Carry on Trucking

Carry on Trucking – Jeffrey Borinsky

While many enthusiasts collect radios and televisions, broadcasting equipment is a more neglected area. The Broadcast Engineering Conservation Group (BECG) is a group of people who rescue, restore and conserve historic UK television equipment, focusing on the engineering aspects. We aim to use this to present television history to the public. Continue reading “Carry on Trucking”

Making Old Television Technology Make Sense

A new approach to technological television history and conservation

By Dr Paul Marshall


How does traditional analogue television work? That’s a question beyond the comfort zone of most media historians who may not be familiar with analogue electronics. Even young engineers know little of thermionics, cathode rays and a myriad of other forgotten technologies. This important facet of television’s history is now only recorded by older engineers and by amateur groups who collect these technologies. In this paper, I will show by using examples how material artefacts can help us understand television’s history more fully.

Keywords: broadcasting, engineering, television, conservation, restoration, preservation

How to Cite: Marshall, P., 2019. Making Old Television Technology Make Sense. VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture, 8(15), pp.32–45. DOI:


Read the article here:

BBC Television, Unit LO21, GUL644W



Bedford TK chassis, Fibreglass cab, 330 Diesel engine, 4 forward speed gearbox. “A Compact CMCR with comprehensive technical facilities ..”


This vehicle was registered to the BBC in 1980 and it was given the fleet reference CMCR39. CMCR39 was stationed in London and known there as LO-21.

It was one of three similar units at the BBC, the others being CMCR27 LO-22 based in London and CM-2 based in Birmingham.

Vehicle Length 7.44 Metres, Height 3.41 Metres, Width 2.5 Metres, built by MVC, Modern Vehicle Constructors (Gowering Group) and fitted out by Ampex in Reading.

Original livery: Grey with Green stripe, later repainted two tone grey.

It entered BBC service in 1980, fitted with 2 x Phillips LDK-5 cameras and was later upgraded for up to 6 cameras on Triax cable: LDK-14, Sony BVP 330 and Ikegami HL79E.

VT area with 2 x Ampex VPR-2 “C” format VTR, later converted to Beta SP.

Other equipment included:

  • Probel 24×16 Video Matrix
  • Pye, Prowest, Cotron monitors
  • Cox 10 channel Vision Mixer with separate DownStream Keyer
  • Neve 5315 12 channel Sound mixer
  • Mk IVB Multi-service cables, 62GB multi audio cables
  • Air operated Pump-up mast

The vehicle was eventually re-engineered by the BBC for “remote control of golf buggies” and was given the identifier “RCV”.

Of the three vehicles, CMCR-27 moved to Ireland and was broken up there, CM-2 sold at auction and was eventually exported and CMCR39 was sold in 1994 after the equipment was removed, and restoration is in progress.


There are some photographs of this vehicle in its various incarnations on Flickr:


GUL644W BBC LO21, BBC Outside Broadcasts Kendal Avenue London. Credit: Harwood Hilly.

CMCR39 1

GUL644W at a Party Conference circa 1988. Credit: Harwood Hilly.


GUL644W fitted out as RCV1, Open Golf 1992. Credit: Harwood Hilly.

LO21 VT Area

VT area of BBC two channel unit, at a Party Conference circa 1989. Credit: Harwood Hilly.

This VT fit-out was done December 1988 to January 1989.