ITV 1957

By Russ J Graham

ITV in 1957

1957 and the network is still just in its early stages. Independent Television had come to London on 22 September 1955, with Associated-Rediffusion on weekdays and ATV on weekends.

The ITA expanded into the midlands on 17 February 1956 when ATV began broadcasting on weekdays and ABC took weekends.

The 'North' region was opened in two stages when it became clear that co-locating an ITA Band III transmitter with the BBC's Band I transmitter at Holme Moss in the Pennines proved impossible. The ITA instead chose a site on Rivington Moor near Bolton, some 1450ft above sea level, for the Lancasher/Cheshire transmitter. The winter of 1955 was very bad in that area, and engineers named the spot 'Winter Hill'. The Winter Hill transmitter opened on 3 May 1956.

Yorkshire was a very difficult area to cover, with steeper Pennine hills than Lancashire and a long distance between high ground and the low-lying areas of the East Riding. Engineers chose Emley Moor, near Huddersfield, for the site and the cylindrical mast was opened on 3 November 1956. The area, east and west, was covered by ABC on weekends and Granada during the week.

Central Scotland, the first non-'Network' region to open was straightforward for transmitter location, but made more difficult by the land owner refusing to sell. The transmitter itself was faulty (a poor design) and the combination of delays caused the new contractor, Scottish Television, some financial worries. The service finally opened later the anticipated on 31 August 1957. By this time, the ITA was putting the finishing touches to its next transmitter, serving south Wales, but that would have to wait until January 1958.

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Article ©2001 Russ J Graham

Compilation ©2001 Transdiffusion Broadcasting System

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