 1215 kHz  Talk Sport: 1089 kHz 
Ind. Local Radio:
Digital Radio:

Westerglen is located in Stirlingshire, a few miles south-west of Falkirk. It is one of three stations to transmit BBC Radio 4 on 198kHz Long wave and also transmits BBC Radio Scotland, Absolute Radio and TalkSPORT on Medium Wave. It is one of the UK's earliest broadcast sites, entering public service way back on 12-Jun-1932.

There are four structures at the Westerglen site. These are the two 152m (500 ft) stayed
lattice masts. The mast on the left (east), transmits the long wave service. The other mast
transmits all of the medium wave programmes.

The MF mast.

The LF mast.

The third lattice mast is 64m high and can be used as a reserve aerial for the MF services.

The fourth structure at Westerglen is this tower. It is not used for transmitting any of the broadcast services.

This last photo, below, taken by Peter Bigwood, shows the top of the Long Wave mast at Westerglen. Its a Marconi umbrella, where the topmost guys are connected electrically to the top of the mast, and form a downward sloping 'top hat'. This effectively increases the electrical length and so raising the radiation resistance, which draws more RF current into the radiator so it radiates more efficiently.

Station History and key dates:

Westerglen was the third instalment of the BBC regional scheme. It replaced the original BBC stations at Glasgow (5SC), Edinburgh (2EH) and Dundee (2DE). It opened on 12th June 1932 with the Scottish Regional Programme on 797 kHz. The National Programme was added later the same year on 25th September 1932 on 1040 kHz. Two 152m (500 ft) stayed, lattice masts were erected to support a T-aerial for the regional transmitter between them; an 'umbrella' aerial for the national transmitter was erected around one of the masts.

15th January 1934 frequencies changed to Scottish, 804 kHz, National, 1050 kHz.

17th February 1935 Scottish Regional frequency changed to 767 kHz.

4th July 1937 National Programme frequency changed to 1149 kHz.

1st September 1939 National Programme, 1149 kHz closed. Scottish Regional, 767 kHz replaced by the Home Service (northern group).

15th September 1940. "The Forces" programme in service on 804 kHz.

29th July 1945, 767 kHz becomes Scottish Home Service. Light Programme launched on 1149 kHz.

15th March 1950 Frequencies changed to Scottish Home Service, 809 kHz, Light Programme 1214 kHz.

30th September 1967, 1214 kHz re-assigned to Radio 1.

23rd November 1978, Radio Scotland Frequency changed to 810 kHz. 1214 kHz changed to 1215 kHz and re-assigned to Radio 3. New transmitters brought into service for Radio 1 (1089 kHz), Radio 2 (909 kHz) and Radio 4 (200 kHz).

1980 New 64m mast constructed to provide a reserve aerial for the MF services. This was to permit the most easterly of the 152m masts to be used exclusively for the LF service. A T-aerial was initially used to transmit long wave. The new LF aerial arrangement was an umbrella configuration using nine wires each 180m long with an insulator half way down. The lower section was made up with parafil rope.

1st February 1988 Radio 4 frequency changed to 198 kHz.

28th August 1990, 909 kHz re-assigned to Radio 5

28th February 1992, Radio 3 on 1215 kHz closed

30th April 1993 INR 2 (Virgin Radio) launches on 1215 kHz.

30th June 1994 Radio 1, 1089 kHz closed.

14th February 1995 INR 3 (Talk Radio) launches on 1089 kHz.

Site layout

Cutting from NewsLink Feb/March 1988. (MCSL journal).

Feature: Radio Teleswitching (LF Radio Data)
Feature: Inside Westerglen

Burghead | Droitwich

BBC RD: Field Strength Measurements of the Scottish Regional & National Transmitters (1935)
BBC RD: Signal Strength Maps (1937)
BBC RD: Synchronization of the Radio 4 Transmitter Chain on 200 kHz (1979)

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