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Photos by Robert Whittaker Page last updated: 2017-11-05

February 2006

Located on the roof of Balfron Tower, which is a residential tower block just to the north of the Blackwall Tunnel in East London.

Transmissions are from a pair of vertical "bowtie" type antennas, pointing approximately south west, towards the district of Poplar itself. The RX antenna is a single log periodic on Crystal Palace.

The Poplar relay was built in 1991 to overcome shadowing problems from the Canary Wharf building. Apparently it succeeded but there have been further building developments since and according to a BBC R&D report the feed to the Poplar relay itself may soon be affected.

Balfron Tower has become something of an infamous landmark in London, gaining Grade II listed status in 1998 as an example of brutal 1960s concrete architecture. It was designed by architect Erno Goldfinger, who also designed the Trellick Tower in West London, on top of which is located the Kensal Town TV relay. (See links below for more information about the building.)

Poplar index

Kensal Town

Balfron Tower (Wikipedia)
1992 BBC RD report on ghosting from Canary Wharf
BBC White Paper: Interference to Analogue TV due to Canary Wharf

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