Lyndon Green PR1 BT Repeater Station

Lyndon Green PR1 repeater station was opened in 1953 and was one of a number of repeater stations built between 1951 and 1956 as a result of a Treasury paper entitled United Kingdom Telecommunications in War Published in 1949. This recommended that some £2.75 million be spent over five to six years on a scheme for strengthening the telecomms facilities needed for defending the country. One element of the Post Office defence programme (as this become known) was the so-called Birmingham ring main, comprising “protected installations of transmission equipment on about a 5-mile radius with interconnected cabling to enable permanently through communications to bypass the city centre”.

Repeater stations were telecommunication installations where the signals on telephone cables were amplified to counteract the electrical losses that tend to make speech fainter. Typically, a repeater station was located at intermediate positions between larger telephone exchanges. Lyndon Green is situated on one of the main trunk telephone (and television) cable routes between London and Birmingham, having a number of important circuits passing through it. It was constructed at a time when all repeaters (amplifiers) used thermionic valves (vacuum tubes), which required far more electrical power than the solid-state amplifiers of today. Accordingly the repeater station had a substantial power plant, with its own electricity substation, a large generator and storage batteries. The station had equipment stores, a test desk, repair workshop and eating/recreation facilities.

Lyndon Green repeater station being protected in this context meant that the buildings, and internal equipment, would need to be sufficiently robust to remain intact if a single atomic bomb fell on the centre of Birmingham. Its nondescript appearance gave no clue to what lay behind the locked gate, although passers-by could have deduced its telecomms connections from the sign on the wall or the vehicles parked in the yard. Few people could have known that this building had been built at great expense to maintain communications through Birmingham in the event of atomic war.

The facility now lays derelict and stripped.

Modified: 29th Jun 2023