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Broadcasting House in 1959
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A Tour of Broadcasting House in 1959 By Mike Chessher - page 1

Mike describes the Broadcasting House Control Room of about this time in another section on this site, and here starts his tour coming out of its door.....

I joined the BBC as a TO (Technical Operator) in London Control Room in the autumn of 1959 and was lucky to see a building little changed since the 2nd World War and still reflecting radio in its first golden age, before the growth of television. There had been chronic shortages in the immediate post war years, followed by the rapid expansion of television and the consolidation of external services at Bush. Now the modernisation of BH was to follow and work had started on building the extension which was to contain many new studios and a new control room and continuities.
The Sub-Basement

Leaving the control room and heading towards the front of the building, S1 is to our right. A largish studio containing a piano and a round talks table and an awkwardly shaped cubicle with a Type A desk, elderly TD/7 and more modern RP/2 grams with their turn-over cartridges for LPs and 78s. This was the studio used for Baird 30 line television experiments in the early 1930s. The only evidence of this being a plaque on the studio wall.

On the other side of the corridor are S2 and S3, best described as "engineering mixers". No separate studios, just multi source OBA/8 type mixers with a bank of TD/7 grams and a table for an announcer. I can't remember S2 being seriously used but S3 had had a bank of type B clean feed amps added and was still used for multi lateral "Radio Link" discussion programmes with the London contributors in another BH studio.
S2 - SM's desk




S2 - The SM's desk. London Control Room is beyond the window.
S2 - Announcer's desk




S2 - The announcer's desk. (The PABX telephones in this picture and the one below were not present in 1959)

S3 - SM's desk




S3 - The SM's desk. The rear of the TO desk is to the upper right.

S3 - Announcer's table




S3 - The announcer's table.

S3 - TO's position




S3 - A part of the T.O.'s position.

S3 - TD/7s




S3 - TD/7s.
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