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Photos by Adam Barrington, mb21, Max Freer, James Pomfret, John A Butler and Jackie Staines

The Sandy Heath mast in Bedfordshire was built by the ITA in 1966 to fill what would otherwise have been a hole in the country's expanding UHF television network. When first completed it provided improved VHF 405-line reception of Anglia Television in the West of their region using channel 6. 

Initially the ch6 transmitter was only able to broadcast for 12 hours a day (between 12noon - 12 midnight. This restriction was rumoured to have been imposed to avoid interference to radio astronomy activities, presumably at the Mullard observatory in Cambridge. (Can anyone confirm this?)

The site began transmitting BBC2 in 1969 with BBC1 and ITV being added in 1971. It carried Channel 4 from launch day on 2-Nov-1982 and also transmits Channel 5, though at very low power from aerials which are little more than half-way up the mast.

Digital radio services are broadcast from this site, as are BBC and independent local services in FM.

This shot of the mast by John Butler was taken before the addition of the DTT aerials

The photo above and the montage below were taken by Max Freer

Sandy Heath coverage area maps | DSO work at Sandy Heath

Kempston (Bedford MF) | Bow Brickhill | Lewzey Farm (Luton MF) | Zouches Farm

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