Fenny Stratford Repeater Station

The Decline

The steady growth of the trunk telephone network, based on audio amplified circuits, continued until 1932. Carrier line systems started to be introduced around this period and, later, coax line systems, initially with the London - Birmingham system in 1938. The bulk of the long distant telephone trunk circuits were systematically transferred over to these high capacity and more economical systems. None of this type of equipment was installed at Fenny.

After the war, the original repeaters at Fenny Stratford started to become redundant, and by the late 1960s and 1970s the only remaining circuits were telegraph and private circuits. In 1949, one of the engines had suffered a cracked cylinder head and was held in reserve for spares for the remaining serviceable one. However, the faulty engine was purchased by an export company in 1968 and was recovered to use as spares for a similar engine in the Far East for pumping water. The flywheel suffered a far worse fate - being sold for scrap to the British Iron & Steel Corporation at Bedford and smelted down.

A second-hand 3 cylinder Lister diesel engine and generator set was installed to provide backup in the event of a mains failure. The remaining engine had now become redundant. However, a few years later that too was eventually recovered and sent to the Milton Keynes Museum at Stacey Hill, near Wolverton.

By the early 1970s, the trunk cables through Fenny Stratford started to become redundant and were gradually recovered. When the new nearby five storey exchange and repeater station was completed in the mid-1970s, the remaining cables and circuits were transferred into the new repeater station.

Fenny Stratford Repeater Station officially closed on the 9th October 1979, when the power to the equipment was turned off. In February the following year, this was recovered. Once the building was empty it was used for storage until it was finally demolished and the site sold.

The Flywheel starting its journey to be smelted down.
The Flywheel starting its journey to be smelted down.
View of apparatus floor during recovery.
View of apparatus floor during recovery
Demolition in progress
Demolition in progress

Home | What are Repeaters? | Early Years | Apparatus Room | Power Room | Battery Room | War Years | The Defence Teleprinter Network
Bletchley Park Homepage | Bletchley Park Jewels Home Page | Telecom Heritage Group | Telegraph Museum, Porthcurno | Connected Earth | The Telephone Museum