The Village of
Emley & the Emley Show
Visiting Emley after a long gap was an invigorating experience. There was plenty of fresh air, especially up on Jagger Hill on Emley Moor where the Arqiva-owned ‘mast’ and transmitting station is a remarkable sight at close quarters.
The concrete tower, at over 330 metres, is the tallest free-standing structure in Britain. It is the successor of two previous structures. The first, erected in 1956 and 135 metres tall brought the first independent television transmissions to the Yorkshire area. This was replaced in 1964 by a 365 metre mast of cylindrical steel which improved reception and anticipated the new colour era. Unfortunately the mast and its supporting cables was prone to an accumulation of ice in cold weather. On 19 March 1969 the weight of the ice and severe winds caused the structure to buckle and collapse. The spectacular crash was heard from miles around but there were no injuries or fatalities. Within four days a temporary mast had been erected and services resumed. Not surprisingly, there was some local opposition to rebuilding on grounds of safety and legal matters relating to the great fall took many months. The present design which uses curved steel segments cased in concrete has been highly successful. The tower has recently been classified as a Listed building, of historic and architectural interest. However, despite its dominance, there is more to Emley than its TV mast. Near the mast I called at the Thorncliffe Farm Shop (01924 848171), on Westfield Lane which, open seven days a week, contains a wide variety of local food products and attracts a lot of custom.