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THE TRANSMISSION GALLERY

Photos by Brian Hutchison and Jordy Lyons

Lisnagarvey Co. Down
NGR: J258619 Maps: Google  Bing (Ord Surv) Site Height: 44.3m Structure Height: 108m
Digital TV:
BBC Radio: Radio 4: 720 kHz Radio Five Live: 909 kHz
  Radio Ulster: 1341 kHz 
Ind. National Radio: Absolute Radio: 1215 kHz  Talk Sport: 1089 kHz 
Ind. Local Radio:
Digital Radio:
Comments:

The unusual and distinctive diamond shaped mast at Lisnagarvey is known after its designers and manufacturers as a Blaw-Knox radiator and is now the only surviving example in Western Europe. As built, at its original size it was almost 145m (475 feet) tall but when its main operating frequency was changed to 1341kHz its top section was removed.

Thanks to Aub McKibben for the picture below of the mast in its original state at the BBC's historic Lisnagarvey site - also known locally, at the time, as Blaris and also, as you can see, as Lisburn. The photo was originally printed in the BBC Annual of 1936

Brian Hutchison took the next two photos. He says: "While this mast is very efficient it also causes a lot of problems for the computer networks in the neighbouring car dealers. It is rumoured that this mast will be dismantled in the next year or so, and either moved or replaced by another mast elsewhere."

The top section of the mast was removed many years ago and now stops at the third platform up.

Some services (R4 and R Ulster?) are radiated by the mast itself  while other services are radiated by more conventional wire antennas suspended from adjacent supports.

It may be the size and shape of the mast which make Radio Ulster audible over a wide area, including parts of England sometimes as far south as London!

The extensive old transmitter halls at this site and offices are the main base for NGW's maintenance operations in N.I.

There are now two conventional lattice masts supporting a wire aerial at the site.

But rumours that the Blaw-Knox mast's days are numbered are apparently untrue.

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