Post Office Radio Service

Post Office Radio Service
Driven by Mike Astbury of Manchester Central Area..

Notice that the lettering is in gold and runs along the side of the van. Only the Telephone Manager's location is on the door. Unlike telephone vans, the RS vans did not carry advertisement boards.

Post Office Radio Service PMG 827 E {circa 1971)
Telephone Manager, Manchester © Mike Astbury
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Post Office Radio Service

"The main work of the Radio Service was the tracing and prevention of interference to broadcast radio and television services."

The Post Office Radio Service started after the Second World War, using ex-army radio vans which had wooden bodies so that they were transparent to radio signals. Later vehicles were produced to GPO specifications and models such as the Ford Thames van (above), were used in the late sixties and the early seventies. They were superseded by Bedford HA vans (based on the first Vauxhall Viva).

The Radio Service was also known as the Radio Investigation Service or simply RI. The Technical Officers who did the work were known as Investigation Officers. The main work of the Radio Service was the tracing and prevention of interference to broadcast radio and television services. Prevention could mean repair or the fitting of suppressers. Repair would be carried out by a maintenance company but suppression could be done by the Investigation Officer.

The other areas of work were tracing interference to Private Mobile Radio-telephone services (PMR) such as those used by taxi firms, utilities and the emergency services, the inspection and control of Radio Amateurs and the location and prosecution of pirate radio stations.

When the Post Office became government owned the work was still done, but on behalf of the Home Office who paid costs plus 2%. When BT became a PLC then the Home Office took over the work with many BT staff transferring back to the Civil Service. The Home Office replaced the Bedford vans with Morris Marina cars. 

PMG 827 E

Read more about PMG 827 E

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