Interim Civil Defence Radio Scheme

During the period 1962-64 a radio scheme was devised for use by Regional Seat of Government (RSG) their Sub-Regional Controls and County Civil Defence Corps. This was an interim scheme designed to plug a communications gap until the new UHF radio system could be put in place. The UHF scheme for use by Regional Government Headquarters is documented on this website under Networks Era 1 tab.

A Stop Gap Measure

This topic has been created from the contents of declassified file HO322/299 held in The National Archives at Kew. This related to the period in the mid-nineteen sixties before the Civil Defence Corp was disbanded in 1968. I am most grateful to Dave McKay G1JWG ( www.pmrconversion.info ) for his help on this previously undocumented topic.

Note by General Goddard (RD(63)16) dated 5th Sept 1963

In 1961, at the time of the Berlin crisis, it was decided to set up the means of providing a skeleton civil defence static wireless network by use of mains-operated training sets. Some mains sets working on the 80 and 96 megacycles/second band which had been held by Regions for relay purposes and some mains sets working on 155 and 168 megacycles bands which has been held by Corps authorities for training were used. . . . .

. . . . The short term Berlin plan was never much good, and could not have been implemented anyway in less than 7 days. Since it is now questionable whether we can have this length of warning, it is arguable that no useful purpose is served by the continued retention of the sets in the Home Office wireless depots, and we therefore might as well meet the local authorities desire for training equipment even though by re-adapting the sets for single frequency working we should render them useless for operations. On the other hand, we have no other civil defence wireless communications available now, and will not have anything better operating over the country for about 2 years.

Regional Wireless Plans

These hand written plans date from 1964 and are thought to be the final arrangement after a number of iterations involving changes of sites and radio frequencies. During the Fifties to mid-Sixties, the regional government organisation changed from Regional War Rooms, to Regional Seats of Government (RSG) then incorporating sub-regional controls. London originally a region with 5 sub-regional controls, was broken up and distributed amongst adjoining regions, only to be unified back as Region 5 with it RGHQ at Kelvedon Hatch. These radio scheme plans appear to show London as operating while split across Regions 4, 6 and 12 but with an unspecified RSG 5 too.

Please Click to View the Regional Radio Scheme Drawings

2 - North East

3 - East Mids

4 - East Anglia

5 - London

6 - South East

7 - South West

8 - Wales

9 - West Midlands

10 - North West

Region Seats of Government

Frequencies Used

        P-Band         High Band
Ch1  96.350 80.200 | 155.750 168.400
Ch2  96.400 80.250 | 155.800 168.500
Ch3  96.450 80.300 | 155.850 168.600
Ch4  96.500 80.350 | 155.900 168.700
Ch5  96.550 80.400 | 155.950 168.900

A group of five pairs of P-Band channels were allocated for use by the interim radio schemes. A further group of high band channels were allocated, but the pairing is different from expected, normally 154-156 is paired with 146-148 and 168 is paired with 174, but civil defence didn't follow this arrangement.

Masts Required for Scheme

Police Masts for Civil Defence Use

Police Masts for Civil Defence in 1964

This list of power consumption gives an idea of the size of the radio scheme. Thirty six masts are listed here.