In prep - psp
Always a pleasure - the annual LRS visit to the Museum of Communication in Burntisland in Fife to see their 2023 exhibition "The First 100 Years of Broadcasting in Scotland" and hear a talk on the BBC by LRS member James Gentles GM4WZP.
We were welcomed to the MoC by Chairman, Tom Stevenson.
Many thanks to Winnie Stevenson for providing coffee and tea.
Thanks to Tom Stevenson for photographs.
Talk "Personal recollections of working for BBC Scotland in the early 1980s, the halcyon days of analogue TV" - James Gentles GM4WZP.
The following is a summary of James's talk.
James was offered jobs by BBC TV Centre, London and Hewlett-Packard in South Queensferry. He chose the latter!
James spent 3 months in the summer of 1981 working a student placement at the BBC Scotland headquarters in Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow. (The BBC later moved HQ to Pacific Quay).
Lots of equipment.
Telecine machine for transferring film to video. Mainly used for inserting film reports into local news broadcasts in the days before Electronic News Gathering.
Ampex 2-inch Video Tape Recorders (VTRs) for editing program material.
Storage room for the bulky 2-inch tape reels.
A 2-inch VTR and its associated equipment could just be sqeezed into a mobile van.
Note BBC cat in foreground.
The next generation of VTRs were the Ampex 1-inch machines, of which MoC has one. James was amazed when standing beside one of them later (see below).
Of course, much of the program material is produced at BBC Television Centre at White City in London.
Program material is distributed to stations and transmitters throughout the UK.
James described the requirement to keep all program sources in exact phase synchronization and how this was achieved.
"Brown Box" - early single-frame digital video frame store used for synchronising signals.
Nationwide transmission of program material is done by microwave links.
Still under construction, the 1981 upgrade to Queen Margaret Drive Glasgow Studio B. This is the "Gallery". The large hole is for the vision mixer. Smaller screens show inputs to the Gallery, the two large screens for Preview (PV) and transmission (TX).
BBC-1 display with rotating globe.
The BBC-1 405-line transmitter at Kirk O' Shotts.
It operated on Channel 3 on 56MHz (= 2 x 28MHz)!
We then toured the MoC 2023 exhibition "The first 100 years of broadcasting in Scotland"
James GM4WZP was pleased to find an Ampex 1-inch VTR to remind him of his BBC days mentioned in his talk. He believes this one is almost certainly one of the two shown in the 1981 BBC image, same VT, 42 years apart….!
Reconstruction of Old Radio Shop
"Golden Era of Radio - 1930-1950"
Alan GM3PSP & Pete GM4BYF in Chromakey "Green Screen" simulation for special effects, watched by James GM4WZP.
Chromakey monitor image with new background inserted..
James GM4WZP and Pete GM4BYF practising their Morse Code.
Iain GM1MSS & Pete GM4BYF on "phone".