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Photos by Dan Glover Page last updated: 2015-09-12
Great Yarmouth (self-help)
NGR: TG525064 Maps: Google  Bing (Ord Surv) Site Height:       Structure Height:
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September 2015: jigsaw puzzle

"Very flat, Norfolk" - the relays of Tacolneston are (mostly) around the coast. At DSO Great Yarmouth gained a new 3-MUX relay (Sefton Lane) but in analogue days everyone seems to have managed to receive Tacolneston directly

Ofcom data released under a Freedom of Information request discloses the location of Self Help 306 as TG525064 - this was a 1W ERP transposer operating on channels 31/48/67/34 with potential coverage of 30 households

The NGR is close to Trinity Quay so this seemed a good place to start. Peering at Google Streetview turned up an oddity - one of the buildings on Southgates Road, just south of the self-help's stated location, has tv antennas on a pole which is much longer than others in the area. There was also "something" on a building at the junction of Southgates Road and Trinity Square. Time to take a closer look...

It was warm and bright - ideal since a certain amount of local searching on foot was expected...

Looking accross the River Yare in the direction of Tacolneston - nothing obvious by way of tall buildings or other obstructions?

Yet one property on Southgates Road has this tall guyed pole...

The building immediately opposite has been demolished. It was still standing when Google Streetview drove past in July 2014 and doesn't appear to have been significant in terms of obstructing reception

The cars are on this side of the river, the buildings behind them and the tree in the centre are on the opposite bank - see first photo

So, was there a self-help? Trinity Quay is a substantial brick structure at the junction of Southgates Road and Trinity Square

At the back there is a domestic aerial facing Tacolneston (on the left) but of more interest is a log periodic just above the roof line (on the right)

Streetview shows there was previously another antenna (also of "domestic" type and facing Tacolneston) attached to the bracket highlighted

So we have a vertically polarised log periodic facing slightly east of south. As there are no relays in that direction this is assumed to be the tx antenna for the self-help

The white cylinder is labelled "Cisco Systems" and seems to have been added quite recently - presumably something to do with a wireless LAN

In Exmouth Road further evidence of difficulty receiving Tacolneston and on the left a VP yagi facing the self-help

The new "official" relay is in a similar direction, however this does not look like a recent installation and Streetview shows the VP antenna had been installed prior to October 2008

I saw one further VP antenna, also an old installation, so it seems the self-help was little used. Maybe the original issue was ghosting caused by a building or other structure, but the impact seems to have been confined to a very small area. Maybe the option of DTT was more resilient and the attraction of additional channels led to early adoption? Interestingly nobody in the area seems to be using the new relay just across the river

Great Yarmouth (Sefton Lane)

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