Photo by Flickt user Shirokazan via Wikimedia Commons.
(Source: Radio World via David Iurescia and Michael Bird)
WOOFFERTON, England — Nestled in the beautiful Shropshire countryside, just a few miles from England’s border with Wales, is the tiny village of Woofferton. That name is synonymous with shortwave radio for millions of listeners around the world as just a short distance from the village itself, lays the United Kingdom’s last remaining public service shortwave transmitting station.
Now owned and operated by Encompass Digital Media, Woofferton recently celebrated its 75th birthday. Built in 1943, the station has a fascinating history; originally designed to bolster the BBC’s General Overseas Service (now the World Service) during the latter years of World War II, it was later partly funded by the United States and was used extensively by the Voice of America to broadcast into Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union during the cold war years. Today, Woofferton transmits programs for the BBC and a number of other international broadcasters, reaching audiences across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
[…]There are 10 high-power HF transmitters at Woofferton. They range from Marconi senders of various vintages, including two BD272 250 kW units that date back to the 1960s, to the more recent 300 kW B6124 solid-state transmitters, and four of the most modern RIZ 250K01 wideband systems, which are also capable of operating in Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) mode. In fact, the BBC’s daily DRM transmission for Europe is broadcast from here.[…]
Check out this brilliant video tour of the BBC Woofferton Transmitting Station, presented by Senior Transmitter Engineer Dave Porter (G40YX). The video is divided in seven parts, thus I’ve created a playlist that will automatically load each video in order.
Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated radio historian and author, Jeff Cant, you can download and read an excellent history of the first fifty years of the BBC’s Woofferton transmission station. Cant began his history as an internal document to the station; he later finished it in his retirement. I wish every shortwave transmitter station had such a well-documented history providing a perspective on the station’s broadcasting. We owe Mr. Cant a profound debt of gratitude.