British Relay Television

Another long gone service, in 1968 there were over 1 million subscribers. If you have any memories or thoughts to share feel free to comment below. For now sit back and enjoy a trip back in time and a look at the British Relay service.

5 Replies to “British Relay Television”

  1. my parents were on radio relay in Chelsea in London in October 1939. They paid 7 shillings i.e 35 pence for the loudspeaker which they then owned. It was wired up to the relay system for which they paid around 1 shilling a week. There were 2 programmes. The BBC Home Service and later BBC Forces. In 1945 , The Forces became BBC Light Programme. In 1949 two more stations were added. BBC Third and a fourth station which provided popular music from abroad and radio Luxembourg in the evening. In 1955 television BBC and ITV were added.


  2. My family here in Ipswich were with British Relay Wireless from around 1960 to the service being wound up in the mid 1980s, all of the town centre and the large council estates were wired up for BRW…. I remember the bulky tv sets and the way you could receive radio as well as tv channels… we also had the luxury of an additional ITV channel in our case Thames/LWT as well as Anglia TV… My late grandmother was with the service right to the very end in 1985 when Visionhire who took over BRW stated the service was being discontinued, a BRW engineer called the same day as an aerial installer and a standard tv was installed instead… my Grandmother’s house still has the BRW plugs fitted in the living room! Happy memories of a great service!


  3. Darryl its highly likely my grandfather was that British relay engineer he worked for them in and around Ipswich for many years right up to the end and many of my childhood weekends were spent in British relay stations while he fixed fault. In the early 1980s when most kids had a 12″ portable tv if they were lucky myself and my cousins rather mysteriously all had matching large colour sets in our bedrooms which may possibly have been knocked off British relay monitors which he’d added tuners to.


    • Hi jkh!

      Only just read your reply, i remember passing the old BRW station at dales road in Ipswich and seeing 3 refuse skips filled to the top with old BRW sets….. Wish i could have nicked one for retro value! My uncle who lives in my gran’s old house still has the BRW sockets on the wall and the junction box on the front wall near the guttering! Some houses in the area still have the BRW cable strung between them and there are repeater boxes around the town……There is a facebook page for british relay wireless by the way……


  4. My father was employed by BRW from after the war until his retirement in the early 70’s! He ran the special services division working with Trusthouse Forte and the Hilton group! He was very much involved with St George’s hospital in Central London supplying specialised equipment for patient monitoring! Also was involved with the changing of the athletics starter gun after the Duke of Edinburgh approached him about the delays at the start, and he devised the microphone speakers by the blocks , so when the gun went off , it was heard simultaneously! I still have the starter gun from the 1947 Olympic Games!


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