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History: South Wales' Wenvoe Transmission Site

Nov 1951 Commons Questions: Progress of the New Station
Questions on the progress of the Wenvoe television station near Cardiff were asked in the House of Commons on November 14.  Replying to Mr. S.S. Awbery, the Assistant Postmaster General (Mr. L.D. Gammans) said that the BBC had informed him that work on the station at Wenvoe had gone ahead according to schedule, but in view of the present uncertain supply position it was too early to say whether it would be ready to transmit programmes by the middle of 1952 as was originally planned.
Answering questions by Sir George Thomas about Wenvoe, Mr. Gammans said "The laying of the cable is almost completed and the equipment to be associated with it is being installed.  The cable will not be ready for service before November, 1952, but by about the middle of next year we expect to be able to provide a radio link for temporary use.  The BBC informs me that the cost of the station is about 330,000 and all orders for the equipment have already been placed."
Mr. Thomas: Shall we have some sort of television in the middle of next year, or is this simply a step towards this?
Mr. Gammans: It is hoped so.
Mr. Thomas: Can Mr. Gammans say when he expects the equipment to be delivered and what reasons there are for his earlier replies that there will be a delay in providing this facility?
Mr. Gammans: The reason for the delay in this and many other matters is the Defence Programme.
Mr. Thomas said he would raise the matter again.
Jun 1952 Wenvoe Appointment
The BBC announced that J.P. Broadbent was appointed engineer-in-charge of the new television transmitting station at Wenvoe.  Mr. Broadbent joined the staff of the BBC in 1931 and served at the Moorside Edge transmitting station until 1935, when he transferred to Droitwich.  In 1951 he was for a short time at the television transmitting station at Sutton Coldfield, and later  became assistant engineer-in-charge at the Holme Moss television transmitter which post he held until this appointment.
July 1952 TV Training Courses for Wenvoe Dealers
EMI Sales and Service Ltd., are organizing a series of "on-the-spot" television training courses for dealers and members of their staffs in the Wenvoe area.  Suitably equipped premises are being taken over in Cardiff at 31 Clare Street.
These courses will be free of charge, and in addition to giving a general theoretical background of television, will familiarize dealers with the circuits, features and operation of all current "His Master's Voice" and Marconiphone models.  Courses of ten days duration are being arranged, scheduled to commence July 7, July 21, August 11, August 25 and September 8.
Local accommodation will be found for those attending the courses who may have some distance to travel into Cardiff.
Wenvoe Tests on July 15
The BBC hopes to start daily test transmissions on medium power from Wenvoe on July 15, in readiness for the opening of the station on the 15 August.
Aug 1952 Frequencies
BBC Television transmission on channel 5 (Band I, 63.25 Mc/s sound, 66.75 Mc/s vision) ,vertical polarization at 100kW, temporary 15 August 1952, permanent 20 December 1952
Dec 1955 Commons Questions: Reception in Wales
Mr. C.Hughes asked the Postmaster- General if he is aware that the reception of the BBC's Home Service in Wales is still poor during the hours of darkness; and what steps are being taken to provide normal service.  Mr. Gammans: Yes.  In addition to other measures already taken, A VHF station has recently been opened at Penmon and next week the Welsh programmes will also be broadcast from a new VHF station at Wenvoe.  The main trouble is interference from an East German station, and this, I hope, will shortly be discussed between experts of the BBC and the East German wireless system.
VHF Station Opening - Wenvoe in Service on December 20
The VHF sound broadcasting station at Wenvoe, South Wales is now ready for service. Along with Pontop Pike, these are the first of the newly built FM stations to be completed since the BBC's development plan for VHF was announced in July 1954, Wrotham, Kent, having been already built at that date.  Test transmissions are being sent out now and both stations will come into service next Tuesday, December 20.
The station at Wenvoe, near Cardiff, will transmit the Welsh Home Service on 94.3 Mc/s and will give reception free from foreign interference in Glamorganshire, the greater part of Monmouthshire, and part of Carmarthenshire.
At first it will have an effective radiated power of 30kW, which will be increased to 120kW early next year.  The area covered will be very considerably increased.
In the spring of next year it is intended also to have the Light and Third Programmes radiated on VHF from Wenvoe. 
Wenvoe VHF Station Open in Wales: 1/2 million Receivers Produced by Industry for the New Service
The new VHF station opened this month.  The area of interference-free FM reception of the BBC's sound programmes thus became extended to include Glamorganshire with part of Monmouthshire for the Welsh Home Service.  In a statement made in connection with the opening,  BREMA  stated that 1/2 million radio receivers and radiograms with the new VHF facility have been produced from British factories.  Whilst the bulk of these sets have so far been distributed in the South East of England, where the first VHF service opened last May, supplies are available to the new areas to meet the expected demand.
VHF transmissions from 20 December 1955  Welsh Home 94.3 Mc/s. (Light and West of England Home due late 1956)
Feb 1956 Commons Questions: Reception of Wenvoe
Mr. Callaghan asked the P.M.G. over what area of Wales reception of the Wenvoe station is now satisfactory.
Dr. Hill: The BBC tells me that with the present temporary aerial system the Wenvoe VHF sound service is satisfactorily received in Glamorganshire, the greater part of Monmouthshire, and parts of Carmarthenshire and Brecknockshire, though in places the quality may vary.  In the spring when the permanent aerial is completed, the population served will be increased from about 1 million to nearly 2 million.
Dec 1956 Pye Transmitters for South Wales ITA
The Independent Television Authority placed a contract with Pye Ltd. for the transmitter for the South Wales and west of England TV station, which was to start operation towards the end of 1957.  It was similar to the one in Lichfield and comprised of a 20kW vision transmitter and associated 5kW sound transmitter. Standby equipment of 5kW vision and 1 1/4kW sound was also included.
Feb 1959 Wenvoe VHF - March 1
The new high-power VHF transmitter at Wenvoe, South Wales, which will broadcast the Third programme and Network Three, will come into service on March 1 next.  It will work on a frequency of 96.8 Mc/s.  The frequencies used for the Light programme, the Welsh Home Service, and the West of England Home Service will be unchanged.  There will be regular tests between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. each weekday from February 23 to 28 inclusive.
Mar 1959 Third Programme Transmissions start on VHF
The new high-power VHF transmitter at Wenvoe broadcast the Third programme and Network Three on March 1st 1959. 
"VHF Week" for South Wales: Third of BREMA's 1959 Series
The third "VHF Radio Week" of 1959 in collaboration between the BBC and BREMA was centred in Cardiff from 2 March  to 7 March 1959.  The format was similar to those held earlier in Leicester and Liverpool.  From 2 March to 5 March there was demonstrations from the BBC, including "live" programmes, and an adjoining exhibition of about 100 sets by BREMA member firms. RTRA members supported with window displays and demonstrations in their own shops.  The venue was the City Hall, Cardiff and the event was sponsored by the South Wales Echo,Cardiff.
VHF transmission of the Third Programme used 96.8 Mc/s from 1 March 1959.
Jul 1962 Commons Questions
Mr. Ness Edwards asked the Postmaster General if he will estimate the cost of adapting television receivers now geared to Band I transmission to reception of Band III transmissions including the cost of new aerials.
Mr. Bevins:  Most viewers have sets and aerials able to receive programmes on Band I and Band III.  This is especially so in areas such as South Wales and West of England which have had B.B.C and I.T.A television for a number of years.  When the new Welsh service begins, many people will need a new coil unit which, with the cost of installation, could perhaps cost up to 2.  Many people may also need a new Band III aerial: this might cost about 7.
Mr. Ness Edwards asked the Postmaster General which television channel is to be made available in Band III for the separation of the West of England from Wales and if he has considered the relative advantage of keeping Wales on the present Band I channel, and using the Band III channel for the West of England.
Mr. Bevins:  The Band III channel to be used is at present under consideration.  To use a Band III channel for the West of England instead of for Wales would mean that many people in the West of England would need new aerials, while some would lose service altogether.  I think the balance of advantage lies in using a Band III channel for Wales.
Aug 1962 Commons Questions
Mr. Ness Edwards asked the Postmaster General, in view of his decision to use Band III for the All-Wales television service, if he will require the B.B.C. to retain the technical form of the present Wenvoe Band I transmission so that the non-Welsh-speaking population of South Wales will continue to receive the United Kingdom network without alteration to the receiving sets.
Mr. Bevins: No change will be made to the technical form of the B.B.C.'s Band I transmissions from Wenvoe.