The History of Crystal Palace Transmitter.

I was off work yesterday feeling sick, and so after a morning spent lying on the couch, I was all set to venture outside to fetch a Lucozade, only to be confronted by snow! Didn’t fancy that much. So I spent a while just watching the weather, and looking at the BBC Crystal Palace TV transmitter.

It’s a huge structure, and along with it’s sister NTL transmitter down the road, totally dominates the sky line of the area. I’ve been thinking of doing a photography project in the CP area, and just for something to do started researching the history of the transmitter.

Turns out that prior to the modern transmitter being built, John Logie-Baird was using one of the Brunell built water towers as a transmitter. The towers, originally to provide water for the Palace’s fountains, were knocked down during the war as the provider a bearing for incoming German bombers.

Bairds fledgling TV co went up against the Beeb, Reith got mad, and the whole thing ended in a bust up.. Richard Elen’s article is a great read.

Then there’s the UK Transmitters fan club, which has some great images of the Transmitter.

And the time it ‘blacked out’ during a tense FA Cup tie.

I also found a history of some other local characters, including the crazily named Theophilus WIllaim Williams.


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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
February 2005
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