1926 – 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.
Situated at Hillmorton, just a short distance from the town of Rugby, in the heart of Warwickshire, Rugby Radio Station transmitted official news broadcasts from the very heart of England across the oceans to every far flung corner of the globe.
Home to the world’s most powerful radio transmitter, Rugby Radio Station was capable of transmitting telegrams to ships anywhere in the world. Or, as it boasted in its advertising… “Any Distance! Any Ocean!! Any Ship!!!” A new era of communication had begun, with people now able to send private telegrams to friends and family, anywhere in the world.
In December 1927, almost a year after the station’s opening, Rugby Radio Station (call-sign GBR) began a new service, transmitting ‘time signals’ generated at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. This service provided a massive benefit to navigation and safety at sea, enabling ships all over the world to accurately set their chronometers to GMT, giving them access to a precise understanding of their Longitude.