BBC Tatsfield Receiving Station, Surrey

BBC Tatsfield was established in 1929 to monitor domestic radio broadcasts and to ensure that that the frequency was correct and that it was of the highest broadcast quality possible. During the Second World War the site was used as a technical site to monitor propaganda sites being broadcast from Europe. It carried out technical measurements on signal strength, frequency, identity and the location of these broadcasts. It also reported on jamming attempts of British Government propaganda stations overseas.

After the war this work continued with the advent of the Cold War, and the station continued to monitor broadcasts from communist Eastern Europe and in 1957 was the first site in the UK to receive the signals from the Soviet satellite, Sputnik.

The site was comprised of offices, technical and laboratory rooms, a social centre, tennis courts, canteen and various other rooms and amenities for staff. Most of the buildings have been demolished and the land turned over to a farmer and BT (who have a mast on site) and the Gas networks. The remaining buildings are the clerical staff office building and the frequency standards semi-sunken bunker. The perimeter fence is in situ, although fallen down in places, and the tennis court is extant but very overgrown. Various aerial bases can be seen dumped at the sides of the surrounding fields.

For some fascinating period photos of BBC Tatsfield see this site, compare the clerical offices to the recent photos!

http://www.bbceng.info/Operations/Receivers/Tatsfield/tatsfield.htm

 

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