Yesterday I visited my nearest museum in Daventry. They do a brilliant job, despite only being able to open from 10-4 on the first Saturday of every month.
For March, April and May this year they have a special exhibition about the BBC at Daventry. The first Daventry transmitter, 5XX began transmitting in 1925, only three years after the BBC had been established. The intention was that Daventry would transmit using long wave, and as it is in roughly the centre of the country it was hoped that around 85% of the population would be able to tune in. In 1932, 80 years ago this year, the Empire Service was inaugurated from Daventry with a set of short wave transmitters. The Empire Service would become the World Service that we know today.
The display at the museum combines archive photographs and articles with some fantastic objects. Sadly little remains of the original 5XX transmitter, but the local volunteers have managed to preserve a number of other artefacts from the BBC station.
One especially nice thing about visiting Daventry Museum is that the curator is always there for a chat when the museum is open. Luisa Pereira is the voluntary Museum Curator, and this particular exhibition was curated by Rod Viveash. Both were on hand to add their knowledge and enthusiasm to items on display.
There are two more opportunities to see the BBC at Daventry exhibition, on Saturday the 7th of April and Saturday the 5th of May.