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Photos by Andrew Rogers, Mike Smith and Mark Bridgewater Page last updated: 2017-07-12

Andrew Rogers:

I vividly recall this opening, as my family comes from Ebbw Vale. Up until then my various aunts, uncles and grandparents either used rather elderly dual-standard receivers and vast aerials in the garden (my grandmother had a huge double eight for ITV which still only produced a rather flat contrastless picture) or had primitive cable TV. There were various high sites (some of which can still be seen) where companies erected large UHF arrays to pick up signals from Wenvoe, Mendip, Ridge Hill and Stockland Hill (I remember the thrill of seeing a Westward ident for the first time at my aunt's house).

All this changed in September 1973. We bought my grandmother a nice 18-element UHF array for the opening, and fixed it to the mast in the garden, only for her to have it stolen within the first week. A second aerial was also stolen. My father then produced our old Band 1 dipole and a piece of wood. Amazingly this arrangement worked very well with her GEC dual-standard set and I was able to watch Play Away on our Saturday visits.

From February 1981, the site became a network FM relay, with Radio's 1 & 4 added during July 1992, Radio Wales from 2002 and ILR (Real Radio) from August 2005.

Mike Smith:

It is quite an interesting site on a high point overlooking the town of Ebbw Vale. It would be a beautiful spot I'm sure, except for the large quantities of litter dropped around the site. It must be the filthiest site I have visited. There is a long track up to the site, but it seems that the short drive into the compound, off this track, is used by the local youth as a 'lovers lane' - get the picture!

The two, vertically polarised, 4 element band II Yagis on the right of the main tower were installed to receive Radio Wales, when this service was transmitted from Wenallt

Mike Smith also took this photo at the site:
"another small mast at the bottom of the track up to the site which carries two satellite dishes, which appear to be of the old analogue Sky type, and numerous UHF Bowtie TV antennas. I don't know what it is for."

The answer comes from Andrew Rogers, and it will have been an old cable system head end - presumably now redundant?

Finally a couple of scenic shots supplied by Mark Bridgewater.

Ebbw Vale index


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