The Control Room

The Control Room

A well-lit ‘L’-shaped room on the eighth floor, the Control Room is divided functionally into two halves. Eight control desks are provided for rehearsals, together with their accompanying supervisory positions. The transmission section is equipped with six control desks, also with supervisory and simultaneous broadcasting positions. Along the length of the transmission section of the room are placed racks of amplifiers, each group of amplifiers fulfilling a definite function in the chain of transmission between the studios and the transmitters. 

The principles underlying the design of the Control Room have been: firstly, the provision of adequate stand-by equipment, with means of bringing it into circuit without delay should any of the equipment in use develop a fault during a transmission: secondly, switching by ‘relays’ has been exploited to enable the complete chain of transmission between any studio and any outgoing telephone to be set up in the least possible time. The room is well equipped with signalling devices to show the approximate positions of any faults which may develop.

The Control Room contains much subsidiary equipment, such as wireless check receivers, land-line testing equipment, amplifiers for distributing the outgoing programmes back to the Listening Rooms, or to various offices in the building, interval signal equipment, Greenwich Time Signal apparatus, etc. All the switching on and off of the actual microphones in the studios, with their accompanying signal lamps, amplifiers, and polarising circuits, is carried out from the Control Room. In this way one man seated at a control position is able to control all the studios in the building. The power supply is by means of batteries which are in duplicate throughout.

Aerial view of Langham Place
5 ❧ The Site from the air, showing All Souls' Church, and Queen's Hall beyond.

Sixth Floor

Desk with a floating microphone; behind, a double-storey circular set of windows bowing inwards
41 ❧ Studio 6D, the main Effects Studio, occupying a depth of two floors, showing the Gramophone Effects Studio, 6E, through the bow-window. The table in the foreground is divided into six surface sections, each with a different finish to enable various sounds to be reproduced by friction.
View through the bowed window out into the studio
42 ❧ Another view of the Effects Studio, 6D, as seen through the window of the Gramophone Effects Studio, 6E.
A curved desk with 6 turntables
43 ❧ Studio 6E, Gramophone Effects. Studio 7E, another similar Gramophone Studio, is directly above it. This photograph is by Shaw Wildman.
A short carpeted corridor
44 ❧ A Corridor in the 'Tower' in the Productions Group of studios on the sixth floor, showing the entrance to a small alcove Lounge on the right.
A sofa and a rounded shelving unit
45 ❧ The Lounge, the entrance to which is shown on the right of the previous picture.
A very long bank of batteries
46 ❧ Part of the Control Room Battery Room. The battery in the foreground supplies currect to operate the relay-switches and signal-lights in the Control Room.
A very long line of what look like very large car batteries
47 ❧ Storage Batteries for the high tension supply to the Amplifiers in the Control Room.
Generators and switchgear
48 ❧ Motor-Generators and Switchgear: for charging the Control Room Batteries.