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Photos by Photos by Robert Whittaker, Shaun Chew and Mike Pratt Page last updated: 2020-05-11

Original Photos

This is the City of Bath's TV and radio relay transmitter, located on Bathampton Down, next to a golf course and the University of Bath.

Bath entered service on 16th October 1967 with 405-line BBC 1 on VHF channel 6 and BBC FM radio. 405-line ITV on VHF channel 8 was added on 13th May 1968. Both 405-line services closed on 4th January 1983.

UHF TV transmissions commenced with ITV from 11th October 1971. BBC 2 was added in March 1972, BBC 1 in September 1972, with Channel 4 from April 1983. The UHF cylinder contains a northwest facing cardioid.

BBC FM radio services were re-engineered for mixed polarisation and went into service on 10th April 1984. Radio Bristol was added in the Autumn of 1986. ILR (GWR) from 22nd May 1987. Radio 1 added in 1994. The Breeze from 20th October 1999. Classic FM was added on 14th May 2002.

DAB service dates are: Bristol 25th January 2001, Digital One 27th June 2001, West Wiltshire 27th January 2003, BBC 27th August 2003.

This photo was taken by Mike Pratt on a sunny day in 1999.

From the top you have: UHF TV (in white fibreglass shield), local FM radio, national FM Radio, O2, paging antennas, Vodafone (omni-directional poles), Orange, as well as other services.

The neighbouring tower that can be seen in the lower right corner is for T Mobile.

All of the FM radio services are transmitted from the circularly polarised, band II crossbow panel antennas, just below the UHF cylinder. The lower tier has panels on all four sides of the tower. The upper tier only has one panel which faces west.

DAB antennas have recently been installed at the site, and can be seen sharing the lower Band II aperture, on the west, north and east faces only.

Trough receiving antennas pointing at Mendip providing a programme feed for the UHF TV services

The horizontal band II log periodic is pointing at Wenvoe for Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4, the vertical yagi was for Radio Bristol on Mendip. As Mendip no longer transmitts Radio Bristol, this transmitter is now line fed, with an RBS on East Dundry Lane.

On the smaller tower, there are two vertical log periodics pointing at Oxford, which were for Radio 1. This is because R1 used to offer a regional opt out evening programmes in Wales, Scotland and NI, making Wenvoe an unsuitable programme source for an English transmitter. This has now ceased and Radio 1 was re-attributed back to Wenvoe as its RBL source in January 2014.

Mark Carver describes this photo as "acquisition to transmission"
- the gantry camera is providing tv coverage from the Bath rugby ground.

The view looking north from the site, along the A46

The view of the city of Bath, taken from slightly down the hill

Bath index

Bath VHF TV & Radio BBC R&D report

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