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THE TRANSMISSION GALLERY

THE WREKIN

Photos by Mark Carver Page last updated: 2014-07-01

Earlier pictures & station history

The Wrekin was the last UHF main station to open in England & Wales. BBC 1 & 2 entered service on 5th December 1975, with ITV from 22nd December 1975.

A theoretical investigation into the sites use was began early in 1966, engineering tests confirmed its suitability, and there were no aircraft safety problems. Unfortunately the Wrekin is a local beauty spot beloved by most Salopians and visited by them and many others throughout the year. It would assume even greater importance as the new town of Telford developed near its base. It is surmounted by an iron age double fort scheduled as an ancient monument. Naturally there was much local discussion about the BBC's proposals and senior planning officials of the Salop county council felt at the time that the Wrekin should not be used for a television station site.

The BBC considered alternatives sites. Haughmond Hill was abandoned because of air navigation requirements, Long Mynd was unsuitable because a mast there would have seriously affected the nearby Midland Gliding Club and Caer Caradoc Hill was technically inferior and presented major problems of access and construction. This left Stiperstones Hills, less well know than the Wrekin, but equally important in amenity. The BBC sought planning consent in July 1968 and a public inquiry was held. The minister of Housing and Local Government asked the Corporation to consider more fully, The Wrekin. The outcome of a second inquiry in March 1970, consent was granted.

Channel 4 was added in September 1983 and Channel 5 from 7th August 1997. DTT was added in late 1999. DSO was on 6th and 20th April 2011.

Radio Shropshire launched on 23rd April 1985. ILR Shrewsbury & Telford (Beacon Radio) launched on 14th July 1987.

DAB service dates: Digital One & Wolverhampton local, 17th January 2001; West Midlands, 31st July 2001, closed 27th August 2013; BBC 19th November 2001.


The above photo is taken from a BBC Handbook and shows The Wrekin
in the mid-70s, shortly after it opened, devoid of the usual mobile
phone and utilities aerial we are familiar with today.


Mark Carver took this photo of the
site a little more recently in
September 1988. The Band II aerials
are evident but the DTT aerials were
not yet installed.

The Wrekin index

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