In these days of ever-increasing communication and ground-breaking technological leaps forward, it’s hugely important that we keep sight of the achievements of our past; make record of the outstanding advances made by those early pioneers of communication who helped in shaping the world in which we live. Their accomplishments are woven into the history of the area surrounding the RugbyRadio Station urban extension, and this site remembers their accomplishments and celebrates their pioneering spirit.
RUGBY RADIO STATION
On Monday 5th March 1923, the British Prime Minister announced that a Government Long Wave Wireless Station, capable of world-wide communication was to be built. Technically (and politically) this was one of the biggest and most important projects the GPO had ever undertaken. Rugby Radio Station would soon be transmitting – and the world would be forever changed.
RUGBY RADIO STATION OPENS / GBR SERVICE STARTS
On Friday 1st January 1926, Rugby Radio Station’s GBR transmitter opened for service… and the story of worldwide communications was forever changed.
THE FIRST TRANSATLANTIC TELEPHONE CALL
In the history of communications, Friday 7th January 1927 stands as a hugely significant milestone. It was on this day that Rugby Radio Station’s second long wave transmitter (60 kHz / call-sign ‘GBT’) opened the world’s first telephone service across the Atlantic…
SHORT WAVE TELEPHONY EXPERIMENTS
The Post Office had been experimenting for a while with ‘short wave’ for use on telephony services, when, in 1928, Archibald Gill (later to become Sir Archibald Gill) and his colleagues took over the Handley Cross farmhouse on the Rugby site to continue with the development work on telephony transmitters and directional aerials.
Gill’s team arranged for a short wave transmitter to…
THE WORLD’S TELEPHONE EXCHANGE
The fact that ‘short wave’ radio telephone circuits required less power and smaller directional aerials led to a reduction in the cost of using the overseas telephone call service and, consequently, a massive increase in demand…
WORLD WAR II
On Sunday 3rd September 1939, at 11.15 am, the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain broadcast to the nation that a state of war existed between Britain and Germany.
With war declared, all telephone circuits, with the exception of one circuit to the USA, were converted to telegraphy for use by the armed services.
MSF TIME SIGNALS
Since 1927, time signals had been transmitted across the world by the GBR 16 kHz transmitter. However, in the late 1940s the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) at Teddington pressed for time signals to be more readily available to people and establishments within this country. It was at this point that the GPO was approached to set up the MSF Time Signal service.
THE HISTORY OF THE MSF TIME SIGNAL SERVICE
The GBR 16 kHz Time Signal service started in 1927 and ceased operation in the summer of 1986. However, the MSF 60 kHz Time Signal service continued, with many improvements in accuracy made between…