Fred Farley - television pioneer


Birmingham Evening Despatch - Monday 13 October 1947

The Story ...

Fred ran a small radio shop in Witton Road, Aston, Birmingham (called 'MTR'). Interested in the pubescent medium of Television, Fred devised a way to pick up the embryonic BBC transmissions from Alexandra Palace, London. These broadcasts were normally only available in the London area.
Fred meticulously calculated the shape1 and positioning2 of an aerial and amplifier system needed to pick up the minute signals from London. He successfully received pictures and caused a stir outside his shop in Aston, when crowds of onlookers blocked the street to watch the TV pictures on a set in his workshop window.

1 The dimensions of the aerial needed to be a fractional part of the wavelength utilised by the BBC transmissions.
2 Television signals were (as they are now), largely 'line of sight' with a small relective component from the ionosphere.

Innovative electronics engineer

In 1947, Fred Farley devised the means to receive Television pictures in Birmingham which were broadcast from London.
Fred caused a stir in Aston, when crowds of onlookers blocked the street after he set his TV up in his workshop window.
Anyone with recollections about Fred and his shop, please contact me.