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With a little help from R & S Recovery Services, MCR21 took to the road on Wednesday 16th October for its journey to the vehicle restorers, Ward Jones at High Wycombe.

Previously all the cabling inside the unit had been removed; the television equipment taken out carefully and the wooden slats on the roof, removed for renovation.

Students from Royal Holloway, who are recording the restoration process, were there to film this significant event.

Many thanks to Adam on camera
and Dr Nick Hall  - Royal Holloway University of London

Recreating a 1960s Television Outside Broadcast
This MCR21 Project event, brought together students from Solent University with 'seasoned' BBC professionals to record a concert by the Ben Holder Jazz Quartet.
The Event took place on the 23rd October at the Concorde Club near Southampton.
A big thank you to the Ben Holder Quartet, Cole Mathieson and the staff at the club
Photo   James French
Inside the mobile control van showing the feeds from the four cameras
Photo Oscar Williams
Harry Coventry, senior cameraman  on MCR21 in the 1960, advises the camera operators.
Harry directed the jazz recording from inside Solent University's
outside broadcast unit.
Camera Supervisor, James French, checks out the cameras. James started his career  at BBC Pebble Mill. He is now a well respected freelance camera supervisor and lighting cameraman who is very happy to pass on his experience to students.
In the Green Room, MCR21's sound crew, Ken Osbourn, Keith Gunn (sitting on the right) and Brian Robinson reminisce, looking at photos on Brian Summers computer. Looking on is Nicolas Pillai from Birmingham City University who organised the first Jazz 625 recreation.
And this is Keith Gunn in 1964, lacing up the tape recorder  in the engineering part of MCR21
The Crew - The students and ex BBC people

Many thanks to all of them, plus Matt Hickling and Kerry Horton from
Solent University who organised the outside broadcast
and who are not in the photo
The recordings made of the jazz concert, will be replayed in the  the production area of a restored MCR21. The pictures from each camera will be played back on the four monitors which are shown at the bottom of the photo above. (they will be in black & white) The visitors to the production area of MCR21 will see the pictures and hear the music, plus the director calling the shots as each camera is cut up to the programme output monitor

MCR21 was one of ten mobile control rooms delivered to the BBC in 1963/4. The first of these was MCR19.
So what happened to MCRs 1 to 18.
  The first Television Mobile Control Room was delivered to the BBC in the spring of 1937. MCR1 was followed by MCR2 Pictured above). An identical unit, built on an AEC bus chassis and equipped with Emitron cameras. MCR2 was in service with the BBC until 1950. There is no record as to what happened to these unitsafter that date.
MCRs 3 to 12 were all built into articular trailers. They were delivered to the BBC between 1948 and 1952. MCRs 3,6,11 and 12 were made by Pye TVT; EMI constructed MCRs 4 and 5 using CPS Emitron cameras; MCR7 was put together by BBC engineers, using Marconi equipment while MCRs 8,9 and 10 were supplied by the Marconi company. No doubt all the equipment was stripped out of the trailers before disposal. No records show any of the trailers still exist.
MCRs 13 to 16 arrived at the BBC in 1954. Supplied by the Marconi Company, they were each equipped with 3 Marconi MkIII cameras. (Although MCR13 did carry 5 cameras). They were kept in service at the BBC until the mid sixties. Two of  units were sold to the Greek Television Service and one to a television station in Uganda. There are no reports that any of the four units survive. The design of these MCRs has been immortalised by the Dinky model and the cutaway drawing in the Eagle Comic.
MCR17 was a standard Pye TVT unit like this one supplied to Granada(photo above). The unit was painted in light blue and only used to televise Barry Bucknell's DIY show. It wass known at the BBC as the 'Ice Cream Wagon'.After the series the equipment was removed and the van used to transport the BBC orchestra's musical instruments. There is no knowledge of what happened to it after that. ( Photo courtesy of Richard Ellis)
MCR18 was a Marconi 2-camera unit built into a Commer Karrier van, the same as the Roving Eye pictured above. While its camera tender still exists( It was used as a horse box for many years) the Commer OB has been lost without trace


Now that MCR21 is away at the body restorers, it is time to think
in more detail, about the interior refit.
There is much equipment to be found or recreated.



There are many tasks that can be carried out from home
We do need someone to help with the fundraising campaign and also someone to help develop our website
We are happy to receive broadcast equipment which we will find a new home for and, in doing so, raise money for the MCR21 Project

Or you would like to help the MCR21 Project by giving a donation

Please use the link to PayPal or  by BACs
or our Bank account details are here
Broadcast TV Tech Trust
Sort code 40-47-08,
Account no. 22502453
We would very much like to hear from you with any information about MCR21 or the other 1960s BBC units. 
MCR21 was one of 10 units - MCR19 to 28 - what are their stories and what became of them?
Please do give us a call.
Nick Gilbey
Tel 07831 219957

The MCR21 Project is supported by the
  National Lottery Heritage Fund


MCR21 Website
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The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting the MCR21 Project

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MCR21 · The Abbots House · The Street · Charmouth, Dorset DT6 6QF · United Kingdom

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