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THE TRANSMISSION GALLERY

TURNPIKE HILL

Photos by David Neale and Bill Wright Page last updated: 2011-09-23

February 2006 - updated June 2007

David: The site is a very low power relay which covers a tiny area to the back of the town of Hythe and Saltwood. This area known as Turnpike cannot get a signal from Dover as the group of hills that drop from the Upper area to sea level block it.

Seems this is one site where the rx antennas are mounted above the tx antenna.

Bill: The National Grid References for the Dover relays include two pairs of co-ordinates each of which has the final three digits in common. The chances against this happening naturally are high, so I thought the NGRs might be suspect. The NGR for Turnpike Hill suggested that the site was on a rifle range, so I found ‘Turnpike Hill’ on the A-Z and went there instead.

Turnpike Hill turned out to be a tight little estate of 1970s semis, built on steep ground. Every TV aerial pointed towards the rifle range a few kilometres away. Clearly the transmitter site had been named after the target area rather than the site’s actual location.

The reason for the relay was clear: the only main stations that could be received with good quality on Turnpike Hill were French ones.

On the way to the rifle range I noticed that once we left Turnpike Hill there were no other aerials pointing towards the relay. The ‘rifle range’ turned out to be a serious military facility, with lots of barbed wire and threatening notices. All very uptight in fact, and the transmitter station was behind the wire, so the NGR was correct after all.















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