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The Woofferton transmitting station is a shortwave broadcasting site at Wooffertonmarker, south of Ludlowmarker, Shropshiremarker, Englandmarker.

The station was originally built by the BBC during World War II to house additional shortwave (HF) broadcasting transmitters. It had six 50 kW RCA transmitters, obtained by lend-lease.

During the Cold War, the station was equipped with six Marconi BD272 250 kW shortwave transmitters. Much of the capacity was leased by the BBC to the Voice of America (VoA) in order to enhance the latter’s coverage in the Eastern bloc. It provided a stronger shortwave broadcast signal into the Eastern Bloc than any other western shortwave broadcast transmitter during the years of Soviet jamming.

It was VoA’s custom to name the transmission site at the beginning of each broadcast. Visitors to this isolated rural site were amused to hear broadcasts begin with the words, “This is the Voice of America, from Woofferton”.

All the BBC’s transmitting facilities were privatised in the 1990s. The shortwave sites were sold to Merlin Communications, which has since been acquired by VT Group plc and trades under the name VT Communications.

The station currently has ten 300 kW HF transmitters.

It also has a 300-watt MF transmitter for BBC Hereford and Worcester.

References

  • Campbell, D., 1983. War Plan UK, p. 251. Paladin edition. ISBN 0-586-08479-7.
  • Pawley, E., 1972. BBC Engineering 1922–1972, pp. 259–60, 348, 458. BBC. ISBN 0-563-12127-0.
  • Shacklady, N., and Ellen, M, 2003. On Air: A History of BBC Transmission, pp. 29–32. Wavechange Books. ISBN 0 9544077 0 9.


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