ALAN GALE'S POLE HILL VOR IMAGES

~~ GALLERY TWO ~~

On this page you will find some images of the VOR Beacon at Pole Hill in West Yorkshire, UK. This is an en-route VOR which anyone travelling by plane from the US to Europe or vice versa, and flying over the UK, will likley have flown over this. Located up on the top of a hill on the moorland above the town of Todmorden, this beacon transmits the ident 'POL' on 112.1 MHz. I had been intending to visit the beacon for some time now, but hadn't been able to get around to it for various reasons, so when I heard that there would be a slight break from the rare heatwave that the UK was experiencing in mid-July 2013, I thought that might be a good time for a trip up there. My last visit to Pole Hill was back in the 1980s, when myself and a friend (sadly silent key now) used to drive up there and watch the aircraft turning along the radials overhad and listening to them on my scanner (a JIL SX-200N).

The VOR at that time was not the same one that is there now, and had a very different form of construction, with a building that was built using concrete and was a bit smaller than the current setup. I have included a screen dump from Google Earth, on which you can clearly see where the old beacon used to be located. The new beacon is now situated a bit further back behind the crest of a hill, so is no longer visible from the road that passes by, and if you didn't know it was there, or didn't see the 'NATS' sign on the gate to the access road, you could easily pass right by without even knowing it was there. I suspect this was done deliberately, as I noticed that a row of conifers had been planted behind the beacon, and this seems to have been put there to hide it from view in some directions. The coordinates for this one - according to World Aero Data are: 53° 44' 38.00" N, 002° 06' 12.00" W, and the beacon is at a height of 430 Metres (1400ft) Above Sea Level.

The view from the top of Pole Hill is quite impressive, but due to the overcast conditions that day I was unable to see any aircraft turning ovehead. On my last visit to the site there was a very good moorland pub just a few hundred yards west of there, but sadly, and like many other english pubs these days, this is now closed and up for sale. There is not much else in this area now other than a couple of other old masts, a few sheep and a lot of cotton plants. Probably the perfect location for something like this to be situated.



Click on the thumbnails to see the full sized image:

Pole Hill VOR BeaconPOL on 112.1 MHz

NATS sign on the access road gate. (221.0kb)
Pole Hill VOR BeaconPOL on 112.1 MHz

The access road, located just of the main road, the now turns to the left and then up the slight hill towards the VOR's new location, the old VOR was just off to the left on the other side of the gate. (295.0kb)
Pole Hill VOR BeaconPOL on 112.1 MHz

The PMR mast is located just to the east of the VOR, but the building looks very run down now, and the antenna a bit tatty, judging by the size of the elements this could have been a old 70 MHz Fire Service Relay from the days before they all went digital. (172.0kb)
Pole Hill VOR BeaconPOL on 112.1 MHz

View of the VOR from the south east, you can see how this sits behind a small hillock. (252.0kb)
Pole Hill VOR BeaconPOL on 112.1 MHz

Close up of the active elements of the VOR. (184.0kb)
Pole Hill VOR BeaconPOL on 112.1 MHz

View from the southern side of the VOR. (266.0kb)
Pole Hill VOR BeaconPOL on 112.1 MHz

Close up of the VOR taken from the rear (northern side) of the transmitter building showing the underside of the groundplane. (430.0kb)
Pole Hill VOR BeaconPOL on 112.1 MHz

Same as the last shot, but taken from the other side. (405.0kb)
Pole Hill VOR BeaconPOL on 112.1 MHz

Another view of the beacon, this time taken from the access road. (305.0kb)
Pole Hill VOR BeaconPOL on 112.1 MHz

Another shot of the taty looking PMR/Public Service mast just to the east of the beacon. (198.0kb)
Pole Hill VOR BeaconPOL on 112.1 MHz

This shot shows the main moorland road that passes close to the beacon, taken as I walked back down the hill. You can see just what a remote location this is. (250.0kb)
Pole Hill VOR BeaconPOL on 112.1 MHz

You can see how well hidden this beacon is, even just a short way from it, it quickly disappears from sight behind the hillock. (150.0kb)
Pole Hill VOR BeaconPOL on 112.1 MHz

This shot taken from the main road shows the entrance to the old compound, and you can see another mast in there with a horizontal beam on it pointing northwards, this may be a MAP Antenna used for feeding VOR signal back to the VOR monitoring circuits (my thanks to Alex for that info). (201.0kb)
Pole Hill VOR BeaconPOL on 112.1 MHz

Google Earth image, from this you can clearly see where the old VOR Beacon used to be located, and how the road now skirts around the hillock to the new beacon site. (468.0kb)

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Last updated 1st of January 2017
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