Wright's Aerials




Trams and trackless buses were a particular nuisance. Occasionally the interference was so bad that the aerial would have to be fixed in a tree or on a pole at the end of the garden, as far away from the road as possible.
Some sets had 'white spot limiters' to try to reduce the effect of ignition interference, but this didn't seem to be particularly effective.

The people who I borrowed the ladder off let me know they weren't too pleased about me having it so I decided to make an extending ladder in wood. There were no aluminium ladders at that time. I cut out four stiles at work (I was working as a sawyer in a machine shop). I turned out the staves on the lathe in my lunch hour, the fittings were made from some 1½ x ¼ inch bar. I assembled the whole thing at home. The final thing was a ¼ inch steel rod under every fourth rung. I was brought up in that era when you never bought anything if you could make it. When the station at Holme Moss opened things started to move. Sid started to sell more sets.

We were now able to use the H type aerial. These were much easier to put together. The wire that went round the chimney was much thinner than the stuff we'd been using for the bigger aerials, so the job could be done much more quickly.

As more TV sets were sold I had to start doing the aerials during the week after I'd finished work. To speed things up I talked the shop owner into buying a van, so that when he took the set to the house he could also take the ladders, then I could go straight to the house on my bike instead of having to walk with the ladders. I would do these aerials whether it was dark or not, and I got so used to doing them in the dark that it made no difference. Sometimes when I knocked on the a door the conversation would go something like this:

"I've come to fix your TV aerial."

"What, in the dark? Can you see all right?"

"Yes, I'm used to it!"

"Well if you're sure. Do be careful though. I don't want you falling off the roof - my husband's got a weak heart."

As my wages for a 44 hour week were only £7, at a pound a time for an aerial I was sometimes equalling my wages.

By now we had started to get several different types of aerial. At first the 'H' aerials were made, I think, by Aerialite, and later we got some from Antiference. It was round about that time that the Antiference No.1 mast clamp arrived, and it was much better than the older types with the U bolts.

After a while I started to learn that reception varied from place to place. We weren't too far from Holme Moss, so the main problem was ghosting rather than weak signal.

With experience I was able to guess where I would be able to get away with a single dipole.


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Trying to stir up a bit of 'early adopter' hysteria?


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A typical early1950s single dipole installation. The centre-fed half wave dipole was fixed to the wooden fascia where possible
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