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Photos by Washford Radio Musem Page last updated: 2018-06-08

Vintage Washford 1

Washford is another of the BBC's earliest transmitting stations, dating - as you can see below - from 1933.

These days the only BBC radio service to be transmitted from Washford is BBC Radio Wales. (Radio Five Live comes from Clevedon). There is also a low power tv relay at this site serving part of the immediate area (its UHF yagis can be seen on one of the smaller towers)

Surprisingly - and disconcertingly - the historic transmitter building now houses the "Tropiquaria Wildlife Park", though this does also include the Washford Radio Museum.

Update: the Washford Radio Museum is no longer here and is currently at the Anchor Inn at 5, Anchor Street, Watchet.

View of the station from the east.

One of the two 500ft (152m) masts.
Originally each supporting a 'round the mast' aerial. Later a 'T' aerial was erected between the two masts.
BBC photo. May 1933.

The Engine Room.
Contained four six-cylinder Crossley diesels, each of 420 bhp, driving GEC 230V DC generators. These were the only source of power for the station from 1933 until a mains supply was installed in 1942. They were then kept on stand-by.
BBC photo. May 1933.

The Transmitter Hall switchboard.
Used to control the output from the motor-generators in the Machine Room. The seven separate supplies, including those for filaments (30V), final HT (12,000V) and grid bias and other anode supplies, were then applied to the two transmitters.
BBC photo, May 1933.

The Main 230V Battery Room.
A 2000Ah battery which could take the load of one diesel generator for up to an hour in the case of sudden engine or generator failure.
BBC photo. May 1933.

The station as viewed from the south.
Late 1933 / 1934.

T1, Marconi 'Regional' 50kW transmitter and switchboard.
Each of these transmitters consisted of five cubicles, A, B, C1, C2 & D. This transmitter was replaced by the ST&C CM10 in 1949.
c. 1946.

Diesel engines and switchboard.
The engines, generators and switchboard were scrapped when the station was re-engineered in the late 1970s.
c. 1950.

Standard Telephones and Cables CM10 transmitter.
This replaced one of the original Marconi transmitters and first broadcast March 1950. Consisted of two separate 100kW transmitters capable of being operated in parallel to give 200kW but never used in this way.
c. 1950.

A view from the top of one of the masts
Showing the Aerial Transformer House and sheep!

T2, Marconi 'Regional' 50kW transmitter and switchboard.
This transmitter was scrapped when the station was re-engineered in the late 1970s. The 'D' unit enclosure has survived and part of it will be installed in the Washford Radio Museum in the near future. An identical 'A' unit from the Moorside Edge station can already be seen in the Museum.

Washford MF index

Clevedon | Moorside Edge

Mike Smith and Martin Watkins at Washford
Signal strength contour diagrams (1938)
BBC RD Report: Routine check of field stregths (1934)

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