BBC Holme Moss

BBC publicity photos from the 1950's

Here are some pictures from a BBC Holme Moss publicity brochure. Click here for the full document (2.8 Mb)

Click here for the following websites:

BBC Television

Transmitter Mast Gallery

405 Alive

BBC Holme Moss

My first full time job was a trainee transmitter engineer at BBC Holme Moss. I worked there between 1982 and 1985.

The BBC Holme Moss transmitting station opened in 1951 and broadcast 405 line black and white TV to 13 million people in Northern England.

The BBC introduced 625 line colour TV in the 1960s. To encourage people to buy new TV sets the transmitter power on the 405 line TV service was gradually turned down during the 1970s and 1980s. Nothing was said to the public at the time.

I recall that the transmitter power at Holme Moss was gradually reduced from 50kW to about 5kW.

I also visited BBC Sutton Coldfield just before the 405 line service closed. Instead of transmitting 50kW to a massive antenna at 750ft high on top of the mast, Sutton Coldfield was transmitting just 500w to a dipole around 50ft high, barely above the roof of the transmitter building. 

Whenever someone rang to complain about poor reception the BBC could rightly say "It's alright leaving us, maybe your TV set is faulty. Have you thought about buying a new one?!"

I was at Holme Moss on the last day of the 405 line service on, I think, 3rd January 1985. We hadn't received any specific instructions about a final closedown time. I recall that one of the senior engineers rang the BBC control room in Leeds and agreed we would switch off the transmitters after the 1600 local news bulletin. I watched in the transmitter hall as the closedown switch was pulled for the last time. I don't think anybody noticed.

The Holme Moss transmitter site is now owned by Arqiva. The following radio programmes are transmitted:


    BBC Radio 1 98.9 MHz
    BBC Radio 2 89.3 MHz
    BBC Radio 3 91.5 MHz
    BBC Radio 4 93.7 MHz
    BBC Radio Sheffield 104.1 MHz
    BBC Radio Leeds 92.4 MHz
    BBC Radio Manchester 95.1 MHz
    Classic FM 101.1 MHz
    BBC Digital Radio 225.648 MHz
    Digital 1 Network 222.064 MHz