The engineering telephone exchange in Bush Control
Room on October 20th 1964. There were direct lines to all studios and
transmitters. The panel above shows the state of every uniselector (for
routeing studios to networks or outside sources to studios, etc.).
The call buttons on the two panels between the operators should be
white (the white objects you can see are the signal lights): some idiot on a night shift had got bored and coloured some of
them black to make a pattern reading 'HELP EMX'. Obviously this went
down badly with his superiors, who made him colour the rest in so that
at least they were all the same colour.
to see a plan of Control Room from the 1968 edition of the operating manual ('BU1').
The plan shows MCP occupying the space which was originally two control positions. The corridor adjacent to the ASU and clock rooms also had control positions on the other side. The ASU was the automatic network-to-transmitters switching unit; the room also contained the large number of uniselectors. The clock room contained two pendulum master clocks, automatically corrected by GMT, which drove all the technical area and office clocks. The wall along the left-hand side of the plan overlooked the Strand (south side).
Below the plan is a photo taken in 1964: mouse over (Mac/PC) or tap (phone/tablet) the plan to see a red dot showing the camera position.
© Roger Wilmut. This
site is not associated with the BBC