Finding radio waves

Back in May last year, on Day 5 of our excavation, one of our voluteers Katrina brought in some finds for us to look at (, which she had dug up from her back garden.  Well Katrina has been at it again!  This time she brought her finds into the office for us to look at. The most interesting objects she brought in were a collection of ceramic insulators.  This is what I had to say about them in my report for our Portable Antiquities Scheme finds liaison officer:

“A total of fifteen fragments (weight: 1.356kg) of ceramic insulator were recovered from the area, equating to a minimum of six actual insulators.  All fifteen fragments originate from insulators associated with radio broadcasting and were produced by a company called ‘Rediffusion.  The broadcast relay services limited’, formed in 1928.

The fragments represented two different forms of insulator; the majority (80%) are dryspot insulators.  This form of insulator has a top which unscrews to expose openings inside the skirt and wire grooves to allow a telephone drop wire to pass through the insulator to provide a ‘dry spot’ from rain and decrease leakage loss.  The remaining 20% of fragments originate from radio relay insulators (Marilyn and Tod 1982); which would have been fitted to the outside of a building, enabling the radio wires to be safely brought inside.  The upper surface of one radio relay insulator is stamped ‘SRRS’.  By the late 1940’s Rediffusion had subsidiary companies operating throughout the United Kingdom, including one based in Swansea (  It seems likely then, that SRRS stood for ‘Swansea Rediffusion (or Radio) Relay Services’.”


We’re very grateful for Katrina for bring her finds in to show us, let’s hope she keeps discovering more interesting objects. 

If your interested in the Portable Antiquities Scheme have a look at this: 

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