hH? - rediffusion

How Was/Is It Controlled?

The Rediffusion system was not properly centralised, and as far as we can ascertain the current cable television system cannot trace any connection. The cables are simply connected in parallel across the tops of houses to junction boxes which then feed cables down to the house itself. If you look between parades of houses (the best ones to look at are old Victorian houses which were built long before the cables were installed) you can see the black cables between them (the cables themselves are much thicker than telephone cables and sometimes stretch across the streets too - look down Newland Avenue for a good example of this).

These cables are fed from repeater stations which are usually green boxes similar to (but older than) the green Telecom junction boxes which can be seen around - they're usually taller and have four-sided pyramid tops (a lot of the installations which are listed later in this document are of this type so you can go and have a look!). In ASCII, this is an approximation:

                          __/  \__ <------ Characteristic pyramid top
                       __/        \__
Box number here ---> |  _____  _____  |
                     | |     ||     | |
                     | |     ||     | | <- Twin doors, although some
Yale padlock, -------------> U|     | |    models have one door on the
or internal lock     | |     ||     | |    front and one on the back.
                     | |_____||_____| |

The box at 49 Cranbrook Avenue (box 147) is a prime example of this, although at time of writing it was covered in posters. Note the Yale lock - apparently all the Rediffusion installations have the SAME Yale padlock, so if you know of a decent locksmith you could swipe a padlock and make a key.

As well as the feeder/repeater boxes, there also exist H.L.L. Kiosks, which feed the repeater boxes. These too are green boxes, but tend to be flat folded metal, and one example of one is a double box, placed back-to-back with each other, at 80 Marlborough Avenue (box 149). In ASCII, this is an approximation:

                  [Victoria H.L.L. Kiosk]
                      |     |     |||
Yale padlock ------------> U+   <--------- Box number here
                      |     |     |||
Box 149

From the repeaters/feeders the cables went underground to one of several installations which were usually kiosks (again you can see in the list what kiosk fed what repeater installation). From here they went to the main aerial installation (installation number 1) which was situated on Endike Lane (behind what is now Endike Tyre Mart, and near the Police college). Three channels were initially provided - BBC1, BBC2, and Yorkshire TV, with the expansion option of a fourth channel. Further to this Tyne-Tees was provided in around 1970 on the fourth channel. Other Rediffusion networks throughout the UK apparently had the capability for up to twelve channels, but Hull is limited to four (please remember at that time there wasn't a Channel-4, and the network fell out of use shortly after C4 went on air).

Unfortunately due to the wheels of progress (!) Rediffusion was bought out by Granada and the headquarters moved out of Hull, leaving the Beverley Road offices empty.

It is worth noting at this point that during dumpster diving at the old fire-damaged HQ, the latest documents which we found were dated 1981. We also discovered various odds and ends of technical documentation regarding the installation.

The network itself is now maintained and used by a company called MultiChannel Cable Ltd, whose head office is on Reservoir Street (just off Clough Road). However, this is not where the Sky TV is received and piped across - this is taken from two large satellite dishes in the centre of Bransholme Estate, using the old Bransholme repeater (installation number 255 on the list below).

Bransholme Receiver Dishes
The Bransholme receiver dishes

There are two satellite dishes, which may be one of two things:

No cabling actually goes up Clough Road to the main MultiChannel HQ, which is situated in recently-built buildings on a site which used to be an abbatoir.

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Disclaimer: All the info given here is incomplete, there's always something missing. This is basically to cover our own backs, but for someone with a bit of sense it shouldn't be too hard to fill in the blanks. The authors of this page and the carriers do not take any responsibility whatsoever for any action you may carry out as a result of you reading or using this information. Any documentation provided is given for research purposes only.