Thursday, 9 August 2012

Green Wickets & Piped TV

Cottingham at the beginning of the 19th century was "a favourite place of residence for the more opulent portion of the merchants of Hull, ... [with] ..many handsome country houses, gardens and pleasure-grounds". One of those country houses was this one, Green Wickets on Thwaite Street. It was built about 1780 for one Michael Metcalfe. Originally called the Sycamores it has been added to and fiddled with over the years and is now a Grade2 listed building. 
I've passed this building many times little knowing the role it played in the spread of television in the area. Rediffusion  was an early system of transmitting sound and later TV by cable from a central aerial. It was very popular in Hull and the central mast was in the grounds of this house. I seem to remember the system was known as piped TV. Anyhow, Rediffusion is long gone, replaced by satellite and digital advances but the house is still there and looks good for a few more years yet and is still, no doubt, owned by a merchant from Hull.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting stuff - I didn't know the Rediffusion connection either.

    But I do recall the Rediffusion system itself - the brown bakelite box on the wall with the control knob (A-J, I think), the perfect reception even in stormy weather, when neighbours with aerials had snowy screens.