Hannington transmitting station

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Transmission Mast, Cottington Hill
Hannington transmitting station is located in Hampshire
Hannington transmitting station
Hannington transmitting station (Hampshire)
Mast height151.9 metres (498 ft)
Coordinates51°18′29″N 1°14′41″W / 51.3080°N 1.2447°W / 51.3080; -1.2447Coordinates: 51°18′29″N 1°14′41″W / 51.3080°N 1.2447°W / 51.3080; -1.2447
BBC regionBBC South
ITV regionITV Meridian
Local TV serviceThat's Thames Valley

Hannington transmitting station is a television and radio transmitting station located on Cottington Hill near the village of Hannington. The transmitter is actually in the parish of Kingsclere. The station provides broadcast services to Berkshire and north Hampshire, and includes a 131.4 metres (431 ft) guyed steel lattice mast. Surmounting the mast is a GRP aerial cylinder, which contains the UHF television transmitting antennas, which brings the overall height of the mast to 151.9 metres (498 ft).

Hannington's digital broadcasts were severely attenuated to the East before DSO (Digital Switch-Over) so as not to cause co-channel interference with Guildford transmitter. Those restrictions were removed soon after DSO in 2012.

Broadcast interruptions[edit]

1977 Ashtar Galactic Command message[edit]

On Saturday 26 November 1977 at around 5.10 pm, the Southern ITV broadcast from this transmitter had its UHF sound transmission hi-jacked by unknown agents. At that time Hannington re-broadcast off-air UHF transmissions from Rowridge on the Isle of Wight. The UHF audio signal from Rowridge was swamped by a signal presumably from a location much closer to the Hannington transmitter, overriding the sound of the local ITV station Southern Television and broadcast their own audio message purporting to be from Vrillon, an alien from an institution calling itself the Ashtar Galactic Command. The message, transmitted over an ITN News bulletin and a subsequent Merrie Melodies cartoon, lasted six minutes.

Despite extensive investigations by Hampshire Police, the Independent Broadcasting Authority and Southern Television, those responsible have never been identified, and the potential culprits have ranged from students to university professors to disgruntled television technicians.

1994 World Cup Final[edit]

On 17 July 1994 vandals sabotaged the mast's power supply during the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final, meaning that hundreds of thousands of viewers missed about an hour of the match.[1]

Services available[edit]

Analogue radio[edit]

Frequency kW[2] Service
102.9 MHz 4 Heart Thames Valley
104.1 MHz 3 BBC Radio Berkshire

Digital radio[edit]

Frequency Block kW Operator
222.064 MHz 11D 4.8 Digital One
225.648 MHz 12B 5 BBC National DAB
229.072 MHz 12D 1 NOW Berkshire & North Hampshire