BBC Links

History By BBC Colleagues

  1. Martin Kempton’s (whom I am in contact with) wonderful site:

(Do not miss the Links page.)

  1. Bernie Newnham’s wonderful goldmine of information:

  2. Chris Booths enormous collection of Video Tape facts:

(Can you find the pages of WoodNorton lecturers ?)

  1. Forum boards for really experienced staff:

  2. Martin Ellen’s colour coded site:

  3. Outside Broadcasts & broadcast camera collectors

If anyone can tell me what has happened to this site it would be helpful:

1.2 Television BBC Output

    London Facilities: 

    The fascinating world we might see in the future:

    Staff weekly newspaper (online version):

    Contacting BBC programmes:

    Useful portal to BBC H&S information:

    All the latest chat from experts inside the BBC:

    BBC Reception advice:

    BBC Belfast

1.3.1 Television BBC Future:  The Move From London To Media City In Salford

    The grand £877M complex is starting to be occupied and may be well under budget. Here are a fraction of the links:

    Winning the bid:

    Number of BBC staff moving:

    Local new recruit blog:

    Job opportunities:

1.3.2 BBC Television Centre Sale

    The jewel in the crown sell off:




           My demolition page


The links on these pages are subdivided into these categories:

  1. 1.Television Output Links

  2. 2.BBC Technical Operations Links

  3. 3.BBC Training Centre, Wood Norton  Links

  4. 4.BBC Technical Installations Links.

  5. 5.My Personal Career

1. Television Output

1.1 Television History

    BBC explains what happened:

    What went out when -a massive site:

    A formal compendium of programmes:

    History Of Television -wonderful:

    All aspects of television yesteryear:

    Peter Culley’s everything and colourful too:

    Early television equipment:

    TV displays from the very beginning -be amazed:

    A chronological list of media events:

    Early recordings:

    (See Miss Pounsford on Baird 78rpm Phonovisor)

    Baird everything:

    Andy Wiseman’s logo emporium: 

    Darren Meldrums rather specialist offering:

    Old TV shows:

    All things nostalgic: 

    Possibly every programme ever: 

    World biggest picture gallery (claimed):

    Comedy programmes:

    Unofficial Thames TV:

     My TV Centre page

2. BBC Technical Operations

4. BBC Technical Installing

My Years

For your information my career was a fulfilling trail of opportunities. Since joining Birmingham University’s microprocessor exploration course in 1974 at age 13 I had been fascinated with the potential of programmable things. In 1975 I moved on from assembling code in hex to using the Ohio Superboard/UK101 which was as clever as programming got in those days. I hunted around and got sponsored to study Electronic & Control Systems Engineering (Hons) at Bradford University by GEC Industrial Controls & Electrical Projects at Rugby. Their’s was a huge 645 acre site with it’s own rail network and power station. At 21 I was told to be technical overseer of the 400kV Vacuum Switch Factory. Here were the original British-Thomson-Houston and AEI headquarters, the Hoover factory, GEC Power and GEC Marine Gears -whose main products were a serious sight to be seen. In the early 1980’s Arnold Weinstock’s baby, GEC, was Britain’s largest private employer with 1/4 millions employees.

I left for a highly paid job with the high tech Serck Controls Ltd first in Leamington then in Coventry. In the mid-1970‘s they had devised a solution to a safety issue at an oil plant. Their Chromimic 168 Controller was the first to interface computer core (PDP11/34) with the new colour displays (I’m not sure what the arrangements were for the US Patent). Being a Development Engineer I bought one of the first 6809 microprocessors to enter the UK and the very first 68000 microprocessor (which cost £1000 -a huge sum in those days). I delivered the UK’s very first fibre optic remote oil platform pressure gauge for Burmah Oil. From 10km away, in a petrochemical environment where no electricity was allowed, it used the first avalanche photodiodes and 74F chips specially flown in from Fairchild. These were the first logic gates to work at the astounding speed 50Mb/s. I worked under John Noddings who invented the cruise control for cars.

Looking for an opportunity to combine electronics and art I moved to BBC into Studio Engineering installing new equipment in nearly all London Studios as well as those in Manchester, Cardiff, Birmingham, Southampton, Bristol and Glasgow. I took the last of the valves out of TC1’s EMI2001 cameras. I became the BBC’s technical Writer for a year, taking over from Alec Booker. I then was a founder of Studio and Network Systems Engineering working on the very first plan to introduce a digital video into the soon to be replaced Studio 6. Then in 1996 I was founder of the BBC Virtual Production of BBC Resources. This eventually was absorbed into BBC Technology ready for selling off. VR Department, in what I called Studio Zero, having been to the International Broadcasting Convention at Amsterdam many times we won the Sony Award and took some of the system to New York’s Metropolis Studios. Harry Potter followed. BBC Technology was sold to Siemens Business Services. They rationalised to Siemens Media. After being made redundant with many others this was sold onwards ATOS. Many colleagues retired quietly or moved to Red Bee, Sky or others.

I then set up my own company setting up complex live VR specials like General Elections. As I was keen to remain very customer focused (and solvent) I turned my many practical skills to the building industry working on specialist house refurbishments. I got a lot of repeat business. I then worked for Atos on the Television Centre Closure Project -setting up systems to replace or bypass what I’d spent 26years building. The carnage didn’t start straightaway but certainly none of the online petitions were ever going to stop the developers with profit in their sights !

6. My Personal Career - Before, During BBC & Since

3. BBC Wood Norton

Please go page:   BBC Wood Norton

You may well ask why have I put this part of the website together. The answer is in Section 5  the very bottom of this page.

BBC Specialists

It could be said that throughout the decades every few months I started a new career. Some links are:

    BBC Beginnings

    Television Network


    BBC Studios & Post-Production

    Studio Engineering

    BBC Television Training

    BBC Research & Development


    TVCentre Projects

    Bureau Support Team


    BBC Planning & Installation (under various formal names)

    BBC Technology



The saddest label on my desk ever.

No respect spared..

Not a soul to be seen -where 7000 talents once rubbed

shoulders. The Bible says “Iron sharpens iron”    19 April 2013

Last Engineers leaving, heads bowed: Peter Calvert-Smith,

Andrew Smith & Bob Handscomb.    19 April 2013

See also on this website:   BBC Tech Ops

5. Television Studios In And Around London

Good ol Martin Kempton has produced an excellent website:    TV Studio History