Wright's Aerials

Albert's Attic Gallery

The Collapse of the Emley Moor Mast, 1969

March the 19th 1969 was my twentieth birthday. It was a miserably cold, foggy day. I sat in the kitchen that evening idly watching TV. At around one minute past five the picture disappeared, fading out to snow over a period of several seconds. Like a million or so others, I went outside and looked at the aerial, which was still firmly in place. The only channel we could receive was 405-line BBC-1. The 405 line ITV signal, and BBC-2, had disappeared. Later we heard that the transmitter mast at Emley Moor had collapsed, due to the weight of ice on the guy wires. The warning notice about falling ice rather begs the question: what evasive action were the locals expected to take? The guy wires were up above the main road!

Next day, our problems started. A few unreasonable individuals held us to blame, and wanted their UHF aerials swung round to the Belmont transmitter free of charge. Belmont needed a different channel group array, so things weren't that simple.

Before long the IBA had a temporary transmitter in place for channel 10 ITV, but the transmitting aerials were much lower than the old mast and the power was much less, so everyone had a very snowy picture. The temporary BBC-2 transmission was absolutely hopeless. It was Belmont or nothing in our area for several years.

mb21: The Fall and Rise of Emley Moor

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