thebigtower


the wrekin

 


THE WREKIN TRANSMITTER is the UHF main station that serves the county of Shropshire and the West Midlands border with North Wales.

The station was opened by the BBC in 1975 as the last of five main UHF transmitter sites constructed across the Midlands.  The four other main transmitters serving the region are sited at Oxford, Ridge Hill (Hereford), Sutton Coldfield and Waltham.

STATION HISTORY

The Wrekin is a prominent hill of historical significance sited amongst the Shropshire plains near Telford and as such is a major attraction to both local ramblers and tourists.  Consequently, the BBC had to address amenity and aesthetic issues similar to those with the Crystal Palace transmitter in London in order to obtain planning permission for the station.  The solution was to build what was to a large extent a scaled-down version of the London station, combining semi-underground transmitter buildings with a roof-mounted self-supporting lattice tower.

The development of The Wrekin transmitter is explained further in a four-page BBC brochure, produced to coincide with the opening of the station.  A coverage area map is also included.  Click here to view the document


Aerials>  Site Images>  BBC Brochure  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DIGITAL SWITCHOVER

The two respective stages of the Digital Switchover process took place at The Wrekin on 6 April 2011 and 20 April 2011.

In respect of UHF aerial replacement for the switchover, convention has been to install the reserve UHF aerial first.  This is then brought into service to sustain both analogue and existing digital transmissions whilst the main UHF aerial at the top of the structure is replaced.

In the case of The Wrekin however, a reserve aerial could not be accommodated on the already over-crowded tower, nor was there space on site to at least accommodate a temporary mast to provide a transitional service.

Whilst temporary UHF panels installed on the tower would maintain an analogue service to the main population centres of Telford and Shrewsbury, the decision was taken to shutdown all analogue services to the rest of the service area (affecting an estimated 13,000 homes) for a 24-hour period whilst the main UHF antenna was replaced.

This operation was planned for 3 September 2009 and with the pressure of the service shutdown took place on the scheduled date despite less than favourable weather conditions.  As with some other sites, a helicopter was employed to lift off the old aerial and haul the replacement into position.  Services to all viewers were restored by around 6.00am the following morning.   

(See Aerials for images of the old and new UHF aerial).



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aerials

 

Site Images

 

 BBC Brochure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


STATION INFORMATION


Location:

The Wrekin, Telford, Shropshire, TF6 5AL

Grid Reference:

SJ628082

Landlord:

Arqiva (Legacy: BBC/Crown Castle/NGW)

Ground Height:

387m

BBC Region:

West Midlands

Tower Height ("):

52m

ITV Region:

West Midlands

Aerial Height (*):

448m

 

UHF Tx Number:

12100

(")  Height excluding UHF antenna - approximately 64m inclusive

 

 

(*) Average UHF aerial height above sea level (a.o.d)  

 

 


  CURRENT TRANSMISSIONS

Digital Television

 

Analogue Radio (FM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

: Ch/Polarisation/e.r.p

 

 

 Service:

(MHz)

(e.r.p)

PSB1

: 26 / H / 20kW 

 

 

BBC Radio Shropshire:

96.0

4.8kW

PSB2

: 23 / H / 20kW 

 

 

Beacon FM:

103.1

2.7kW

PSB3

: 30 / H / 20kW 

 

 

 

 

 

COM4

: 41 / H / 10kW 

 

 

Digital Radio (DAB)

COM5

: 44 / H / 10kW

 

 

 

COM6

: 47 / H  /10kW

 

 

 

BBC National (Block 12B)

 

 

Digital One (Block 11D)

 

 

 MXR West Midlands (Block 12A)

 

 

NOW Wolverhampton (Block 11B)

 

 

 

PRE-DIGITAL SWITCHOVER UHF TRANSMISSIONS

(Shutdown completed 20 April 2011)

Analogue Television 

 

 

 

Digital Television

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

  Ch/Polar/e.r.p

 

 

 

 

Service

 Ch/Polar/e.r.p

BBC1

: 26 / H / 100kW

 

 

 

 

Mux1

: 21 / H / 1.0kW

BBC2

: 33 / H / 100kW  

 

 

 

 (+)

Mux1

: 39 / H / 1.0kW

ITV1

: 23 / H / 100kW 

 

 

 

 

Mux2

: 31 / H / 1.0kW

Ch4

: 29 / H / 100kW

 

 

 

 (+)

Mux2

: 49 / H / 1.0kW

Ch5

: 35 / H / 100kW

 

 

 

 

MuxA

: 24 / H / 1.0kW

 

 

 

 

 

(+)

MuxA

 : 42 / H / 1.0kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

MuxB

: 27 / H / 1.0kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

(+)

MuxB

 : 45 / H / 1.0kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   MuxC

: 53 / H / 1.0kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   MuxD

: 57 / H / 1.0kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(+) = The Wrekin B - otherwise Wrekin 'A'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lichfield  Oxford  Ridge Hill  Sutton Coldfield  Waltham

 

The Wrekin Transmitter @ A.T.V (Aerials and Television)

 

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