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ITV 405 line VHF TV TRANSMITTERS
MIDLANDS

  LICHFIELD Membury Ridge Hill
Channel / Polarisation 8 V 12 H 6 V
Max. Vision ERP 400 kW 30 kW 10 kW
Site ASL 500 ft 700 ft 671 ft
Aerial ASL 1453 ft 1155 ft 1120 ft
Location (NGR) SK 163042 SU 308763 SO 630333

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Three ITA stations serve over 10.5 million people living in the Authority's Midlands region. The Lichfield station served the industrial Midlands and a wide surrounding area. The Membury station served the Southern Midlands and other parts of Southern England. Another relay station, situated at Ridge Hill about five miles south-west of Ledbury, came into service on 30th July 1968 and provided an improved service in Hereford, Gloucester, Cheltenham and several other towns and villages in this area.

The Lichfield station is sited 500 ft above sea level near the Watling Street in the rural district of Lichfield. An available 450 ft self-supporting steel tower was erected to enable a service to be provided quickly and the station went into programme service on 17th February 1956 with a single 5 kW transmitter, giving an e.r.p. of 60 kW. A few months later a second parallel 5 kW set was added to provide an e.r.p. of 120 kW. In November 1956, after the main 20 kW transmitter had been installed, the e.r.p. was raised to 200 kW. This gave a population coverage of nearly 6.5 million.The construction of a 1,000 ft mast and an improved aerial at Lichfield was started early in 1961 and came into service in July. The power radiated Lichfield south towards Gloucester was increased to 400 kW. Towards East Anglia, however, the power had to be reduced to 100 kW to prevent interference with continental television services and the service to Midlands viewers living east of the station therefore remained virtually unchanged. Over a semicircle to the north the e.r.p. was maintained at 200 kW, sufficient with the higher aerial to close the gaps between the service areas of Lichfield and the Northern region stations. The new mast and aerial gave a general all-round improvement in reception, both within the old service area and beyond, and increased the population coverage to over 8.75 million.

The Membury station was an unmanned remotely controlled satellite of Lichfield. It served those parts of Southern England and the Southern Midlands which fell between the areas of good reception from other Authority stations. The main centres which received an improved service were Oxford, Swindon, Newbury and Marlborough, and their surrounding rural areas. The station, which was sited on a disused airfield near Membury, north-east of Marlborough, used a 500 ft mast and a directional aerial to provide a maximum allowable e.r.p. of 30 kW. The station radiated ITV's Midland programmes, which are received by direct pick-up from Lichfield and rebroadcast on Channel 12. To minimize co-channel interference from Caradon Hill, Membury uses horizontal polarisation. The station opened on 30th April 1965.

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