Story of success 

3 June 2024




Two young men of vision


Neath Guardian masthead

Advertising feature from the Neath Guardian for 30 October 1959

PROGRESS and problems ore synonymous, like crops and weeds. Economic considerations held back the supply of “piped” television from some areas where individual reception was either impossible or indifferent.

Private enterprise cannot be run at a loss, and the problem of carrying service to unprofitable areas for some time hung heavily around the neck of the pioneers who desired to give the public what they needed.


At Neath, Mr. Ben Arnold and Mr. R. W. Edwards considered the problem, and three years ago, fully aware of the difficulties of their task, they resolved “to take piped television wherever the need existed.”

It was a bold decision, bolder then than now for by unchangeable law success is always built on failure, either ones own (which is always costly) or the failures of others.

The hill-girt village of Glyncorrwg was the scene of the first service by Piped Television (Wales) Ltd. Here the hills offered a challenge. It was accepted, and the boldness brought success.

Early last year the rapidly growing business called for stronger financial backing, and a firm of Merchant Bankers in the City of London, Messrs. J. and F. Thomason and Co., having examined what had been done and what could be done, said they would lend their aid.


Thus, strengthened by this infusion of capital, the new system was adopted officially by the Neath Rural District Council whose members well knew the yearning of those who dwelt in the valleys from which the old town of Neath draws its trade.

Other areas followed in rapid succession — Blaena, Brecon, Abergwynfi, Cymmer, Cardigan, Whitland, Caerphilly, Narberth, Neyland, Haverfordwest and Milford Haven.

To-day, with more than 5,000 Subscribers on its books, P.T.W. has cause to congratulate itself.


A page of advertisements for television sets that can be connected to the PTW system


The company’s new premises

A 1950s brick building

The Company’s new premises, known as Television House, are located in ideal surroundings on the outskirts of the village of Cilfrew, two miles outside Neath, off the Hirwaun Road, at Cadoxton. It is admirably constructed and much care and thought has been given to its layout so that each department can operate most efficiently. Ample accommodation is provided under one roof for Offices, Studios, Workshops and Stores, and facilities outside for the loading and storage of cable and other heavy equipment. A large area is also reserved for the parking of the Company’s ever growing fleet of vehicles. Acknowledgment is given to the Glamorgan County Council; Neath Rural District Council; R. Berwyn Williams, Esq., L.R.I.B.A., architect; L. C. Thomas and Son, solicitors; J. and P. Zammit, Ltd., contractors, and other public service bodies, for their co-operation in their respective spheres, which has enabled the erection and occupation of the building in record time.


Full-page advertisement for GEC's "Slender Sets", endorsed by Eamonn Andrews


A new technique met demand


THE rapidly-increasing demand for television reception quite naturally saw manufacturers of television equipment respond to the need.

From the early pre-war sets which were developed from the success of pioneer John Logie Baird, and which some of us remember being demonstrated in London stores, and viewed by most of us ordinary folk as the latest miracle of a new age, have come the fine receivers now to be seen in most homes.


Screens have grows larger, and sets more dependable. Not only the home, but clubs and societies now regard the “telly” as a “must.”

Where, as in some cases, the cost of a set might still be prohibitive to such as old age pensioners, organised bodies have in many cases succeeded in obtaining suitable receivers to satisfy the needs of bodies larger than the family circle.

The new and rapidly growing demand, however, brought to light certain problems. For reasons, not altogether fully understood even to-day, certain areas of the country proved to be “blind” for the purpose of television reception, and the individual set and aerial was found to be of no use.


A new technique of transmission was needed, and like so many other services essential to a modern community, television was eventually supplied to the greater “consumer public” by pipe.

Areas, formerly “blind” found they could see: and homes where the initial cost of a set was still prohibitive found they were able to “rent” sets and have them maintained effectively at a cost which had no great adverse effect on the household budget

What the Neath pioneers dreamed of yesterday is fast becoming a reality. Above all they are brood that they have already accomplished their first aim — “to take television wherever the need exists.”


Focus on Television House

PTW studio with test cards on the walls

The Company recently acquired an E.M.I. Television Camera initially for the purpose of experimenting with closed circuit television. These experiments have proved highly successful, particularly the demonstration at the Public Hall, Briton Ferry, when the eve-of-election broadcasts were relayed on television to various parts inside and outside the building.

Having mastered the experimental stage, the Company is now in a position to generate its own programme over its several “Piped Television” Systems. However, before any Television Relay Operators in this country can entertain such a project, Parliament would have have to pass a new Act in this matter. In addition, permission will have to be sought from the Postmaster General and Local Authorities before any programme could be broadcast. No doubt, adequate provision will be made for vetting these.

Will be ready

There is, of course, no indication whatsoever from any source to give foundation to any belief that such a development can be anticipated. This is beyond the Company’s jurisdiction at the moment, but when the time arrives, “PTW” will be ready.

During the past few months the Company – following its policy of advancement – has received samples of new equipment specially developed and manufactured by the General Electric Company Limited.

This up to the minute equipment has been designed so as to accommodate the relaying of no less than six television programmes (including coloured transmissions) if and when necessary. The Company could arrange for one or more channels to be reserved for the relaying of special P.T.W. programmes.

Indeed, nothing has been overlooked in order to give the public an ultra modern service and complete satisfaction.


Photographs in this supplement were specially taken for P.T.W. by Philip Williams, Neath.


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Liverpool, Monday 10 June 2024