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Transmitting Station history online

It is situated on one of the highest points in the southeast. It has blown down twice. It causes radiators, toasters and waste bins to play music. Automatic garage doors also open of their own accord. The Brookmans Park Transmitting Station is a local landmark.

Now, for the first time online, Lilian Caras's history of the site can be read in full.

According to Lilian Caras, the site has played a crucial part in the history of broadcasting in Great Britain.

It was the first purpose-built twin transmitter station in the world capable of broadcasting two radio programmes simultaneously when it was completed in October 1929 and it also played a part in the early development of television broadcasting.

The site was bought for 10,000 in the late 1920s and the only Council restriction appears to have been that the building be sited sixty feet back from the centre of the road.

The first programme from Brookmans Park, the London Regional, was transmitted on 21 October 1929.

It was crucial to the war effort and was camouflaged during the Second World War. According to Lilian Caras, although the original targets are unknown unexploded bombs fell in Georges Wood Road and Moffats Lane, Brookmans Park in November 1940, missing the nearby transmitting station.

Apparently the arials have fallen down twice and the site has caused some local concern particularly involving interference.

Lilian Caras notes that even today many residents employ a series of filters on their televisions and telephones to prevent them from picking up radio programmes. They cannot, however, prevent signals being picked up by domestic wiring, radiators and metal coal buckets! Technology might yet come to their aid, as changing telephones and televisions from analogue to digital appears to remove interference from the radio transmitter.

She also records that the Brookmans Park station can also claim to have contributed to television broadcasting. Being able to transmit on two waves simultaneously it became possible to transmit sound and vision. On 30 March 1930, experimental television tests were made there using thirty line pictures. These constituted the first public transmission of simultaneous sound and vision in Great Britain and, probably, the world.

You can read Lilian's History of the Brookmans Park Transmitting Station in full in this site's History Section.

It is hoped to add some exclusive slides in the near future.

Many thanks to Lilian Caras for making her work available online for all to enjoy and learn from.

January 28, 2002

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