1938 – 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.
This increase was such that Rugby Radio Station needed an additional building to cope with the rising number of transmitters. The new Telephony Building (‘A’ Building) was constructed to the south west of the Main Building and opened in 1929.
In less than ten years, ten short wave transmitters were in operation, transmitting to global destinations such as: South Africa, USA, Canada, Australia, India, Egypt, Japan, Iceland, Argentina, Brazil, and Portugal. The return signals were received at the Post Office Radio Station, near the historic market town of Baldock, Herts.
Throughout this period, the only way to make a telephone call to far flung locations across the world (other than the near continent) was via Rugby Radio Station.
This fact was celebrated by the station staff with the creation of a float for the parade to celebrate the Coronation of King George VI in May 1937. Proudly emblazoned on the side of the float was the message… Rugby GPO Radio Station – The World’s Telephone Exchange!