Historic shortwave radio transmitter site celebrates 80 years

The UK’s last shortwave radio transmitter site is celebrating its 80th anniversary this week.

Built by the BBC during the Second World War, Woofferton Transmitting Station, near Ludlow, made its first broadcasts overseas on 17th October 1943.

To celebrate its 80th anniversary, local dignitaries will switch on a special shortwave radio broadcast celebrating the site’s history.

The special anniversary transmission can be heard on Tuesday, 17th October at 1.30 UTC/GMT on 17785 kHz for Europe (analogue), 11725 kHz for Europe (DRM digital radio) and 15245 kHz for North America (historic transmitter).

The broadcast to North America will use the oldest transmitter at the site, a British-designed and built Marconi BD272 dating from 1963, which is maintained in working condition.

Paul Firth, Commercial Director, Radio Services at Encompass Digital Media Ltd, which now owns and operates the site, said: “The Woofferton Transmitting Station has a long and varied history, and we at Encompass are excited to recognise this milestone of 80 years of international transmissions from the site.

“We are proud to continue to sustain Woofferton’s vital work in transmitting shortwave around the world whilst also developing its capabilities to ensure it can keep pace with technological developments in radio and satellite distribution.”

Encompass wants shortwave radio listeners to submit reception reports to radio@encompass.tv. A special “e-QSL” card will be in use, and there’s a competition to win a historic station artifact and a Woofferton 80th coffee mug.