2020-09-07 6 By David Taylor


“Anglia Television From The Inside – A Brief Look Behind The Scenes”
“A Look At Anglia”

As I’ve come across some more images, here is an additional post about Anglia Television, culled from a couple of Anglia promotional brochures from 1967 or 1968.
For my first post about Anglia TV, start HERE

Let’s start with the OB Scanner. CVG333D was delivered in 1966 in time for the commencement of the ‘soap opera’ Weavers Green.

Here’s a photo I’ve already added to the earlier ‘Weaver’s Green’ post showing the new truck. As I can’t imagine that we would have really been rehearsing for a scene about to be shot, with the scanner parked so close to the ‘action’, I guess there’s an element of ‘promotion image set up’ about this one.


1: Rehearsing for an episode of Weavers Green outside the Anglia Scanner CVG533D in 1966. Left to right: 2 riggers, Wardrobe Mistress, boom operator, Director, PA, VT Engineer, In doorway), Vision Mixer, Vision Engineer, Sound Supervisor, Actress (foreground), Senior Cameramen, Floor Manager, Camera Assistant. On the roof: Cameraman, Assistant and Engineer.

One of the aspects about this vehicle that I had ‘failed to remember’ was that it carried its own 2 inch QUAD VTR. When I learned this recently I seriously wondered how you could get a very large 2 inch QUAD into such a medium-sized vehicle….and still have room for a reasonable Production Gallery. That However that was explained in another photo from one of the brochures:

2: The RCA TR-4 ‘compact’ 2-inch QUAD VTR inside the Anglia Scanner.

Promoted in 1966 by RCA under the slogan ‘RCA New Look’, the TR-4 was their attempt at a compact QUAD machine and was considerably smaller than any of the existing Ampex or RCA models [1]. An even smaller TR-5 model then came out for ‘mobiles’, but it was ‘record only.’

Here’s a photo of the interior of the Production Gallery in CVG333D, showing the Engineering Manager’s desk foreground and the Vision Engineer’s seated in front with their CCU’s, waveform and camera monitors.

3: The production desk and monitors with the Vision Engineers at the CCU’s inside CVG533D the Anglia Scanner delivered in 1966.

The second Anglia scanner shown above, was assembled in the Mann Egerton workshops in Norwich and wasn’t a complete Pye-built vehicle like the first. However, it’s full of Pye gear as this interior shot shows. Similar equipment on this ‘Production’ desk also appears in a later article about Pye scanners.

I contacted Paul Marshall, who owns an ex-Anglia Pye Mk5 camera [2] for some details of the vision equipment here and he explained:

Definitely Pye Mk5s ….with a waveform monitor in the CCU combined with OCP….more normally associated with the very rare Pye Mk4.
I was always told that there were two versions of the Pye Mk5 – the ‘mobile’ and the ‘studio’. The latter used vertical, rack-mounted CCU/PSU with a separate OCP. The mobile – very cleverly if you ask me – integrated the CCU, OCP and waveform monitor.”

Here’s what those ‘racks’ engineers in the scanner would be so carefully adjusting….

This camera is out on ‘the boat’. That’s the platform erected ‘mid-field’ for the commentators and at least one camera. This looks like Norwich’s ground at Carrow Road…..but hey I never really ‘got into’ football!


4: Interesting…..how do you get the TV picture off the scanner when it’s moving?

In 1966 Anglia’s first Pye-built scanner NCL721 was replaced, but here she is in, I assume 1960, with its front platform ….now this really looks like ‘fun’.
It could tow a small generator so a ‘moving shot’ as here was possible. But I’m not sure what sort of sound the ‘fishpole operator’ on the roof, hefting that STC mic on his pole mic would have been getting though!

Of more concern though would be …. how do you get the signal ‘away’ from the scanner? Although I’ve already shown that Anglia, shortly after it started, had a VR-1000A VTR in a ‘separate’ truck….you couldn’t get a VR-1000A into the ‘compact’ Pye scanner in this photo, so perhaps ‘live’ then? Towing a cable, might just work….err…well perhaps not. You can see the outline of a ‘yagi’ aerial on the roof…but it looks like it’s lying down….so perhaps that’s not a clever ‘radio link’ out either, although Pye had a demonstration vehicle once with a transmitter.

NCL721 was a similar design to 2 scanners that Pye produced in 1956, three years before Anglia’s, that were for Granada TV [3].

Pye-built ‘Travelling Eye’ scanner for Granada, with its generator behind and a Pye Mk3 camera on the roof.
Photo: Richard Ellis ‘The Pye TVT Story’.

These carried the logo ‘Travelling Eye’ on the sides and were used in an innovative way, in being able to get to ‘newsworthy’ locations and they could then set up fast to transmit any interesting stories for Granada’s local or ITN’s national news. The fascinating TV website ‘Transdiffusion’ [4] has a story about one of the scanners covering the Ringway plane crash in 1957. I found it interesting to read that the news insert that they transmitted was almost held up because the programme sound was, as in my days at Anglia, carried over GPO Post Office lines, and they took some time to get established…whereas the video over microwave link was easier to organise.


You will remember from my earlier posts, that when I arrived at Anglia in 1966 they were using the Pye Mk5 cameras in both the new scanner and the studios.
Here’s the Vision Gallery of Studio A:

5: Studio A Vision Control Room with the Vision Engineers in front of the similar Pye CCU’s to those in the scanner and the Lighting Director operating the Strand Lighting Console.

Once again Paul Marshall was able to help me out with the vision equipment here:

“I reckon those must be the Pye Mk4 CCUs – only Anglia bought those (I believe) and they had the ‘mobile’ type CCU with waveform monitor looking very similar to my Pye Mk5 mobile.
Another Marconi MkIV PWM there too, with lots of Pye 2780 monitors.”

Here is the equivalent Vision Control Room for Studio B:

6: Studio B Vision Engineers

A little more jumbled collection of CCU’s and monitors for the smaller Studio B.

Back to Studio A and here is the Production Control Room, also known as the Production Gallery, viewed from Sound:

7: Looking through the Sound Control Room window at the very basic-looking monitor stack in Studio A Production Control Room, with the large Tannoy corner-mounted loudspeaker on the right.

And the Studio A Sound Control Room:

8: Sound Supervisor Sid Denney at the Pye valve mixer, with assistant Colin Eldred operating the EMT927 turntables during a ‘drama’ in Studio A.

Through the window you can see, seated in the centre of the Production Gallery, the Drama Director June Howson, with her ‘PA’ on the left and Vision Mixer on the right. The Vision Mixer always seemed to be positioned on the right of the Director in TV galleries.

9: Studio A set up for a drama.

Here’s Studio A ‘set’ and ‘rigged’ for a drama. You can see various ‘key and fill lights, three cameras and a Mole Boom, with ‘mini’ Mole Boom on it’s left. Just in front of Camera 1, centre of the picture, is a ‘caption stand’, used to produce credit captions. It was ‘manually operated’ of course, by a stagehand ‘pulling’ the required captions as a camera pointed at the stand.

10: Sid Denney again at the Pye mixer with two assistants busy with the grams cues. John Tebble is preparing an FX disc (still a ’78’!) at the EMT 927 turntables and Colin Lovewell is manning the 4 Ferrograph tape decks, along with the large console-mounted TR90 tape deck at the front. I remember ‘busy FX sequences’, but 2 turntables and 5 tape decks look like a hand full and no separate ‘grams mixing console’ to simplify the feeds either.
11: I guess that Sid and his sound crew were working on this then….. the dramatic WW1 trenches set in Studio A for the 1965 production ‘Goodbye Johnny’.
That would need lots of ‘played in FX’….in the days when we did everything ‘as live’…no dubbing.

Here’s another of Anglia’s drama sets – the interior of a Boeing 707:

12: The ‘cutaway’ airliner set….looks to be ‘fun’ to light….or get a boom into!
‘The End Roller’ gets printed

Not only were captions ‘manually operated’….ie changed by hand on a ‘caption stand’ positioned in front of a suitable studio camera….but the ‘End Roller’ was also ‘operated’ by a stage hand…in front of ‘a suitable camera’. Here’s one being printed and it would be mounted on a powered caption roller stand.
At the appropriate time, the stagehand started his small hand controller and the roller ‘rolled past’ in front of the camera. Speeds were set so that it lasted as long as was required….but you had to allow for the viewer reading the captions. Not like American movies today then!

Let’s get back to the ‘every day’ at Anglia. Here’s another of weatherman Michael Hunt:

13: John Havart on the Mole Boom stands-by whilst Michael Hunt delivers his ‘weather’. With that rather ‘frontal’ key light, the boom would have had trouble getting ‘shadow free’ pickup anyway….luckily Michael wore a BK6 cabled neck mic.
14: Anglia’s Ampex VR-1000A VTR gets a service

Here is Anglia’s Ampex VR-1000A, getting what looks like an adjustment to that amazing spinning ‘QUAD’ 4-head stack assembly. This photo in a brochure from 1968, shows that the VR-1000A, which must have ‘joined the company’ when it started in 1959….had a long and productive life! I remember watching ‘splicing’, during an editing session take place during my three years at Anglia.

A 35mm Telecine machine is laced-up

All ‘commercials’, the ‘feature films’ and the output of Anglia’s film departments were transmitted from Telecine machines, like this one. They came in ‘two flavours’, 16mm, used for the news material and 35mm, used for the movies, commercials and shows like the wild-life series ‘Survival’.
Films had a ‘leader’ to allow for the ‘run-up’ and films always started with the machine ‘parked’ at 6 seconds…’Six’ in the gate.

Anglia Television went on the air, back in 1959 with the ‘first automated’ presentation play-in controller. An automated device called ‘TOPSIE’, developed by Pye.

Alas ‘TOPSIE’ failed…the very first time it was meant to run, to put the station ‘On-Air’….leaving a ‘Six In The Gate, as the very first thing viewers saw.
The story went that the door on the Telecine machine was accidentally left open….thus triggering a ‘lock-out’ from ‘Topsie’!

Anglia’s Presentation Suite

All programmes passed through the Presentation Suite, where the Presentation Controller could spend long periods of boredom …with moments of sheer panic! So it seemed to me.

Finally, here are a few more that show the building:

The old ‘Agricultural Hall’ became Anglia House in 1959.

Anglia House…of course has a Ford ‘Anglia’ parked outside!

Anglia House reception

Once inside, there’s the pretty elegant ‘reception’, with the large ‘Anglia Knight’ at the far end.

Upstairs, you can see how it was converted from the Agricultural Hall.

The supports for the roof were incorporated and here they are with the large air-conditioning metalwork alongside the two studios.


Here’s a photo that the Eastern Daily Press recently published. Sound ‘A’ in 1959, obviously still requiring some finishing:

Vic Thurston at the turntables, at this stage old BBC TD7s in unfinished cabinets, and the new trainee Walter Sparrow mending something foreground, John Wall (with bow tie), Roy Colwell (standing) and Mike Harrison at the Pye mixer in the background. That’s the Tannoy monitor speaker in the corner with all the equipment against the window looking into the Production Gaallery.
Thanks to Jack Bedingfield Dennis, who tells me he was at Anglia from just before the 1959 opening until June 1962, for filling some names in the above.

References and Credits:

[1] For a comprehensive explanation of how a 2-inch QUAD VTR worked, here’s a link to an RCA film showing the TR-4 in action:

[2] Paul Marshall of the Broadcast Engineering Conservation Group knows a wealth of information about television equipment from the past and also runs ‘Golden Age TV’ which has an enormous collection of vintage television and film equipment, used by TV and film companies requiring authentic television props.
Having restored three large OB vehicles, The Broadcast Engineering Conservation Group are now currently restoring four more major projects of rebuilding historic OB Scanners!
Please visit their website for details and information on how you could help:

[3] Photo from the book ‘The Pye TVT Story’ by Richard Ellis, with information throughout about Pye and Anglia’s early equipment…including the automated TOPSIE transmission control system.
[4] The Transdiffusion website has tons of stories of the early days of ITV. For the ‘Granada Travelling Eye’ see:



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