The Basement

Listening Halls Echo Room Corridor to balcony of BA Battery Room Restaurant Kitchen Much of the studio tower in the basement housed the upper parts of studios BA and BB. A corridor (below) led to the balconies of both studios - BA at the far end and BB the door on the left.


The Listening Halls
Listening Hall 1

Listening Hall 1
The decoration of these underground rooms was meant to create a feeling of space and height. In one (above) a mural by Eastland Fortey formed the centre-piece. It was lit from below and gave "a sense of aerial perspective so that one would seem to be on a skyscraper rather than underground" as the Architectural Review put it. The back of the room is seen right.

Listening Hall 2

In the second room (left) Raymond McGrath created the effect of sunlight by the use of gold and silver foil.

The two Listening Halls were provided for the use of press critics or others who needed "to hear any particular transmission under satisfactory conditions of reception."

Battery Room and Echo Room
Echo Room

below - Storage batteries for the emergency lighting supply. This lighting was permanently switched on to enable the performances in the studios to be continued in case of failure of the mains powered lighting.


right - One of the echo rooms. Programme from the studio was reproduced on a loudspeaker in a resonant room. The output of a microphone (a Type A in this 1938 photo) was sent to the Control Room, where it was mixed with the programme coming direct from the studio.


above - An example of the hand painted signs, the lettering based on an design by Percy Delf-Smith (right). The warm-white letters were on a medium-tone green ground with black edges.

The Restaurant and Kitchen
The Restaurant

The Restaurant

The Kitchen
Three photos show the restaurant, designed by Raymond McGrath. In the early thirties some 6000 lunches per month were being served. Opening hours soon had to be extended as the Empire Service broadcast into the night hours. The signs on the columns could be illuminated to summon staff and artists back to their studio.

The Restaurant

left - The kitchen