The Authority’s Stations: North-East England 

15 June 2023


BURNHOPE (Channel 8)

Company: Tyne Tees Television


Map of the coverage area of Burnhope


within measured contours
Primary 2.48 mn. Secondary 0.19 mn. Fringe 0.05 mn. Total 2.72 mn.
Channel Band III Channel 8 (vertically polarised)
Vision Carrier Frequency Nominal 189.75 Mc/s. Actual 189.75675 Mc/s
Sound Carrier Frequency Nominal 186.25 Mc/s. Actual 186.27 Mc/s
Effective Radiated Power Vision 100 kW maximum. Sound 25 kW maximum
Power of Transmitters Vision (peak white) 4 kW. Sound (carrier) 1 kW
Heights above sea level Site 800 ft. above sea level. Mean aerial 1,500 ft. above sea level
Location 1° 42′ 50″ W. 54° 49′ 25″ N.



The important highly-populated industrial and agricultural area of North-East England, between the eastern slopes of the Pennine Chain and the sea, lies beyond the range of the Emley Moor transmitter in Yorkshire. Another station was therefore needed to provide an Independent Television service for this area.

A high site was found at Burnhope, about ten miles south-west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the major city in the area. It was within a few miles of the existing Band I station at Pontop Pike. Finding a site presented no special difficulty except the importance of avoiding land liable to mining subsidence, which abounds in this locality. This was responsible for some delay while the records were searched and test bores made.

A mast 750 feet in height was needed to prevent “shadowing” in the rather hilly country and the maximum power of 100 kW which could be permitted on this channel was radiated in both the northerly and the southerly directions, so as to extend the service as far as possible. To the west the service is naturally blocked by the high barrier of the Pennine Chain and to the east its usefulness is limited by the North Sea. The power radiated in these directions was therefore limited to 20 kW and 70 kW respectively, no higher power being necessary. Again a special aerial had to be developed to give the required directional effect. The station went into programme service on 15th January 1959 and has fulfilled its predicted performance.


You Say

3 responses to this article

Timothy Evans 15 June 2023 at 5:01 pm

I grew up in West Hartlepool. We got our first telly in 1959. Reception both sound & vision was always better on Ch. 8 TTT a than on BBC Ch. 5. But BBC was far better. TTT was largely American imports such as westerns & cop drama every night & other junk.

Harald Stelsen 3 July 2023 at 7:30 pm

It is remarkable to see how small the VHF primary service area provided for Tyne Tees Television (and thus the limit on audience size and potential revenue for commercials) actually was compared to the service area when additional transmitters (Chatton and Bilsdale Westmoor) and relays (notably Haltwhistle) were added for UHF service.

Ultimately the geographic area served by Tyne Tees became greater than that of Granada which had shrunk considerably in 1968 with the splitting of the Northern region into North West (Winter Hill) and Yorkshire (Emley Moor).

Peter 16 May 2024 at 5:50 pm

Channel 8 from Burnhope was horizontal polarised to the best of my knowledge I remember fitting aerial on my shed roof.

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