BBC radio and TV using the same sound desk / panel?

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Paul Hayes
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BBC radio and TV using the same sound desk / panel?

Post by Paul Hayes »

The other day, the excellent "Who FX" Twitter account posted this photo of one of of the production galleries at Lime Grove during its BBC TV era. It was just posted to generically represent Lime Grove, so I'm not sure when it's from - almost certainly the 50s or 60s, obviously:

https://twitter.com/who_fx/status/1140694851421376518

Image

As some of you may know, I work as a radio producer for the BBC in Norwich, and am very interested in the history of the BBC in this part of the world.

The above image therefore struck me, as I immediately recognised that this sound desk is *exactly* the same model as the desk (or panel, as I suppose they probably called it at the time) first installed in the original BBC radio studio in Norwich when it was established in 1956, as seen here in October that year:

Image

It can't be a case of the BBC in Norwich using a TV desk for radio - TV wasn't even *thought* about in the Norwich headquarters at this stage, and the TV studio there wouldn't be built for another three years.

So I was intrigued to see the same desk in what's clearly a TV gallery pic from Lime Grove. It's referred to as being a "Marconi" desk on some of the existing Norwich documentation, and also in the fitting-out specs as "Type 'A' equipment, Mark V, modified for acoustic gramophone effects & 2-way working."

Was this a type of desk that was commonly used in both radio studios and TV galleries? Was it normal for there to be common sound desk models between the two? Or is this unusual?

It got me wondering, anyway!

Mark
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Re: BBC radio and TV using the same sound desk / panel?

Post by Mark »

Here you go.

Type A Desks
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Paul Hayes
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Re: BBC radio and TV using the same sound desk / panel?

Post by Paul Hayes »

Mark wrote:Here you go.

Type A Desks
Thank you, I have seen that page before, but I don't think it mentions anything about the desks ever being used by television? Which makes the sight of one in that Lime Grove gallery pic all the stranger.

Mark
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Re: BBC radio and TV using the same sound desk / panel?

Post by Mark »

There is a similar picture on the tech-ops site, so if Bernie is passing by, he will obviously have more on it.

Here

Also, this might be of interest, a BBC Engineering monograph (PDF Download) on Riverside, scroll down to page 18, mention of slightly modified Type A equipment in R2.

Here
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

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