asakiyume (asakiyume) wrote,

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Rampisham Down

Rampisham Down is where, from 1939 until 2011, the transmitters for the BBC World Service in Europe were located--"twenty-six iron giants stand ... with a grey cat's cradle in their hands," in the words of Talis Kimberley in her song "Rampisham Down." They were so well known that when my mother came to visit us when we were living in Dorset--where Rampisham Down is located--she was excited to drive by them.

A friend gave me Talis Kimberley's wonderful song about them, which starts with a message on a picture postcard of them and then goes on to describe them and their stalwart duty:

Eight miles northwest of Dorchester
On the high chalk land where the Romans were
Upon Rampisham Down
Oh twenty-six iron giants stand
With a grey cat's cradle in their hands
Upon Rampisham Down
Upon Rampisham Down

Here the news comes in and the news goes out
And the world will hear what it's all about
Upon Rampisham Down
And when the world looks dark, as it sometimes will
Then look to the giants on the high chalk hill
Upon Rampisham Down...

*This is the grid reference in Great Britain's Ordinance Survey maps that Rampisham Down is located on
Rampisham Down

The song--and the concept of those twenty-six faithful iron giants--really touched me, so I was sorry to learn from Wakanomori that they'd come down, victims of changes in how broadcast technology works. Here's a short (2.07 minutes) video about it:

That video is from August 2017. Let's have a moment of silence and respect for these hard workers.

... I'll post my picture for inktober next.

This entry was originally posted at Comments are welcome at either location.
Tags: bbc, dorset, england, history, irl goodness, songs
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