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THE TRANSMISSION GALLERY

Photos by John Norton

Ludlow Shropshire
NGR: SO498741 Maps: Google  Bing (Ord Surv) Site Height: 213m Structure Height: 17m
Digital TV: BBC A: 45 D3&4: 42 BBC B: 39
BBC Radio: Radio 1: 99.2 Radio 2: 89.6 Radio 3: 91.8 Radio 4: 94.0
  Radio Shropshire: 95.0 
Ind. National Radio:
Ind. Local Radio:
Digital Radio: BBC National: 12B       
Comments: Ludlow is a relay of Ridge Hill

The site is located to the west of the town within Mortimer Forest. An access track leads off to the Forest from the car park of the Forestry Commission's Field and Reception Centre.

My first two pictures show the site when it was first commissioned back in 1981. The log periodic antenna received signals from Ridge Hill in Herefordshire.

Later FM National Radio and R. Shropshire were transmitted using mixed polarisation from aerials on a separate wooden pole. There where problems at the time because R Shropshire is received at the site on 96 MHz and retransmitted on 95 MHz. This caused problems due to interaction so a third pole was brought in to service some distance away from the main compound to carry the receive antennas for all radio services.

I also noticed another FM aerial pointing to The Wrekin on the TV pole, also duplicated on the lattice mast, so maybe this is what is used to receive radio Shropshire now? The national radio services are received from Sutton Coldfield by the two stacked yagis.

When the Central region split, Ridge Hill carried Central South and local people where unhappy so the transmitter was re-engineered to receive Central West on a separate log periodic from The Wrekin. However this feed has never been very good and shows constant signs of co-channel interference. I believe this to be from Lark Stoke as when The Wrekin goes off air Ludlow retransmits extremely weak Central West signals. Central from Lark stoke is on channel 23.

A lattice tower was erected about 7 years ago and the site is now used by all the mobile phone operators and TETRA amongst others, the site being one of the main hubs in the area for telecommunications.

The services on the TV pole were transferred to the main mast a couple of years ago; radio still being from the original pole. I believe the VHF stack dipoles to be for the BBC OB links. However I was surprised on my visit that the pole carrying the original UHF services was still intact!

Before the transmitter was built most people in the town received their TV pictures from Ridge Hill because the parts of town that were shielded from Ridge Hill also relied on The Wrekin or Sutton Coldfield.

Reception before the transmitter was built was very variable with most people relying on high gain aerials and amplifiers on tall masts. Even earlier before Ridge Hill carried UHF I remember some high south facing properties had 4 stack MBM46s on Mendip some 100 miles away!

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