Forder Battery

Page last updated: 26/6/2018

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History

Forder Battery seems to correspond with the "Plymouth" site on the 1959 Network map and was at that stage "existing or under construction". The first traffic is likely to have been to provide the programme feed for the ITA transmitter at Caradon Hill which entered service in 1961. Westward Television had studios in Plymouth, around three miles from Forder Battery, and it is likely these were linked via cable to allow local programmes (and avertisments) to be fed to the transmitter. The BBC also had studios in Plymouth and began regional programmes in 1961. The 1959 Map shows a "Programmed" route to North Hessary Tor but the BBC transmitter there had entered service by 1954 with off-air reception of the Wenvoe transmitter. It is likely the feed arrangements were changed in 1961 to allow the local service to be routed to the transmitter. At this stage it appears the SHF route started at Bristol, with cable from London. Westward apparently made very few contributions to the ITV network in the early years and their link might, therefore, have been one-way towards Plymouth.

BT Archives has an image dated January 1962 of Forder Battery with a "flared" tower carrying a pair of dishes (assumed to face Halwell) and another single dish (facing Caradon Hill?) and describes the site as a "Terminal Station". The route to Goonhilly via Burydown did not feature on the 1959 map, however Goonhilly entered service in 1962 and it seems the extension from Forder Battery would have been under development - at least on a temporary basis. The tower now in place appears to be of a different type to the archive photo, with a parallel section at the top, so the structure has been replaced at some point or the 1962 photo is of a different site.

Photos

1962

Forder Battery 1962

Copyright BT Heritage [TCB417/E 26894]

1962

Forder Battery 1962

Copyright BT Heritage [TCB417/E 26895]

1971

Forder Battery 1971

Copyright BT Heritage [TCB417/E 56254]

2009

Copyright Google