50 years on: 21 pictures from the Emley Moor TV Tower collapse

On March 19, 1969, the 1,265ft Emley Moor TV Mast collapsed.

On March 19, 1969, the 1,265ft Emley Moor TV Mast collapsed.
On March 19, 1969, the 1,265ft Emley Moor TV Mast collapsed.

Exactly 50 years after the collapse, we take a look back at how the near-disaster unfolded. Do you remember the collapse? Tell us on Twitter and Facebook.

It can be seen from across Wakefield. But in 1969, 50 years ago today, the 1,265 foot Emley Moor TV Mast collapsed without warning.

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The 1,265ft mast was erected in 1956 to allow TV broadcasts across Yorkshire. It is pictured here in 1959.
In 1966, an additional 385m tubular mast was added to the tower, to prepare for colour TV. The mast was comprised of a number of curved steel segments, and held up by guy lines. The interior of the tower is pictured in 1956.
This picture, dated October 25, 1968, shows a view of the ground from a platform on the mast, approximately 250ft high.
The mast and guy wires were regularly coated in ice during the winter. Here, Mr. Jeffrey Jessop, caretaker of Emley Moor Methodist Church, can be seen wearing a helmet as he studies the iced up steel ropes on March 5, 1969.
The combination of strong winds and the additional weight of the ice was too much, and shortly after 5pm on Wednesday, March 19, 1969, the mast collapsed.
This photo shows part of the mast following the collapse.
Police were concerned that workers may have been trapped by the collapse. One welder is seen breaking open a section of the tower.
An aerial photo taken the month after the collapse shows the extent of damage caused by the collapse.
Remarkably, nobody was injured in the Emley Moor TV Tower collapse, though nearby buildings were damaged.
Reporting on the collapse at the time, the Wakefield Express wrote: "Miraculously no-one was hurt. Wreckage was sprayed over a wide area. Steel girders narrowly missed two cottages. Deep craters were made in fields by debris."
No time was wasted in constructing a new mast. This picture, taken on March 27, 1969, just eight days after the collapse, follows the announcement that a new Swedish mast would be built on site.
Construction of the new mast, July 6, 1966.
Work on the new mast had begun by October 29, 1969, just seven months after the collapse.
Construction of a reinforced concrete replacement was well underway by February 1970. The new tower cost an estimated 500,000.
October 1, 1969. The mast on the left is the joint BBC ITA mastthe construction of which has been halted. The tall mast in centre is the Swedish mast which replaced the ITA mast which collapsed. On the right is the BBC2 mast.
Clearing the wreckage of the old mast was delayed while an investigation was carried out. This picture, from September 18, 1970, shows the new mast, frames in the wreckage of the collapsed tower.
The replacement tower was built further from the road. Also pictured here are two temporary masts, in place while construction was carried out.
Sections of the replacement tower were built in Sweden and shipped to Yorkshire, where they were then pieced together.
The new Emley Moor TV Tower is 1,048 feet tall, higher than the Eiffel Tower.
The tower still stands today, and can be seen from across Wakefield and Huddersfield.