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Photos by Photos by Robert Whittaker, Shaun Chew and Mike Pratt Page last updated: 2014-04-28

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.

BBC 2 was the first UHF service, early in 1970, BBC 1 & ITV from 11th October 1971 and Channel 4 from April 1983. The UHF cylinder contains a NW (305) 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 the Band II transmissions for Bath come from the arrays of mixed polarisation crossbow antennas located on the TV relay tower, just below the UHF cylinder. There are two arrays, the lower one consisting of four antennas arranged on all four faces of the mast to form an omnidirectional radiation pattern. The upper aperture has one antenna facing west only.

Ofcom & BBC documents indicate that the three commercial services, Classic, Heart and Bath FM, plus the BBC national services have antenna heights of 41m AGL and so look to be all transmitted from the lower array.

The BBC Radio Bristol aerial is listed as 45m AGL so is most probably the upper antenna. Radio Bristol is the only FM service on the Bath relay whose main transmissions previously came from Mendip (since moved to East Dundry Lane), so it is likely that coverage of the area around Bath is better than that of Wenvoe, and so only coverage to the west is required.

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

This site is now included in the Update List for the following reason:
Replacement of the UHF receive aerial July 2018

Please let us know if you think there is another reason photos should be updated.
To do so, click here.

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