Wright's Aerials

Aerial photography - Ancient Gallery

During the ‘colour boom’ of the mid-1970s the rental companies were doing massive amounts of business. Since virtually every new colour renter needed a new aerial we riggers had plenty of work, especially if we had an arrangement with DER or Radio Rentals or one of the other big players. In the lead up to Christmas it was possible to make huge amounts of money if you were prepared to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week. And being young and fit, that’s pretty well what I did. One of the problems of that time was the existence of these rather strange aerials. They were branded as ‘Telefusion’ and were for a time used by DER’s own installers.

When the work was contracted out later to the likes of me there were thousands of these aerials in use. Most were mounted on steel masts that had rusted through, and the renters expected a cheap (or even free) repair. Now these aerials were built like a tank, and if it hadn’t been for the cheap steel masts would have lasted forever. To replace the mast with an aluminium one involved hacksawing through the U bolts in the chimney bracket and cutting off the old mastclamp. This was a bit of a performance sometimes, and then there was the worry that the very heavy aerial, with its huge reflector, would catch the wind and snap the new mast. I discovered that it was possible to fold back the reflector’s top and bottom thirds, greatly reducing the windage, with no effect on reception.

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