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Waltham transmitting station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Waltham Transmitting Station.JPG
Waltham transmitting station (Leicestershire)
LocationWaltham-on-the-Wolds, Leicestershire
Mast height315 metres (1,033 ft)
Coordinates52°48′N 0°48′W / 52.8°N 0.8°W / 52.8; -0.8
Grid referenceSK809233
Built1966 (original)
1968 (current)
Collapsed1966 (original)
BBC regionBBC East Midlands
ITV regionITV Central
Local TV serviceNotts TV
Waltham on the Wolds transmitter, near Melton Mowbray,  Leicestershire,  England
Waltham on the Wolds transmitter, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England

The Waltham transmitting station is a broadcasting and telecommunications facility at Waltham-on-the-Wolds, 5 miles (8 km) north-east of Melton Mowbray. It sits inside the Waltham civil parish near Stonesby, in the district of Melton, Leicestershire, UK. It has a 315 metres (1,033 ft) guyed steel tubular mast. The main structure height to the top of the steelwork is 290.8 metres (954 ft), with the UHF television antennas contained within a GRP shroud mounted on top.


First structure

The first mast was built in 1966. On 16 November 1966, it collapsed. Parts of the wreckage are still in use as pig shelters. It had been built by the British Insulated Cables Construction Company. It was to have begun broadcasts in the summer of 1967.

Second structure

The structure was rebuilt in 1968 by the BBC. This delayed its first transmissions until 31 August 1968 of BBC2 only. It broadcast ITV from February 1970 and BBC1 from August 1970. On 9 April 1970, the whole region lost the signal when an excavator damaged the station's main cable. The mast was one of three similar types built at the same time by the BBC, with Mendip and Bilsdale.

It is a shorter version of the second Emley Moor transmitter which collapsed whilst broadcasting on 19 March 1969, due to the weight of ice on the structural cables. The Waltham mast has four sets of stay levels as opposed to the six of the former Emley mast. The latter was identical to the current 385m high Belmont mast, both built by the ITA.

It is east of the A607 between Grantham and Melton Mowbray.


The mast was originally built to provide BBC2 (on the new UHF 625 lines system) to the East Midlands. It became the main mast for ITV's Central East Midlands from 1982 and BBC East Midlands from 1991. Previously it had carried broadcasts from Birmingham.

It is now the main TV transmitter for all digital terrestrial channels covering the East Midlands, predominantly including most of Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. It can also be received in parts of Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. It is owned and operated by Arqiva.

Digital TV

Waltham first broadcast digital TV on 15 November 1998. In July 2007 was confirmed by Ofcom that at DSO (Digital Switchover) Waltham would be transmitting five - of the six - MUXes within its original C/D group. For reception of all 6 MUXES a wideband is required. When Waltham undertakes its 700MHz clearance, between February and March 2020, it will become an A group - excluding MUXES 7 and 8 which are due to be switched off before the end of 2022 anyway (see graph).

Relay stations

The two most powerful relays are at Nottingham (just west of the M1 J26) and at Stanton Moor (near Bakewell). The Nottingham relay at Kimberley began on 30 March 1973, following tests from late February 1973 [1]

The area immediately to the north west of the latter transmitter is the meeting point between the Winter Hill, Emley Moor, Sutton Coldfield, and Waltham broadcasting regions and this is why just north-west of Bakewell, the filler transmitters are BBC North West. Stanton Moor transmitter feeds the Darley Dale site, which was Britain's 1000th television relay station.

Transmitted services

Relay station at Swingate, west of the M1/A610 Junction 26, is the 2kW Nottingham transmitter which went digital in April 2011
Relay station at Swingate, west of the M1/A610 Junction 26, is the 2kW Nottingham transmitter which went digital in April 2011

Analogue radio

Frequency kW[2] Service
106.6 MHz 10.8 Smooth Radio

Digital radio (DAB)

Frequency Block kW[2] Operator
222.064 MHz 11D 8.8 Digital One
225.648 MHz 12B 5 BBC National DAB
227.360 MHz 12C 4 NOW Nottingham

Analogue television

Relay station at Eastwood
Relay station at Eastwood

Analogue television is no longer transmitted from Waltham. BBC Two closed on UHF 64 on 17 August 2011. ITV1 was moved into its frequency at the time and the BBC A multiplex began transmitting on UHF 61. The remaining four analogue channels were switched off on 31 August.

Frequency UHF kW Service
583.25 MHz 35 250 Channel 5
735.25 MHz 54 250 Channel 4
767.25 MHz 58 250 BBC One
791.25 MHz 61 250 ITV/Central Television
815.25 MHz 64 250 BBC Two

See also


  1. ^ In May 2013, BBC A moved from UHF 61 to UHF 49.
  2. ^ Broadcast on UHF 23 until 29 March 2011.
  3. ^ Broadcast on UHF 26 until 29 March 2011.[3]
  4. ^ Multiplex 1 (BBC) on UHF 49 was closed on 17 August 2011 and replaced by BBC A on UHF 61.


  1. ^ Nottingham Evening Post Tuesday 20 February 1973, page 1
  2. ^ a b Radio Listeners Guide (2010)
  3. ^ "Transmitter and reception information". Archived from the original on 28 September 2011.

External links

Relay stations

This page was last edited on 2 January 2022, at 19:17
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