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Download a PDF copy of the Arqiva Kippax closure article

Arqiva Closure Article
(853 Kb)

Directorate of Telecommunications
DEPOTS; Kippax


DOT Map Kippax Region
Introduction
March 16th 2007 marked the end of public safety communications maintenance on the site that spanned over sixty years.  The site owners, Arqiva, had made a business decision to sell the site for redevelopment and staff to be transferred to new facilities only 2.5 miles away.

Although life moves on, for many people who worked or visited Kippax during it’s existence, there will be a certain sadness now that the buildings have been lost to redevelopment.

To ensure that some of the history was not lost forever, I am  grateful for this collection of  photographs taken by Dave Singh, Technical Operations Manager, Arqiva, during the closure week week in March 2007 and the subsequent site demolition and rebuild in January 2008.

Dave also took the initiative to raise awareness through local radio and subsequently made contact with Jean Woodcock, Bert Hare and Dennis Rouston.  Pictures of Jean can be seen in this gallery, there is one photo from Bert Hare in 1986 which has been included in Kippax Gallery 1 and some recollections from Dennis are reproduced below.

Dave has also sent in two relevant extracts from Arqiva internal publications, which have been incorporated into a PDF for download (to the left of this text).

I have endeavoured to write some caption text against each photo.  However, not having visited the site for some 15 years, I cannot recall precise detail and would be grateful if you spot any errors, or would like to add comment, then please e-mail me.

from Dennis Rouston
The building at Kippax was erected before the war (around 1937-38) by the G.P.O and was one of nine, which formed an emergency chain around England in case bombing took out the phone system.  It was also an M.F. network with operators, who I believe used morse code to start with. At the top end behind the bungalow was a 100-foot mast, which was still there until the 1960’s. During the war it went to H.F. and Voice operation and in about 1944 technicians started installing ex-bomber HF receivers into police cars.  The local councils could not afford to run the service at the time so the Home Office took on the role.

VHF was the next development and being two-way communication it took off.  Things slowly were added like motor cycle sets and hand held UHF receivers and transmitters, radar speed meters, VDU’s which fed into a main Police computer and not forgetting cameras in prisons etc.

It started out as the Home Office Wireless Depot and ended up being The Directorate of Telecommunications.

There was a special ‘bomb proof’ room for the operators, 18 inch thick ‘engineers’ brick held together with sharp cement.  We had a doorway cut through this and it took a whole day for two men to cut a foot square hole, so it was bombproof!

There was a new building added opposite Jean’s house, this was the Maintenance Unit for servicing handhelds and printed circuit boards for the VDU’s.

I joined the Directorate in 1957 and left in April 1990.   

Webmaster: many thanks to Dennis for his re-collections that were passed on by Dave Singh

Acknowledgements: Photos, Dave Singh. Also, Dennis Rouston for his personal recollections sent via Dave Singh.

page updated: 27/01/15

Jean Woodcock

Jean Woodcock

Arqiva Staff

Arqiva Staff

Arqiva Staff

Arqiva Staff

Arqiva Staff

Arqiva Staff

Workshop

Workshop

Arqiva Staff

Arqiva Staff

Arqiva Staff

Arqiva Staff

Arqiva Staff

Arqiva Staff

Depot

Depot

Depot

Depot

MU

MU

Bungalow

Bungalow

Depot

Depot

Depot

Depot

Depot

Depot

Looking South

Looking South

Bungalow

Bungalow

Grounds

Grounds

MU & Bungalow

MU & Bungalow

MU

MU

SWT Office?

SWT Office?

MU Workshop

MU Workshop

MU Workshop

MU Workshop

MU

MU

Side Entrance

Side Entrance

Office

Office

Office/Workshop?

Office/Workshop?

MU

MU

MU

MU

Stores

Stores

MU

MU

Depot

Depot

Canteen?

Canteen?

Kitchen

Kitchen

Garages

Garages

Garages

Garages

MU

MU

Reception

Reception

MU Workshop

MU Workshop

MU Workshop

MU Workshop

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

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Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

Re-development

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