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Old 10th Jul 2018, 1:12 pm   #1
dexterslab
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Default 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

I figured some of you might find this interesting...

I met up with Steve who owns this ex BBC OB van from 1969, he had it operational at the Avro Air Fair (Woodford) on Saturday / Sunday.

It's awesome to see this kept alive and passing on the history of vintage TV, it certainly generated quite a bit of interest throughout the day!
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Old 10th Jul 2018, 1:31 pm   #2
The Philpott
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

Must surely be a sole survivor insofar as vehicles complete with eqpt. goes. Exactly the sort of thing that back in the day ended up gutted & crushed, or sold on and used to store hens or cattle feed.

Some of the restoration cost would be recoverable from film & drama work- but not all!
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Old 10th Jul 2018, 4:15 pm   #3
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

Steve and his team of helpers have done a splendid job with his OB van. It is the second generation of BBC colour OB vans, a type 2. There was, of course, the type 1s but none of those have survived.

I have a early monochrome 405/625 line BBC OB van, MCR21. It dates from 1963 it represents the last in the line of BBC monochrome vans. A small group of us have a plan to restore it to its original 1963 condition.

This is a major project, body, engine, etc, but we are fortunate that a good proportion of the original equipment has survived. But there is still a very large amount to be found.

We have started a website to help publicize this "MCR21" project, but like the work the website is at an early stage. I have attached a couple of pictures of the outside and inside as per 1963 to show what we plan to achieve.

If anyone has any parts that might have come from MCR21 or one of its sisters, or if you wish to help we would be most pleased to hear from you.

As the project progresses I will be reporting back.
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Old 10th Jul 2018, 5:26 pm   #4
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

Any clues as to who built the body? It has a look of Thomas Harrington about it.
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Old 10th Jul 2018, 6:48 pm   #5
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

Marshall's of Cambridge for the body, Chassis by Commer, Pye for the electronics

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Old 10th Jul 2018, 9:19 pm   #6
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

Not to be negative, but it's far from the only one, not the oldest and not the most operationally complete.

We have two fully complete and working units - 1968 'Southern' (the oldest fully operational colour OB truck in the world) and 1967 'YTTTV' which is actually slightly older but carries operational cameras from 1959 to 1985 (as used at TV70). In addition, there's 'Project Vivat' which is a complete rebuild of a mid 1950s OB truck with already operational Marconi MkIII cameras. See www.projectvivat.co.uk and attached pictures of 'Southern' and 'YTTV'.

There's also two 'new' ones now in the form of ex-Thames unit from 1966 and a BBC Type 5 - see pic of recently restored main monitor stack.


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Best regards,

Paul M

Last edited by PaulM; 10th Jul 2018 at 9:27 pm.
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Old 10th Jul 2018, 10:50 pm   #7
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

Paul, when I used to visit Granada in Quay St most weekdays in the mid 80s they were still using an old scanner with a pre-suffix registration number, and, as a homage to its antiquity an old "C" (commercial) tax disk in the windscreen alongside the current one.

It was affectionately referred to by the letters of it's registration mark.
It would have been a natural exhibit for the Studios Tour, but I don't remember it being there, maybe it was scrapped by then.

Do you know what became of it?
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Old 10th Jul 2018, 11:22 pm   #8
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

ironic that the Southern OB truck appears to be based on Plaxton Panorama Elite coachwork which was designed by the same company who designed the Bush TR82
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Old 11th Jul 2018, 12:20 am   #9
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

Graham, I am aware of that vehicle and there were rumours of it being spotted in a scrap yard near Manchester a few years ago, but that is all that I know.

Kevin, 'Southern' is just plain quirky! The body is almost all fibreglass by Dell of Southampton, with wooden panelling inside as you might find in a ship. Remember that Southern TV created the only Outside Broadcast boat in the world ('Southerner') and the nautical theme followed through in much of what they did. Southern's chief engineer, Basil Bultitude, certainly stamped his ideas all over 'Southern' and we have attempted to re-create that quirky yet successful feel.


YTTTV began life as one of the 'Yorkshire Twins' which enabled YTV to go on air in 1968. The twin may survive, but there's no proof. YTTTV was built to an incredibly high standard by the Marconi Company under another Basil, Basil Francis, who sadly died earlier this year at the age of 94. Her body is made of Duralumin and will never rot. The doors close with the reassuring 'clump' of a posh car and now, following a re-spray in twin pack paint this year, is looking splendid. It's a long story as to why she's in Tyne Tees livery, but it works and is rather better looking than the rather strange colour that YTV had her sprayed in originally.


'Project Vivat', as a BBC truck, is actually rather iffy in terms of its Marshall (no relation …) hybrid body of steel and aluminium. Not a good mix and the aluminium used seems to have been of a rather low grade being prone to 'aluminium rot' (bubbling) which is very annoying. This year, we had a new floor fitted (looks great), new fans (work well) and a new windscreen, plus a new front bumper in progress. She's on a roll now both electrically and structurally. Just as well really, because there's the other two to think about now . . .


Best regards,

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Old 11th Jul 2018, 1:16 am   #10
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

McMurdo wrote: "ironic that the Southern OB truck appears to be based on Plaxton Panorama Elite coachwork which was designed by the same company who designed the Bush TR82".

David Ogle.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ogle

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Old 11th Jul 2018, 9:02 am   #11
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

David Ogle, the Reliant man?
Well, I never knew that!
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Old 11th Jul 2018, 9:03 am   #12
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

Quote:
Originally Posted by FERNSEH View Post
An interesting life but sadly short.

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Old 11th Jul 2018, 9:18 am   #13
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

A truly amazing restoration project. As a kid I remember the BBC OB unit from Bristol turning up in our small west Cornwall village of Coverack to film the joint outside church service for Songs of Praise. It was a yearly service run by the local C of E and Methodist church from the harbour.

I think it was 1969 when they the BBC filmed it in black and white. A few years later, possibly 1971 or 1972 they returned to film this service in colour. It was great as the service was during the summer holidays and once all the equipment had been set up and miles of thick heavy cable had been installed the BBC outside crews were quite happy to show us around the large vans and even have a go looking through the large TV cameras.
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Old 11th Jul 2018, 9:39 am   #14
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigham View Post
David Ogle, the Reliant man?
Well, I never knew that!
Yes, Ogle Design were one of the UK's quiet design-successes of the 50s and 60s: you can see their stylistic fingerprint in a whole range of things from that era. After Ogle's death much of the subsequent output was from the mind of Tom Karen:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thin...red-Apple.html

Karen designed the Bush TR130 for Ogle, too.

As "Ogle Noor" they still exist and are still doing good things.
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Old 11th Jul 2018, 10:54 am   #15
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

For comparison purposes, the normal body of the Panorama Elite can be seen (approriately on TV) in The Italian Job, original version. It gives an idea how much work was done to make the OB vehicle.

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Old 11th Jul 2018, 3:44 pm   #16
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

Yes I think Steve told me that it was stored on a site in Shropshire? for a long time and that just the task of sorting the unit mechanically, getting it to run and having to sort a low loader transport was a mammoth job in itself, before carrying out the main restoration. When the BBC Studios on Oxford Road Manchester closed down, it was a featured on the Local TV news. His OB Van was parked up and running in the yard but they didn't really make enough use of it I thought. Too complex possibly, although he was [briefly] interviewed. I will have it recorded somewhere!

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Old 11th Jul 2018, 10:31 pm   #17
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

Three posts deleted. Please keep on topic.
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Old 12th Jul 2018, 9:40 am   #18
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

Am I allowed to ask PaulM if he knows why his Southern OB vehicle doesn’t have its original one part windscreen?
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Old 12th Jul 2018, 12:36 pm   #19
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

Quote:
Originally Posted by red16v View Post
Am I allowed to ask PaulM if he knows why his Southern OB vehicle doesn’t have its original one part windscreen?
Probably not.
Only the television connection has kept it valid thus far.
One of my long-term visions concerns the re-creation of the Baird outside-broadcast van, complete with 3-zone mirror-drum scanner.
It isn't so implausible now as it sounded when I first thought of it.
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Old 12th Jul 2018, 12:42 pm   #20
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Default Re: 1969 BBC OB Van @ Avro Air Fair

Thanks Brigham, quite right.
A good subject for a PM, or email, as is anything else concerning vehicles other than the one in this thread.
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