ITV’s Regional Pattern

London: The ITA’s transmitter at Croydon was opened on 22nd September 1955. It serves a population of 13 million in and around London. Programmes are provided by Associated-Rediffusion Ltd. (A-R) from Mondays to Fridays and by Associated TeleVision Ltd. (ATV) on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Midlands: The ITA’s transmitter at Lichfield was opened on 17th February 1956. It serves a population of 8¾ million. Programmes are provided by Associated TeleVision Ltd. (ATV) from Mondays to Fridays and by ABC Television Ltd. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The North: A population of 12½ million in Lancashire and Yorkshire is served by the ITA’s transmitters at Winter Hill and Emley Moor, opened in 1956. Programmes are provided by Granada TV Network Ltd. from Mondays to Fridays and by ABC Television Ltd. on Saturdays and Sundays. ITA Regional Officer: S. D. Murphy, Astley House, Quay Street, Manchester 3. Manchester Blackfriars 2707.

Scotland: THE ITA SCOTTISH COMMITTEE: Professor David Talbot Rice, M.B.E. (Chairman); Mr. Frank Donachy, O.B.E. 3 Mr. ]ohh Fergus, F.I.P.A.; The Rev. Arthur H. Gray; Dr. H. Stewart Mackintosh, C.B.E.; Sir William MacTaggart, P.R.S.A.; Mrs. T. N. Morgan; Miss Barbara L. Napier, J.P.; The Rev. Dr. W. A. Smellie.

Scotland is served by five of the ITA’s transmitters. A population of 4 million in Central Scotland is reached by the Black Hill station opened in 1957, the first after the three main areas had been covered. Programmes are provided by Scottish Television Ltd. (STV). North-East Scotland, with a population of 1.4 million, is served by the transmitters at Durris and Mounteagle, opened in 1961. Programmes are provided by Grampian Television Ltd. The southern borders of Scotland are served by the Caldbeck and Selkirk transmitters with programmes provided by Border Television Ltd. ITA Regional Officer for Scotland: John Lindsay, 147 West Regent Street, Glasgow C.2. Glasgow City 3130. (The Regional Officer for North-East England deals with the Border area.)

Wales and the West of England: THE ITA WELSH COMMITTEE: Mr. Jenkin Alban Davies, J.P. (Chairman); Dr. Ivor Davies; Miss Norah Isaac; Mrs. Enid Watkin ]ones; Mr. Thomas Ieuan Jeffrys Jones, M.A.; Major General Lewis Owain Pugh; Mr. Leslie Richards; The Rev. D. R. Thomas, M.A.

Two companies, TWW Ltd. and Wales (West & North) Ltd. (WWN), provide programmes for the Authority to broadcast to Welsh viewers. In addition to its responsibilities in South Wales, TWW also covers a wide area in the West of England; it provides programmes for the ITA’s transmitter at St. Hilary, opened in 1958, serving a population of 3.3 million. The technical difficulties of the area covered by Wales (West & North) Ltd. are indicated by the fact that three transmitters are needed in South-West, North-West and North-East Wales to broadcast its programmes to a population of about 1 million. These transmitters opened during 1962-63. ITA Regional Officer: L. J. Evans, Arlbee House, Greyfriars Place, Greyfriars Road, Cardiff. Cardiff 28759.

Southern England: Southern Television Ltd. provides programmes for Southern England from Kent to Dorset, an area which is not easily defined geographically or technically. The ITA’s transmitters at Chillerton Down on the Isle of Wight (opened in 1958) and at Dover (opened in 196O) serve a population of 4.3 million. ITA Regional Officer: Cmdr. G. W. Alcock, O.B.E., R.N. (Rtd.), 3o Portland Street, Southampton. Southampton 29115.

North-East England and Border Regions: The North-East of England, with programmes provided by Tyne Tees Television Ltd., is geographically, technically and socially well defined, consisting basically of the main part of the counties of Northumberland, Durham and the North Riding of Yorkshire. A population of 2.7 million is served from the ITAs transmitter at Burnhope, opened in 1959. Border Television Ltd. serves two nationalities as its area straddles the Anglo-Scottish border, its programmes being broadcast by one transmitter at Caldbeck and another at Selkirk in Scotland (opened 1961) to a population of nearly half a million. ITA Regional Officer: R. J. F. Larimer 32-4 Mosley Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Newcastle 61-0148.

East Anglia: This was the first predominantly rural area in which the Independent Television Authority appointed a programme contractor, Anglia Television Ltd. This area is again both historically and geographically well defined. The topography of the area necessitated the first 1,000 ft. mast erected for the Authority, to serve a population of 2½ million. Programme operation commenced in 1959. ITA Regional Officer: Major General D. A. L. Wade, C.B., O.B.E., M.C., Century Insurance Building, 24 Castle Meadow, Norwich. Norwich 23533.

Northern Ireland: THE ITA ULSTER COMMITTEE: Sir Lucius O’Brien (Chairman); Mr. John G. Colhoun; Rev. Dr. C. B. Daly; Mr. G. B. Newe, O.B.E.; Mrs. G. Seth; Professor C. L. Wilson; The Rev. J. H. Withers.

The Province of Northern Ireland is served by two transmitters. The major one near the principal centre of population, the Belfast area, opened in 1959. The second, at Strabane in the west of the Province, opened early in 1963. Programmes are provided by Ulster Television Ltd. The population served is 1.4 million. ITA Regional Officer: W. H. Wilson, 5 Donegall Square South, Belfast. Belfast 3o818.

South-West England and the Channel Islands: Another geographically well-defined area is the South-West of England, consisting of the peninsula of Cornwall, Devon and parts of Somerset and Dorset. Westward Television Ltd. serves a population of 1.6 million from the ITA’s transmitters at Caradon Hill and Stockland Hill (opened in 1961). Programmes for the Channel Islands are provided by the smallest of all the fifteen ITV programme companies, Channel Television Ltd. Programme operation commenced during 1962. ITA Regional Officer: W. A. C. Collingwood, O.B.E., Royal London House, Armada Way, Plymouth. Plymouth 63031.

ABC Television

Midlands and North (Saturdays and Sundays)

ABC Television's Teddington Studios
ABC Television’s Teddington Studios

ABC is the company which, under agreement with the Independent Television Authority, provides the television programmes in the North and Midlands on Saturdays and Sundays.

comp-abc1 Hanover Square, London W.1.
HYDe Park 7222
City Centre House, 30 Union Street, Birmingham 2
Television House, 12 Mount Street, Manchester 2

Area         ITA      Channel   Vision    Sound    Opening Date  Population ITA Homes
          Transmitter          Frequency Frequency                  000's     000's
                                 Mc/s      Mc/s

Midlands  Lichfield       8     189.75    186.25   17th Feb 1956     8,850    1,765

North     Winter Hill     9     194.75    181.25    3rd May 1956  }
          Emley Moor     10     199.7372  196.2605  3rd Nov 1956  } 12,452    3,282

Sir Philip Warter (Chairman); E G M Fletcher LL.D, MP (Deputy Chairman); Howard Thomas (Managing Director); C J Latta; R Clark, LL.B; D J Goodlatte; G A Cooper.


C J Orr, FCA (Secretary); B R Greenhead (Technical Controller); R H Norris (Advertisement Controller); B Tesler (Programme Controller); D Southwood (Northern Executive and Chief of Outside Broadcasts); E G Harris (Midlands Executive); L Shirley (Features Supervisor); R Taylor (Light Entertainment Supervisor); Penry Jones (Religious Adviser).


Total members of staff 957 (excluding Alpha Television).

Visits to Studios

A limited number of tickets are available for audiences at certain shows. Applications, enclosing stamped addressed envelopes, should be made to the Ticket Controller at the address of the studio from which the programme originates. The minimum age is sixteen.


Enquiries about artistes and programmes should be addressed to Viewers’ Correspondence, ABC Television, Broom Road, Teddington, Middlesex.

Submission of Scripts

Present requirements are for 60-minute plays, 30-minute children’s serials and 60- or 45-minute series scripts. But programmes change, and authors should contact story editors for the appropriate category to learn of future trends before submitting outlines or scripts.

Programme Journal

TV Times publishes separate editions for the North and Midlands areas giving details of the available programmes.


DIDSBURY STUDIO CENTRE, Manchester (Didsbury 8181). Winter Hill and Emley Moor transmitters receive their weekend programmes via the ABC master control rooms at Didsbury. Here too is based the Outside Broadcast fleet. The main studio has a stage area of 5,000 sq. ft. and has seating for an audience of 600. The second studio has an area of approximately 1,000 sq. ft., and there is a presentation studio attached to the dual master control rooms, plus an announcer’s booth for sound only.

BIRMINGHAM. Alpha Television Studios, Aston, Birmingham (Aston Cross 3091), are jointly owned by ABC and Associated TeleVision Limited. There are three studios of 3,000, 1,200 and 380 sq. ft., and master control and technical areas which were housed in a new building during 1962.

TEDDINGTON STUDIO CENTRE, Broom Road, Teddington (Teddington Lock 3252). This modern studio centre has been established close to London, where the main body of artistes is available. It specialises in the recording of drama, light entertainment and feature programmes. Studio 1 has an area of 7,500 sq. ft.; Studio 2, 4,750 sq. ft.; and Studio 3, 2,500 sq. ft. The technical equipment covers an area of 8,000 sq. ft. and is fully multi-standard with immediate switching between 405, 525 and 625 line standards. The new central block, opened in 1962, has in addition 13,000 sq. ft. of rehearsal rooms, an acoustically treated recording studio of 1,700 sq. ft., and scenery assembly and handling facilities.

Outside Broadcast Units

ABC have three Outside Broadcast units based at Didsbury, all with 4½” cameras and a smaller vidicon unit. In addition, the mobile videotape recorder can be equipped with one or two cameras, there being a total of twelve available between the units, There are seven microwave link units with portable power generators, and a hydraulic platform tower truck.

Videotape Recording

There are two machines based at Didsbury, together with the mobile unit. At Teddington there are four standards-switchable transistorised recorders together with standards converter equipment. At Alpha Studios, Birmingham, there are two machines.

Colour Television

One of the flying spot telecine channels at Teddington is equipped for the generation of colour signals, and programmes from Teddington have been experimentally radiated by the Croydon transmitter. In addition, numerous public demonstrations have been given over the GPO network, notably those using the continental SECAM system.

Technical Developments

A considerable amount of apparatus was specially developed for the Teddington Studio Centre in order to achieve full multi-standard operation. All this newly developed equipment is transistorised, and, in particular, vision switching matrices and pulse and vision distribution amplifiers have been used in considerable numbers.


ABC productions include: News and News Magazines: ABC At Large. Talks, Discussions and Documentaries: The Other Man’s Farm, The Bookman. The Arts: Tempo. Science and Natural History: You’d Never Believe It! Religion: The Sunday Break, Living Your Life, Journey of a Lifetime, Sunday Morning Service, Epilogues. Adult Education: Headway. Sport: extensive outside broadcast coverage of all sporting events, including such minority sports as tenpin bowling, motor cycle scrambles, indoor soccer and amateur boxing. Children’s Programmes: Once Upon A Time. Drama Programmes: Armchair Theatre, The Avengers, Dimension of Fear (four-part thriller serial), Secret Beneath the Sea (six-part children’s serial), Ocean Liner series (untitled). Variety, Light Entertainment and Music: Thank Your Lucky Stars, Sing Along, The Best of Friends, Comedy Bandbox, Candid Camera, The Dave King Show, Life and Al Read. Entertainment Films: several film series produced in collaboration with ABC include The Human Jungle, Sir Francis Drake. Dramatised Documentaries: The Sword in the Web.

The Midlands


  • Population within measured contours: Primary 5.01 mn, Secondary 1.51 mn, Fringe 0.93 mn. Total 7.45 mn.
  • Channel: Band III Channel 8 (vertically polarised)
  • Vision Carrier Frequency: Actual 189.75 Mc/s
  • Sound Carrier Frequency: Actual 186.25 Mc/s
  • Effective Radiated Power: Vision 400 kw maximum. Sound 100 kw maximum.
  • Power of Transmitters: Vision (peak white) 20 kW. Sound (carrier) 5 kW
  • Heights above sea level: Site 500 ft. Mean aerial 1,450 ft.
  • Location: 1° 45′ 40″ W, 52° 36′ 30″ N.

Lichfield (Channel 8)

Companies: Associated TeleVision (weekdays), A.B.C. Television (weekends)

Geographically, the siting of a station to serve the industrial Midlands proved fairly straightforward, because the service area of the BBC’s Band I station at Sutton Coldfield corresponded closely with that which the Authority also wished to achieve. High open ground in the area is scarce and, with reason, carefully protected. It was not therefore easy to find an acceptable site. A piece of land 500 ft. above sea level, about four miles north-east of the BBC station, was eventually secured. It lies near the Watling Street in the rural district of Lichfield, from which the station derives its name.

Initially, an available design of 450 ft. self-supporting steel tower was erected, carrying an omnidirectional aerial similar to the one used at Croydon but of twice the aperture. This enabled a service to be provided quickly. The station went into programme service on 17th February 1956 with a single 5 kW transmitter, giving an effective radiated power of 6o kW. A few months later the power was raised to 120 kW by paralleling two 5 kW sets into the split aerial. In November of the same year, after the main 20 kW transmitter had been installed, the power was raised to 200 kW e.r.p. This gave a population coverage of nearly 6.5 million within the o.25 mV/m contouur. From the start it was recognised that, because of the relatively low site, greater and more uniform coverage could be obtained with a higher mast and an aerial system with directional characteristics. Sufficient land was therefore acquired to permit this to be done later.

ill-lichfieldEarly in 1961 it became possible to start the construction of a 1,000 ft. mast and an improved aerial. Both these were brought into service in July of the same year, thus allowing the original tower to be dismantled and re-erected for use at the Fremont Point station in the Channel Islands. The new aerial enabled the power radiated south towards Gloucester to be increased to 400 kW.

Towards East Anglia, however, the power had to be reduced to 100 kW to prevent harmful interference to viewers of the Netherlands Television Service on the Dutch coast. For this reason, the service to Midlands viewers living east of the station remained substantially unchanged. Over a semi-circle towards the north the radiated power was maintained at 200 kW. This was sufficient, with the higher aerial, to close the gaps between the service areas of Lichfield and the Winter Hill and Emley Moor stations. The effect of the new mast and aerial was a general all-round improvement in reception, both within the old service area and beyond. The predicted coverage is shown in the map opposite. The measured coverage has recently been completed and includes a population of 8.85 million within the 0.25 mV/m contour.