Pigeon Stops Time
In 1987 the station’s Long Wave (VLF and LF) Aerial Systems were re-designed to increase the bandwidth of the GBR aerial. A number of changes were required to facilitate the operation, some of which proved to be very attractive with local pigeons, particularly the bell-shaped ceramic insulator and the large horizontal copper pipe in the centre of it. Unfortunately there was an issue. 10,000 volts+ potential, at 60kHz and switching on and off with second pulses!
One day the transmitter tripped off and a pigeon’s leg was found hanging from the lead out wire. When a heap of smouldering feathers were found on the ground, one of the staff composed the following ditty.
The time it ticks through Rugby’s clocks
A flash, a bang, a pigeon drops
The time, it stops
A plastic owl was fixed to the top of a nearby mast in the hope that it would frighten the pigeons away. It didn’t work.