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Remembering Rediffusion Limited 1928 - 1988
This website is tribute to Rediffusion and the many thousands of staff worldwide who worked for the organisation. It includes historical information and images of all aspects of the Group's businesses.
Updated: February 2014
Broadcast Relay Service Ltd. was incorporated in 1928 and started to relay radio programmes to subscribers in Clacton, Essex. The following year, 200 subscribers in Braintree, Ramsgate and Hull were paying 3 shillings a week for the service which required just a loudspeaker to be installed in the home to receive the programme.
In 1931 Broadcast Relay formed a new company, Rediffusion Limited The name was based on re-diffusing or re-broadcasting audio signals via a wired network. Later developments included the relay of television programmes through their existing networks.
Rediffusion manufactured it's first television set in 1947 specifically for use on their networks.
In 1954 the British Government gave the go-ahead for Commercial Television to commence and Rediffusion formed a new company in collaboration with Associated Newspapers which went on the air in 1955 from the ITV transmitters at Croydon in south London. The new broadcast company was called Associated-Rediffusion. The station became the mainstay of commercial television broadcasting for the London and south east area through to 1968 and is fondly remembered for the Rediffusion Star which became the symbol for the whole group in 1967.
Rediffusion set up their wired networks in many UK and Overseas towns and cities from the early 1930's through to the 1980's providing interference-free Radio and Television reception.
Subscribers selected their Radio or TV channel using a Selector Switch located adjacent to their Television Set or Radio Speaker. Subscriber service was key to the success of the company and the white and yellow Service Vans were a common sight in most cities around the UK.
Rediffusion became multi-national conglomerate with over 170 branches in the UK and divisions worldwide. Over the years the business had expanded into a wide range of electronic and manufacturing companies including, Telecommunications, Broadcasting, Computer Systems, Flight Simulation, Music and Recording, Business Electronics and Television Manufacturing and by 1976 the Groups Assets were £ 130,000,000 with 13,100 UK employees and 2800 overseas employees.
By the mid 1980's BET plc, who now had outright ownership decided divest it's electronics interests and the Rediffusion Group was subsequently broken up and sold off. The TV rental business was acquired by Granada with much of the property and networks going to Maxwell Communications.
All other group companies and overseas interests were disposed of by the early 1990's.
Today, little evidence remains of Rediffusion and it's Cable Distribution and Television Rental business. Other divisional companies both in the UK and Overseas have been absorbed elsewhere .
There is no doubt of the contribution the Rediffusion Group made to the broadcasting, electronics and music industry worldwide over it's 60 years existence. The name will be remembered fondly by many.
If you worked for Rediffusion at any time you can add your details to the Employees List by clicking the link.
Associated Companies in over 175 towns in Great Britain and in Barbados, Bermuda. Canada, Ceylon, Guyana,
Hong Kong, Jamaica, Malaya, Malta, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and West Africa etc.
Copyright © rediffusion.info 2014
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Announcing the Rediffusion Research (Coombe) reunion 2014
It is with sadness that we have to announce that Cyril Hunt died on December 26 2013.
Cyril spent over 40 years with Rediffusion in the experimental and design field and was a key participant in the development of System 8. I am sure he will be sadly missed by all who knew him, particularly his colleagues from Coombe Lane. Condolences go to his family.
Read more about Cyril here: Rediffusion Research
René Bazin who was laboratory chief at Redifon (HF Welding) died in Falmouth
on Jan 12 2014 at the great age of 101 years.
After leaving Redifon in 1953 he formed his own company "H.F.Industrial Services Ltd." which he sold on to Standard Telephone and Cables in 1963. He was made an honorary life member of the Federation of High Frequency Welding in 1995 for his services to the Plastics welding Industry.
The next Rediffusion reunion will be held at:
The Fountain Pub, 120 Malden Road, New Malden, Surrey. KT3 6DD on Sat 26th April 2014 from 12-30pm onwards.
An area is set aside with reserved tables which keeps the group together and makes it easier to get around and chat.
So far, between 37 and 40 are expected to attend.
The annual reunion ahs been a success for many years.
All are welcome.
REDIFFUSION COOMBE ANNUAL REUNION