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Remembering Lime Grove Studios

Hannah Khalil

Digital Content Producer, About The BBC Blog

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Lime Grove, 1950, with BBC Television studios at end of street on the left.

In 1949 Lime Grove Studios were bought by the BBC as a 'temporary measure' until Television Centre was ready. On this day, 21 May, in 1950 the BBC moved in. Output included Childrens, entertainment and current affairs.

The BBC left in 1991 and here we remember the studios through pictures:

Lime Grove studios exterior, 1951

Opening of the new televsion studio for Children's Hour at Lime Grove, London 1950.

The picture above is of the opening of the new television studio for Childrens Hour at Lime Grove, London 1950.

After the opening of the new studio by none other than Mrs Clement Attle, viewers were invited to join in a house warming party, where they were introduced to new and old friends by Jennifer Gay (fourth left) and Wilfred Pickles (second left). Jimmy Hanley, one of the guests at the party, is showing his impressive paper tearing act.

Two visitors see themselves on television at the Lime Grove studios, 1951.

HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh visit Lime Grove, 1953

On Wednesday, October 28th 1953, HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh paid an informal visit to Lime Grove, where they saw the televising of a drama production, The Disagreeable Man; watching a variety show For Your Pleasure; and were present at the opening of the quiz programme Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?.

After the variety show artists and members of the staff were presented to Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh. Here the Queen is talking to cameraman Colin Clews (left) Mr D.C Birkinshaw, Superintendent Engineer, Television, (right), HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.

Studio G at Lime Grove studios 1950.

The picture above shows Studio G at Lime Grove. Studio G was the second largest of the Lime Grove studios with a floor area of over 5,500 square feet. 

It was equipped with four "Pye Photocon cameras" and a "telecine channel" for "televising cinematograph films". The electronic equipment for the cameras was in an adjoining room above which was the control room with a window overlooking the studio.

Lime Grove Studios exterior 1970

Recording Gloria Live at Lime Grove in 1991.

Auto cue control in studio at Lime Grove 1991.

Inside Lime Grove Studios 1990.

And in case the ghostly figure in the picture above is leaving you feeling whistful and sad, I wanted to include two more pictures, of cats.

It's a slight cheat as these pictures are from Lime Grove Baths where the Championship All-Breed Cat Show was held in 1948. But, recordings made at the show were broadcast in Woman's Hour and these two beauties were the champs.

Timothy of Knott Hall, a Blue Longhair Persian, winner of Championship All-Breed Cat Show held at Lime Grove Baths, London 1948.

Chinchilla Langherne Winsome, a six times champion, at the Championship All-Breed Cat Show, Lime Grove Baths, London, in 1948.

Hannah Khalil is Digital Content Producer About the BBC Website and blog

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