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Photos by Martin Briscoe, Geoff Mayoh, David Neale and Dan Glover Page last updated: 2017-03-20

2005 to 2011

Two trough aerials and all those yagis? Crikey!

Tunbridge Wells was the second UHF relay station built. The first being Hertford. A relay of Crystal Palace, with BBC2 transmissions starting on 25 October 1965. The cylinder and twin troughs (main and reserve) were the standard installation. BBC Research Paper 1965/40 documents the original arrangements - see link at foot of page. BBC 1 was added in December 1970, ITV on 4th February 1972, Channel 4 in August 1983, Channel 5 on 30th October 2003.

The new ITV franchises of 1982 re-assigned Tunbridge Wells to the new TVS south-east region, based in Maidstone. The ITV programme feed was changed to Heathfield. In September 2001 the BBC also created a south-east region, based in Tunbridge Wells. BBC 1 was then also re-assigned to Heathfield. However the programme feed for BBC 2 was taken from Dover, due to BBC 2 from Heathfield (UHF 52) was an adjacent channel to BBC 1 Tunbridge Wells (UHF 51). On the 27th October 2011 BBC 2 was re-assigned back to Crystal Palace, in the run up to DSO. DSO was on 30th May and 13th June 2012.

As one of the interim DTT sites, Tunbridge Wells has achieved "Transmitter Group" status - but with only one relay (St Marks).

ILR (KMFM 96.2 MHz) was added on 8th July 1995.

DAB service dates are: BBC, 2nd November 2007; Digital One & Kent, both 6th December 2007.

Tunbridge Wells, probably in the early 1970s, with Heathfield team vehicle

Above and below: what David Neale saw in 2005

The interim DTT antenna consisted of shrouded logs - seen here on the left at the top of the structure. See bottom of page for more detail.

In Geoff's photos the toughs (facing Crystal Palace - roughly north west) are seen from behind. This would suggest the yagis on the left are directed towards Heathfield and those on the right towards Dover.

The DTT shrouded logs can just be seen in this view

Unless I've lost my bearings, eight yagis on Heathfield; four on Dover and two troughs on Crystal Palace.

At the time of David's visit (June 2005) DAB aerials had been installed on the second tower along with the SIRA aerial for KM-FM

Above and below: as seen in August 2011, interim DTT at Tunbridge Wells used a group of six shrouded logs arranged in two tiers of three.

Another oddity not highlighted before is the Marconi Band II dipole at the bottom of this image on the right hand side.

Tunbridge Wells index

St. Marks

BBC Research Paper 1965/40: U.H.F. Aerials for the Tunbridge Wells Television Relay Station

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