TAR – TV Apparatus Room – Photo from Ivor Williams

TAR - TV Apparatus Room ST B Line Up Desk

TAR stands for ‘TV Apparatus Room’.  This photo shows the Line Desk for Studio B (the Midlands Today Studio) at Pebble Mill.  Shown in the photo are broadcasting engineers John Macavoy & Maurice Darkin.

Thanks to Ivor Williams from Post Production for the photo.

Stuart Gandy comments: “This picture is of the studio B camera line up area in the original TAR. This part of the building was what was later to become the graphics area after about 1984, which was when a major refurb of the studios went on and the TAR moved to the room above the foyer where it stayed until the end. At the back of this room was the maintenance area which when I first started was also home to a table tennis table. A proper engineers’ sport!”

Steve Dellow comments: “Yes – this was all ripped out early ’84 when Studio B and Pres were refurbished. From what I remember, the CCU’s for Studios A, B, and C went above the foyer, alongside the ‘new’ TAR? Can still hear Mike ‘The Cardy’s’ voice coming over the intercom….’Front to back’! Which upset Ken and Simon because they insisted it should be ‘Racks to Line-up’! ”

Jane Green comments: “The Floor Managers used to get their talkbalk pieces from here – and we used to set things up in TAR at 4 in the morning to get Mids Today brekky bulletins on air with about 3 staff…..”

Pete Simpkin comments: “TAR was the communications hub where all the connections between radio and TV studios and outside broadcasts together with all the rest of the BBC and transmitters were maintained. As automation took over and circuits etc became more national there was less and less to do but the Mailbox still has a substantial communications and Central operating section where all the BBC technology is monitored.”

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1 Comment

  • TAR also housed the double-banked slide scanners which took carriages of alternating slides (upside down and facing inwards – remember the eye painted on the inside end?) which needed to be delivered early enough for the TAR staff to tarrif them. Control was then remoted to the gallery desk. If the damned thing jammed, it was a breathless 40-second sprint round there for an SA to fix it. It certainly kept you fit! u

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