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History: TV Transmissions Start in South Wales

The BBC's map showing estimated field strength contours of the Wenvoe station.  It is based on the results of site tests, and gives estimated field strengths, which may, of course, vary considerably in practice owing to local conditions.  Divide the marked figures by three to obtain an approximation of field strength which may be expected while the medium-power transmitter is in use.

First test transmissions: Early July 1952
Medium power transmissions: 15 August 1952
Full high-power transmissions: Before the end of 1952

Until now, viewers had been forced to receive very weak signals from the Sutton Coldfield station.

Summary from "Wireless and Electrical Trader", 21 June 1952

Dealer's Conference

Over 400 Welsh and West television dealers attended the Wenvoe area television conference organized by the British Radio Equipment Manufacturers' Association (BREMA) held at the Victoria Rooms, Bristol on 12th June 1952.  Presiding over the conference was G. W. Godfrey, chairman of the BREMA Television Promotion Committee.  Representing the BBC were G.C. Beadle, Controller, West Region and A.B. Oldfield-Davies, Controller, Wales.  A number of other representatives from BREMA, the BBC the GPO and the RTRA were also present.

Announcements were made for the scheduled dates of transmission, allowing Wenvoe to be the main station for South Wales and the West, but not Devonshire or Hampshire.  Mr. Beadle also stated that whilst 95% of the initial programme transmission would be the "national hook-up", independent local enterprise would increase over a period.  He hoped that one day there would be an additional TV station not far from Bristol catering exclusively for West Country people.  Mr. Oldfield-Davies followed by saying that there would be occasional feature in the Welsh language - a film of the Eisteddfod at Aberystwyth was one event.

Mr. Henderson spoke as a retailer, delivering advice to shop-keepers on presenting and selling TV in their shops.  Particular emphasis was placed on  product range and arrangement, training of salespeople, the importance of aerial installation, service contracts, delivery and set-up.  The shortage of well trained service engineers in TV repair was acknowledged by all - and local technical courses were in short supply.  It was later discussed that a ratio of 1 TV engineer to every 50 sets sold was a fair estimate.

Mr. G Watson (BREMA) stated that even the opening power of 5kW was as large as any TV station in America and should result in much improved picture quality.  Commenting on the Welsh valleys, he said that they ran roughly fanwise away from the transmitter, and the signals should travel up them.  He nevertheless warned dealers to be wary of interference from reflections and noted the need to redirect existing aerials from Sutton Coldfield to Wenvoe.

Finally Mr. Glover (BREMA) talked on the need to cope with the retail finance of televisions.  Selling televisions required two to three times the capital needed for a radio business and the seasonal swings even more marked than radio.  For every radio sold in summer, 14 might be sold in winter.  Manufacturers would help at the start but all retailers had to look very carefully at their finances.