Who remembers TV Rediffusion switch boxes and black boxes.

redifusion box

supplied by Nick Prince  1066 and all that  facebook page.

Nick Prince… Who remembers these in the corner of their living rooms? Or black boxes with miles of unsightly cable being strung from house to house. Particularly popular in Hastings and St Leonards where television reception was bad in parts of the borough but also in Bexhill and the surrounding area. I seem to remember it was BBC 1, BBC 2, Southern, Thames/LWT (obviously the later was Rediffusion until 1968). Was it Radio 2 and Radio 4 also? Thames got replaced by Channel 4 when that started, Southern by TVS due to the former losing its franchise and so on…… Do you remember which letter the switch had to be on the get each channel?

Bryan Sandra…I still have one in my wall.

Robert Wren… I remember in the 70’s the TV stations would close down early due to strike action and we would switch to the radio……and this is where I heard John Peel play New Rose by The Damned for the first time! Went to Disc Jockey next day and bought it………life was never the same.

Andrew Freeman… My mum worked for rediffusion up on the estate taking and booking calls.

Jim Hobbs… The switch photo is of a later type. I remember we had two switch boxes, one bigger than the other. I think one switched TV sound channels and the other video channels. It was in a way ahead of its time as cable TV predates satellite TV distribution. I remember the hilarious announcements that were inserted into the feed if there was a problem with the system.

Chris Meachen… They also used to carry announcements from the local police at times.. I remember having a separate speaker under the tv for listening to the radio, ’round the horn’ being a favourite when I was a kid..

Jim Hobbs… Round the horn was just amazing. I loved this show on a Sunday lunchtime as a kid but couldn’t fully appreciate it until later when I could get the adult jokes and references hidden in the scripts. Great team too.

Alan Esdaile… I remember holding the aerial to get a better picture. Your standing holding it with your arms in the air or stand it on a box to get a signal. As soon as you sat down, you lost it again!

Bryan Sandra… Does any one remember Radio Rentals I think they were called ? They came after Redifusion and we had a meter on the telly that took two shilling pieces . It always ran out at a crucial moment and we Would miss the end of a programme !

Colin Fox… Worked for them in the 60’s in Eastbourne. I fitted a few of those, outside on the wall. we used to run a cable from the box, through the window frame into the control box on the wall. Colour tv was introduced about 1969, but was very expensive. Most people started to get colour from about 1976. I actually learnt to drive in one of these vans.

Barry Newton… I worked for Redif in Rye when we set up the system, Hastings, Eastbourne, Lewes and Sussex uni. Great days. We used to call ourselves erection specialists, LOL

Roy Penfold… Spent a fairly happy 9 months working for them as a teenager, delivering and installing TV’s & Videos, although they were known as Granada by then. Left (due to an accident) just before they moved the depot from Ponswood to Bexhill.

Dave Nattress… Definitely remember Rediffusion in the house I lived in with my parents in Bexhill, cables strung along the fascias of the houses and the control box on the wall – remote controls back then, no chance.  Would it be early 70’s for colour and then Teletext on BBC and Oracle on ITV?  One old TV we had – B &W, way back when, used to suffer from a bad horizontal hold, (I think it was), and my old man used to literally thump the top of the TV and this would temporarily bring an improvement and get rid of the wavy lines.  I assume the thump rattled the valves or whichever component was at fault.  The very first TV actually had about a 15″ screen set in a huge great highly polished tall cabinet.  I can smell those hot valves now – just like an old Marshall Amplifier.

Chris Baker… We lived in George St in 71. Pete Willshire, (Batty Bill in the band), worked for Reconfusion, (as he used to call it), and provided us with a naughty connection, which apparently caused interference for a few doors either side of us in George St. We never knew until one day they tracked it down. 🙂

Pete Prescott… Very well. The first flat in Queens Road had one

David Wilkinson…. Had one installed in our seafront flat in Brighton. Television reception in town centre was non-existent. Landlord was well up for it. Friends in Lewes had this or nothing. Ironically their telly was stolen one Bonfire NIght – but it wasn’t theirs – it was Redifussion !!!!!!! ha ha ha

David Finn… Lots on Rediffusion here: http://www.rediffusion.info/ Including the worlds first consumer fibre optic system.

Steve Vollrath… Had a top box as well, so they could could viewing numbers, think my dad said something about getting Rediffusion a little bit cheaper.

Nigel Goodman… Yes

Ian Cramp… yes had this in the first house I bought in Sandown Road

Rachel Rayburn… Yes used to work there!

Michael Wilson… A+B were radio 4 + radio 2 on ours. Radio 2 used to change to radio 1 at 10’clock just in time for the John Peel show

Terry Hardwick… Yes

Dennis Torrance… My mum had rediffusion in 1963 little black box on wall outside . A Home B light service C BBC2,later on 625 lines D southern E London F bbc one . Had trouble in summer always picked up French Channel s but in all good service. Ps nightmare having to get up change channels lol

Pete Fisher… so long ago, but I think we had one in the living room for TV and one in the kitchen for the wall-mounted speaker…

 

 

1 thought on “Who remembers TV Rediffusion switch boxes and black boxes.”

  1. Definitely remember Rediffusion in the house I lived in with my parents in Bexhill, cables strung along the fascias of the houses and the control box on the wall – remote controls back then, no chance. Would it be early 70’s for colour and then Teletext on BBC and Oracle on ITV?

    One old TV we had – B & W, way back when, used to suffer from a bad horizontal hold, (I think it was), and my old man used to literally thump the top of the TV and this would temporarily bring an improvement and get rid of the wavy lines. I assume the thump rattled the valves or whichever component was at fault. The very first TV actually had about a 15″ screen set in a huge great highly polished tall cabinet. I can smell those hot valves now – just like an old Marshall Amplifier.

Leave a comment