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Ashbridge, Sir Noel (1889–1975), broadcasting engineer, was born on 10 December 1889 in Wanstead, Essex, the fourth son and youngest child of John Ashbridge, solicitor, of Wanstead, and his wife, Sylvia Moore. He was educated at Forest School, Snaresbrook, Essex, and King's College, London...

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Baird, John Logie (1888–1946), television engineer, was born on 13 August 1888 at The Lodge, West Argyle Street, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, Scotland, the youngest of the four children of the Revd John Baird, minister of the West Parish Church, Helensburgh, and his wife, Jessie Morrison Inglis...

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John Logie Baird (1888–1946) by Howard Coster, 1935 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bishop, Sir Harold (1900–1983), broadcasting engineer, was born on 29 October 1900, at 57 Rosebery Road, Clapham, London, the third son of Henry Thomas Bishop, a builder, and his wife, Mary Ann Ellis. He was educated at Alleyn's School, Dulwich, and on leaving school took an apprenticeship with ...

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Davis, Ian Gordon McNaught- (1929–2014), mountaineer, businessman, and broadcaster, was born on 30 August 1929 at Noordschote, Third Avenue, Newton Hill, Wakefield, Yorkshire, the son of Stanley Gordon McNaught-Davis (1889–1971), an ex-Royal Flying Corps pilot then working as a bus driver, later a transport manager, and his wife ...

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Frederick Dibnah (1938–2004) by Alisdair Macdonald, 2004 Rex Features

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Dibnah, Frederick [Fred] (1938–2004), steeplejack and television presenter, was born at 7 Alfred Street, Bolton, on 29 April 1938, the son of Frank Dibnah, a bleacher's beetler, and his wife, Betsy, later Bessie, née Travis, a gasworks charwoman. He grew up watching steam trains on the railway line that ran behind the family's terraced house and marvelled at the tall industrial chimney-stacks across the skyline, which he enjoyed sketching. His fascination with steam power was furthered by seeing various contraptions, pulleys, and belts on visits to the bleach factory where his father worked....

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Hersee, George (1924–2001), television engineer, was born on 29 December 1924 at Orchard Cottage, Loxwood, near Wisborough Green, Sussex, the son of Ernest Alfred George Hersee, estate clerk, and later master grocer, and his wife, Florence Lillian, née Harris, shop assistant. He had a brother, ...

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George Hersee (1924–2001) by Roy Riley [with the BBC testcard] © Solent News

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McLean, Sir Francis Charles (1904–1998), broadcasting engineer, was born on 6 November 1904 at 5 Back 45, Friston Street, Ladywood, Birmingham, the son of Michael McLean, a railway porter, and his wife, Alice. After gaining first-class honours in electrical engineering at the University of Birmingham...

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Moore, Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell- (1923–2012), astronomer and broadcaster, was born Patrick Alfred Moore on 4 March 1923 at Innamincka, 22 Cannon Lane, Pinner, Middlesex, the only child of Captain Charles Trachsel Moore (1885–1947), an accountant who had served on the western front in the First World War, and his wife, ...

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Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell- Moore (1923–2012) by Dominic Old, 1985 © Dominic Old

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Pyke, Magnus Alfred (1908–1992), food scientist, author, and broadcaster, was born on 29 December 1908 at 209 Gloucester Terrace, Paddington, London, the son of Robert Bond Pyke (d. 1924), wholesale confectionery manager, and his wife, Clara Hannah (née Lewis). He was educated at ...

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Magnus Alfred Pyke (1908–1992) by Kyffin Williams, 1966 © Kyffin Williams

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Robinson, John Ebdon [known as John Ebdon] (1923–2005), planetarium director and broadcaster, was born on 22 December 1923 at Durham House, 102 Crouch Hill, London, the son of William Ewart Robinson, export and import merchant, of 109 rue du Relais, Ixelles, Brussels...

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Shoenberg, Sir Isaac (1880–1963), television engineer, was born on 1 March 1880 at Pinsk, in Russia, the eldest son of Yuli Shoenberg, whose profession was forestry. The family were Jewish. He studied at the Kiev Polytechnical Institute, where he read mathematics, mechanical engineering, and electricity. He always retained a keen interest in mathematics, and later received from ...