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Photos by Martin Watkins Page last updated: 2015-07-24

1999 - 2003

Stockland Hill and Caradon Hill are - structurally - pretty much identical twins, and between them brought ITV Band III to most of the south west of England, although a relay at Huntshaw Cross was eventually added to the network. 405-line ITV launched from Stockland Hill on 29th April 1961 and closed in January 1985.

When the UHF network was planned, it was realised that the BBC site at North Hessary Tor was not ideally situated as far as propagation at these higher frequencies was concerned, whereas the three IBA sites - along with Beacon Hill (new) and Redruth (existing BBC) - would cover the area more effectively. UHF transmissions commenced from the autumn of 1971 on channels 1 - 3, with Channel 4 from launch on 2nd November 1982. ITV was line fed from the studios in Plymouth, while BBC 1 & 2 derived there signal from Caradon Hill by off-air reception at North Hessary Tor followed by an SHF link.

Stockland Hill housed for many years the IBA's on site engineering training centre; many were the student hands that doubtless fiddled with the equipment there.

This first composite picture dates from about 1998; we can see reserve as well as main analogue, two sets of DTT aerials (chs 22/25/28 and 30/32/34 were on separate arrays) and (with the eye of faith) the NICAM national radio link on Yagis towards the Channel Islands. As this used ch 30 originally it must either have already ceased operation when this photo was taken or been moved to yet another channel.

For the rest of the photos we've moved on to 2003 (and a digital camera).

Above, from top:

UHF cylinder
ch 30 NICAM link to Channel Islands
ILR tx aerial
DTT chs 22/25/28 tx array

Above, from top:

DTT at 193 m agl
DTT at 190 m agl
DAB national commercial (note blind aperture, south side), 177 m agl
DAB local at 173 m agl

Here in 2003 we see a nice clear space, destined in the next few months to be used for the BBC DAB array.

Stockland Hill index

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