Can you imagine an All Network Service now, that would have to include Radio 1 Xtra, 6 Music, Radio 4 extra, Asian Network, plus 5 Live and Sport Extra channels as well as the previous 4?
Technology has made the dependance on staff less important to keep some form of a service on air, which wasn't the case back then.
Back in the late 80s I was a Branch Secretary in BETA, and worked in a main London Switching Centre.
If there was industrial action in the air as there was in May 1989, then to communicate a short notice strike to all was quite a feat.
It would be rumoured, and then usually confirmed just beforehand via CEEFAX, which then caused a lot of calls on engineering control lines to Outside Broadcasts, the regions and any other parties that may be affected - BT, foreign news agencies etc.
I have seen cricket fall off the air on BBC 2, when as the Simon hoist which was holding the outgoing microwave link over local obstructions was bought down by staff leaving site. (It was not something you could leave up unattended for obvious safety reasons.)
The Sound in Syncs started breaking up first, and the announcer appologised for the loss of sound, and that it would continue in vision only. It didn't for long as the pictures slowly faded to noise too......
A different world!
Last edited by commseng on 18 December 2018 10:01am
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