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Photos by Malcolm Pritchard & Lee Goulding Page last updated: 2022-05-18

Littleborough was originally an IBA landlord site which entered service on 21-Jun-1974, with Channel 4 from March 1985. DSO was on 4th November and 2nd December 2009.

Here's a shot of the Littleborough IBA relay taken on July 28 1982.

Malcolm Pritchard: I worked in Littleborough from 1980 to 1986, so the picture did not require a very long journey. The TV dealer in Littleborough town centre had a model of this relay station in his shop window. The IBA map shows coverage extending from Littleborough town centre, up the Roch valley past Calderbrook to Summit -- where the Manchester-Leeds railway line enters the Summit Tunnel. The area is blocked from Winter Hill by high moorland to the west. (Take a look at Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure map 21, "South Pennines".)

The mast sits on a hill a little to the east of the small town of Littleborough and brings improved television reception to the upper Roch valley to the north east of Rochdale. This area is shadowed from Winter Hill by a series of high hills which are part of the south Pennine chain.

The first picture shows the mast which sits alongside an unusually large transmitter hall (for a relay) cast in substantial (and quite unusually patterned) Pennine stone. There are an awful lot of mobile phone aerials on the mast so I suppose the associated equipment takes some accommodating. On my visit the site was surrounded by plastic sacks containing all manner of agro-chemicals, several of which can be seen in the photo.

The two more detailed photos show the transmit and receive aerials respectively. The transmit aerial radiates predominantly to the north and the west. The receive aerial is a trough which looks at Winter Hill which is about 20 miles away in westerly direction.

Littleborough index

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