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Photos by mb21, Mike Smith, Mark Carver and Bill Wright

Whitby North Yorkshire
NGR: NZ904113 Maps: Google  Bing (Ord Surv) Site Height: Structure Height:
Digital TV:
BBC Radio:
Ind. National Radio:
Ind. Local Radio:
Digital Radio:

The original Whitby relay sat right on the edge of East cliff overlooking this attractive and historical Yorkshire seaside town. The site was sandwiched between the ruins of Whitby Abbey and the HM Coastguard station and can be reached by climbing the 199 stone steps which lead to the Abbey and St Mary's Church.

Whitby, despite being on the East coast actually faces due North, and its geography can seem quite confusing without having a map to hand. It is one of the only places where at certain times of the year you can see the sun rise and set over the sea.

This explains why mb21 enthusiasts may have been a little confused when mast spotting in the town. Looking up at the tower the troughs appeared to be facing out to sea, and for a moment you'd have thought they were pointing at Pontop Pike - North towards Newcastle. However they did indeed face West over the Esk valley towards Bilsdale, a transmitter which is visible from much of the high moorland near the coast.

Whitby is one of four transmitters along the Esk valley relaying Bilsdale (the others being Castleton, Limber Hill, and Aislaby). The oldest of the four, Whitby used to transmit 405 line TV on channel 4. Which is obviously why it makes regular appearances in the Yorkshire TV series Heartbeat!

The Esk valley is a textbook GCSE geography glaciated "U" shaped valley - deep, with steep sides, which can make picking up Bilsdale a difficult task for those living at the bottom. With sweeping curves and numerous feeder valleys reception can be difficult, and even those only a few miles away in nearby Sleights and Briggswath have to use Aislaby for their coverage.

Because of it's precarious location on the cliff edge the mast shown on this page has now been replaced by a new mast at a site further inland, and the original mast has now been dismantled and removed.

Four possible new sites were originally identified and proposed as replacements. These were put to a public vote and as a result the new mast has now been built behind the town's business park. The grid reference for the new site is NZ911095.

From 21-May-2007 Whitby viewers were asked to retune their televisions to a set of temporary frequencies in preparation for the opening of the replacement service from a new mast located further inland.

Transmissions from the old site were finally switched off on 16-Oct-2007 .

The new Whitby | Site move leaves thousands with poor reception

The Whitby relay - at the dead centre of town...

The new Whitby | Site move leaves thousands with poor reception

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