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MEMORY LANE: The arrival of ‘down the road’ television

Buxton Advertiser archive, 1980, BBC Northwest local broadcasts only reached Buxton in 1980 and this series of pictures were taken at the studios to mark the first

Buxton Advertiser archive, 1980, BBC Northwest local broadcasts only reached Buxton in 1980 and this series of pictures were taken at the studios to mark the first "local news" broadcast

 

Here’s a look back to when the BBC made headlines in Buxton.

August 1980 heralded the long-awaited switch-over which provided 24,000 BBC viewers in and around Buxton with regional programmes from the North West instead of the remote Midlands.

It was the first time Buxton residents were able to pick up the Beeb’s regional news magazine Look North West, and to mark the occasion the Buxton Advertiser went behind the scenes at their Manchester newsroom.

Presenter David Davies gave a special welcome to his new audience when the first broadcast reached Buxton on August 14 that year. The programme featured a story about the future of county cricket in the spa town.

BBC engineers had at last found a new technique for picking up the North West regional programmes at the Buxton transmitter site.

But the switch-over didn’t all go to plan, as a last-minute technical hitch had postponed the changeover from the Midlands by 24 hours.

The following week’s Buxton Advertiser reported: “Having waited for so long for the appropriate news bulletins and features, it is doubtful whether anyone in Buxton would complain about that!”

And the paper also posed the question to the then news editor Tom German that did Buxton really belong in the North West region?

Mr German replied: “Editorially, Buxton has always been in our area. It is just down the road as far as we are concerned.

“It has been an unhappy situation particularly for the people in Buxton. As their links are with the North West rather than with Birmingham one can understand their frustration.”

At that time, the Buxton transmitter, which first came on the air in 1973, provided a service for about 24,000 people in and around the town.

 

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