The head of engineering projects lets staff know where the construction at Euston is up to in September 1969
Wimpey’s completed ‘Phase I’ of Euston on the scheduled day and by mid-day on 1 July the first equipment was being unloaded and the installation had begun. This ‘Phase I’ part of the building consists of the technical areas, studios, dressing rooms, etc. – the ‘televisions operation’ part of the project.
On 7 July the Executive Directors visited the site accompanied by the two architects – John Ware, responsible for the Control Rooms and Studios; and Marshall Levy for the overall conversion of the building. Dave Dunn, in charge of the move, our Clerk of Works, Ted Mathews, and Philip Berkeley acted as guides to the Directors.
The tour of inspection started in the foyer – still a shell of brick and concrete. Marshall Levy had prepared perspective sketches showing two different colour schemes made after consultation with Alan Kaupe, and the choice was made on the spot. The second decision was how to use the small shop which we have, just adjoining the foyer, and this was much easier to visualise on the spot. It will become a newspaper, magazine and tobacconist’s kiosk.
The party then examined the dressing rooms, the two studios and so up to the Central Apparatus Room, where the installation of equipment racks had begun. The control rooms are planned very much like those at Teddington, but with rather more acoustic isolation because of traffic noise and the possibility of noise from tube trains running below Warren Street.
These air-conditioned technical areas, the vast telecine area with its open booths for the individual machines were very favourably compared with the cramped layout at Television House. The party then had a look at one of the office floors, still raw concrete but with the windows glazed. These again are a complete contrast to Television House but still difficult to visualise in their final form.
As the builders moved out, it became the responsibility of a team led by ‘Rick’ Rickards and Peter Smart to get the cables laid and the equipment installed and working. This will be one long rush job – as by 17 November colour programmes must pass through our new London Centre to the GPO Tower and the Croydon and Crystal Palace Transmitters. The whole technical operations staff of Television House will by then be working from Euston – together with a small film and administration group.
Phase II of the building scheme provides the additional accommodation for these people, including a temporary canteen and will be complete before November. It will not be until September 1970 before all the remaining office, film, restaurant and other areas are completed and ready for the final move out of Television House.
To look after administrative matters, Dave Dunn has been appointed Manager at Euston and took up permanent residence on 21 July, with Sue Shields as his Secretary – the first girl on site.
From the photographs it is possible to get a good idea of the extent of the building, the service roadways passing through it and the relationship with our new neighbours. There is no doubt about our proximity to the GPO Tower – the No.1 reason for choosing a site in that part of London.