ORBEM
Broadcasting House in 1967
In this section: Control Room, Channels & studios
Continuities, Radio by Numbers

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A Tour of Broadcasting House in 1967 by Mike Chessher - Page 1

Following Mike's tour of BH in 1959 the saga continues with the extension occupied and Radio by numbers as the pirates come ashore.

It's taken a long time for the extension to be fully equipped. First the new control room was brought into use cable by cable, studio by studio. Headsets have replaced candle stick telephones. It's all bright and spacious with large windows but in many ways reflects what we left behind in the sub basement.
Control Room


The front bench is still there with two switchboards and the ATOMs desk is behind it. The jackfields have been banished away to the left and rows of monitoring buttons and silver locking keys to drive the selectors face the operators. The "bays" of the old control room have become Control and Monitor positions to our left and round to the right are two cubicles, each containing a 3 channel control position and a "Despatch Position". This despatch position is really 4 single channels each feeding a Foreign News Manager on the 3rd floor and handling the associated conference circuits.

The TOM overlooks it all from a spacious office and in the far corner are the OB equalising area and the TV switching position. Just beyond and accessed from a lobby area lie mixer 1A, which is used for sport and the four continuities. It's amazing what you can do with relays and Home, Light or Third can be switched to the spare con, instantly changing over all outputs, cue feeds, check receivers and telephone lines.

We'll return to the continuity area shortly but let's look at the rest of the extension. News and sport have moved to the 3rd floor from Egton, the studios there becoming EG1, 2 and 3.

H58
On the 5th floor, a large number of recording channels has sprung up mainly with BTRs. They range from H50 to H59 and there is H59A as well. Three have small studios attached, one - H55 - has Presto disk recorders and H58 (right) is a central recording and playback channel with those TR90s from H18 mounted in trolleys at last!

Apart from the TV switching centre and a comms area the extension is an office building, at least above ground.
Studio B9
Down in the basement, the levels, as we say in the business, don't quite match so there are steps down to the extension with conference and listening rooms to our left. Ahead of us are eleven radio studios (B6-B16), four recording channels (H9-H12) and a small TV studio. Most of the studios have Type B desks. B7 and B8 are small, B9 (right, seen in 1971) is a mixer and there are six large Type Bs.

B10
That leaves B10 and B11 which are drama studios with Type C desks. These have quadrant faders and a panel of transistor amplifiers. There are associated recording channels H10 and H11.