Port Dundas transmitting station

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Port Dundas, Glasgow was the location of the BBC's first transmitter in Scotland, and was used to broadcast the local radio station 5SC from 6 March 1923 until 21 June 1932.


In January 1923 the Broadcasting Company applied to the Corporation of Glasgow for permission to erect a transmitter at the council’s electricity supply station at Edington Street, Port Dundas. The location was regarded as eminently suitable, for a number of reasons: it stood on one of the highest points in Glasgow; the chimney-stacks would make it easy to erect aerials high in the air; a good supply of electricity would be conveniently available; and the proximity of a canal would ensure a good ‘earth’.

Once planning consent was approved, permission had to be sought from the General Post Office and this was promptly given on 30 January 1923. A wavelength of 415m was authorised and the call sign 5SC allotted (SC standing for Scotland).

As the BBC had no engineering staff of its own, it fell to engineers seconded from the Maroni Company to erect the transmitter, which was of a standard 'Q' type. The aerial stretched from the second floor wireless room to one of the chimney stalks at a height of 200 feet. The transmitter’s power was the same as the London station's: 1.5 kilowatts (with capacity for extension to 3 kW). In common with other main stations in Britain at the time, the radius of the Port Dundas transmitter was 20–25 miles.

Test transmissions took place from Thursday 1 March 1923 with someone reading out short messages and news items at the Port Dundas works. The transmitter was brought into official service when the radio station 5SC officially opened on Tuesday 6 March 1923.


When the Scottish Regional Programme was officially launched on 21 June 1932, the old city-based transmitters in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee closed down. They stood for a time in case of breakdown at Westerglen but were dismantled shortly thereafter.[1]


  1. 'Broadcasting in Scotland', Glasgow Herald, 11 June 1936, 10.