Stonehaven Radio Station (GND)

Newcastle Star
5th March 2009, 09:25
The Stonehaven Radio Station building is to be put on the market by BT and is not even giving consideration to our charity intent on saving the station to discuss ways to save the building.
Our Charity website is www.stonehavenradiostation.co.uk and it shows how BT have not looked after this listed building allowing vandals and travellers to gain entry and trash it internally.
There is a motion being put forward in Westminster to make BT sit up and listen. Fifteen MP's have now signed it and we need more. We are requesting anyone interested in seeing the station saved to email their MP and ask them to support the motion.

IanSpiden
5th March 2009, 18:06
Why am I not surprised that BT would take that attitude, they never wanted the Coast Stations, GKA or the Ships Surveyors service when they were privatised orignally and they got shot of the lot as soon as they could , afraid I dont have an MP Vernon or I would be glad to ask for support

R651400
6th March 2009, 09:54
This is sad news and the images on the website even sadder.
Realistically, can anyone stop BT from selling the site as a listed building?
Anglesey/GLV and Ilfracombe/GIL architecturally similar, I have no knowledge of GIL but GLV was sold as a private residence.

trotterdotpom
6th March 2009, 10:15
I understand the affection that former employees may have for the station, but, ahem, it's a pretty ugly building. Has it got any windows? It looks like a pub in Easterhouse.

John T.

R651400
6th March 2009, 10:43
Am unfamiliar with Easterhouse hostelries and therefore cannot comment but a nostalgic view of the GND site in it's heyday.
A euromillion lotto win would not go amiss as a future purchaser.

http://www.coastalradio.org.uk/ukstations/stonehaven/stonehaven.html

BobDixon
12th March 2009, 01:11
They did a very similar thing when Oban/GNE closed. The community wanted to buy it as a community hall. But BT sold it to an individual as a location which was not available for commercial development ---- three nice private houses now sit on the site ! Letters to MP's and MSP's (and maybe MEP's since there's a Euro election coming up) I think.

Mimcoman
12th March 2009, 17:32
They did a very similar thing when Oban/GNE closed. The community wanted to buy it as a community hall. But BT sold it to an individual as a location which was not available for commercial development ---- three nice private houses now sit on the site ! Letters to MP's and MSP's (and maybe MEP's since there's a Euro election coming up) I think.

Hi (again), Bob:

I remember Donnie B McLeod (when he transferred to GND) telling us that, after GNE closed and nothing took place there any more, the building was fitted out with new windows and carpets....

Bill

Mimcoman
12th March 2009, 17:50
Am unfamiliar with Easterhouse hostelries and therefore cannot comment but a nostalgic view of the GND site in it's heyday.
A euromillion lotto win would not go amiss as a future purchaser.

http://www.coastalradio.org.uk/ukstations/stonehaven/stonehaven.html

If I had the money, and the local planning Gods agreed, I'd buy the location like a shot for a private house, even though there are various development plans for nearby.

I feel that it's too far from Stonehaven to work as a cafe/tearoom (except maybe in summer when the visitors to Dunnottar Castle abound) but could make a good restaurant - at least until it's surrounded by other housing etc.

It would be a good community building for various clubs/societies, and Vernon and friends are working hard to realise this.

(A few years ago, there was a faint chance that Aberdeen Coastguard might move from its present location within Aberdeen harbour. I suggested that the GND site would be good but it wasn't to be..)

Bill

R651400
12th March 2009, 18:31
It would be a good community building for various clubs/societies, and Vernon and friends are working hard to realise this.
Coast Stations are traditionally far from the madding crowd and GND no exception.
Nostalgia? I'd give my left "spherical" to fill up the Lambretta on two stroke at Invercarron filling station and climb the hill for just one more shift especially if it was on nights and one of the Don's curries!
Whether or not the site and it's position is conducive to Vernon and GND saviour's plans remains to be seen.
I wish them all the very best.

IanSpiden
13th March 2009, 18:41
" especially if it was on nights and one of the Don's curries! "

Dont know about the night shift but I am up for the curry or a soochle , I will buy the plane ticket tomorrow !! "These are my Friends " to quote the man himself

Mimcoman
14th March 2009, 18:33
" especially if it was on nights and one of the Don's curries! "

Dont know about the night shift but I am up for the curry or a soochle , I will buy the plane ticket tomorrow !! "These are my Friends " to quote the man himself

I don't know how we stood it. Kate the handy"person" with her free rowies in the morning, then Don with his curry/Pope's Eye souchle/salads at lunchtime or evening meal for about 50p-1. God, it was tough...

(NB: "Pope's Eye" aka "round steak", I think.)

R651400
15th March 2009, 09:01
Do I take it the late big Don ran a canteen? Being the bairn at the station when I joined they were a great bunch of lads. Don stood out being well over six foot tall with a personality to go with it. The handy "person" was male but can't remember his name. Coincidentally at GCC the handy "person" was also a Don who walked everywhere with a silver-topped walking stick.

Mimcoman
15th March 2009, 18:14
Do I take it the late big Don ran a canteen? Being the bairn at the station when I joined they were a great bunch of lads. Don stood out being well over six foot tall with a personality to go with it. The handy "person" was male but can't remember his name. Coincidentally at GCC the handy "person" was also a Don who walked everywhere with a silver-topped walking stick.

Don (aka Big Dan) didn't run a canteen, but (out of the goodness of his heart - and I mean that) would ocasionally offer to bring in some comestibles and cook a meal for those staff on duty over lunch or tea time. The amount he charged (and he didn't always do so) in no way covered what it cost him. Sometimes, during the meal, he would get out his "moothie" (harmonica) and give us a few tunes. He and another operator called Eddie MacRae were part of a small band in their spare time (Don on accordian and Eddie Mac on electronic organ). At Christmas time, the station held a small party for the younger children of the operators/engineers and Don and Eddie would provide the music. Eddie Mac is still with us and going strong.

The handyman was probably Sandy Lawson. He retired about 1980 or just after, but was only too happy to came back and provide cover while Kate was on holiday for some years until his death. Kate is also no longer with us.

Are we getting old too, Spatz? :(

R651400
15th March 2009, 19:23
Nice to hear Eddie is still going strong. If you have any contact give him my best he may or not may remember but I gifted him my Japanese bug-key when I left. His brother Bob was also a GND RO. Sandy Lawson it was. Thanks for the mems.

IanSpiden
16th March 2009, 18:14
Are we getting old too, Spatz?

I guess so Bill, Where I work now just does not compare to the heyday of GND when we would all be working every frequency we had with QRY 5 on every channel and ships calling on 2182 and 2381 , the Hebrides console was the quiet one but it even got busy there on occasion , the repartee was great especially when Don was there I am not sure if Mr Foster ever knew half the things that went on in the evening after he had disappeared , I remember Bob Adams had to be careful when he got an early finish , so he was not seen going home as he lived across the street from him !!

Mimcoman
17th March 2009, 01:30
[QUOTE=R651400;301708]Nice to hear Eddie is still going strong. If you have any contact give him my best he may or not may remember but I gifted him my Japanese bug-key when I left. His brother Bob was also a GND RO. Sandy Lawson it was. Thanks for the mems.[/QUOTE

Thanks for reply, R651400:

I never knew Ed had a brother! But I know about your bug key. It was passed on, for some reason, to Ed Adams then Ron Crichton. When Ron left, I got it, but was never much use with it. Eventually Ed Adams asked for it back . I guess he still has it somewhere....I'll ask him at the next reunion, if we both make it.

R651400
17th March 2009, 06:35
Having a senior moment here Bill!
It wasn't Eddie McCrae but Eddie Adams I was referring to who took over my bug.
Eddie McCrae although we never met took over my slot at GND over forty years ago. Could Eddie or Bob Adams still be around? I think most of the crowd I knew have gone silent key.
Oic Ken Foster
RO1's Bob Fox, Jimmy Trail, Don Macpherson, Norman Murray, Ed Adams, Bob Adams, Archie Berry, Adam Reid, Alex Watters, Eddie Jones.
RO2 Yrs truly.
Handy Person Sandy Lawson
Archie Berry is still a listed amateur.
To think that GND rang to the sound of a bairns Xmas party, staffing must have increased a lot when GND became UK control.

IanSpiden
17th March 2009, 16:32
The staff increased to 23 when myself and Chris Turner arrived in 1982 , that was before the whole DOC northern and southern regions , the main reason was the traffic volume , the actual staffing figure for the station was around 30 which is why there was so much overtime , they could not fill the posts . It very quickly came down when BT decided the service as a whole was unprofitable and began sending out notices that all the R/O's above a certain number nationally were to make ready to move on other things , this never happened as natural wastage , promotions and the like took people away , when I joined the service I was told I had a year and a half , I was still there 15 years later !

R651400
19th March 2009, 13:13
I was there 15 years later ! Comparing the dog pound of GCC to the one big but sometimes not always agreeing happy family at GND and the ridiculous RO1/RO2 structure I think I could have happily ended my working life in the Mearns. Ken Foster did his best to dissuade me from moving, alas to no avail.

Mimcoman
19th March 2009, 13:17
Having a senior moment here Bill!
It wasn't Eddie McCrae but Eddie Adams I was referring to who took over my bug.
Eddie McCrae although we never met took over my slot at GND over forty years ago. Could Eddie or Bob Adams still be around? I think most of the crowd I knew have gone silent key.
Oic Ken Foster
RO1's Bob Fox, Jimmy Trail, Don Macpherson, Norman Murray, Ed Adams, Bob Adams, Archie Berry, Adam Reid, Alex Watters, Eddie Jones.
RO2 Yrs truly.
Handy Person Sandy Lawson
Archie Berry is still a listed amateur.
To think that GND rang to the sound of a bairns Xmas party, staffing must have increased a lot when GND became UK control.
Ken, Don, Norman, Alex and Sandy are all no longer with us. I don't know about Bob Fox or Jimmy Trail.

Ed Adam and Bob Adams are still around and were at the last reunion. To my callow and youthful eye, they still look much as they did the day I walked into GND in 1979, except the number of pints they can handle has dropped (well, so has mine of course...) Adam Reid is also very well and has built his own astronomical telescope, grinding the lenses etc, in conjunction with his son, who started up a oil industry tools business which going very well, I believe.

I haven't seen Archie since the station closure at the end of the UK coast radio stations in 2000, but others say he's dong fine. (Archie had the most distinguished and naturally authoritative manner of anyone I have ever met - could keep us all in place with a look. One day a couple of the younger lads were kicking a small football around the Ops Room during a quiet period. One miskick bounced on Archie's head - and it wasn't a glancing blow. Everyone immediately got their heads down behind the consoles and waited for the explosion, but all he said was "Boys!" and carried on working - as did we, feeling like we were back at primary school.)

R651400
19th March 2009, 19:41
Bill, If you have any contact with the aforesaid, please pass my very best.
Eddie Adams bailed me out on a couple of occasions with GND-Newtonhill taxi.
Most memorable Jan 65 when my trusty Lambretta wasn't capable of carrying wife and new-born bab through the ice and snow drifts.
Your depiction of Archie Berry? Unflappable and forever nature's diplomat!

ernhelenbarrett
18th April 2009, 06:49
To Mimcoman,
Have been reading your posts on GND with interest and noticed you mentioned Ron Crichton's name. Ron and I joined OTC in Sydney the same day and both of us started at VIS. I was at Rons wedding in Sydney then he was posted to DarwinRadio/VID and I was posted to Papua/New Guinea PortMoresbyRadio/VIG. Heard later that Ron went back to Scotland, he was from Aberdeen and I was from Edinburgh but thought he went to WickRadio/GKR. If you bump into him at all give him my best.
Thanks Ern Barrett

Mimcoman
18th April 2009, 19:59
To Mimcoman,
Have been reading your posts on GND with interest and noticed you mentioned Ron Crichton's name. Ron and I joined OTC in Sydney the same day and both of us started at VIS. I was at Rons wedding in Sydney then he was posted to DarwinRadio/VID and I was posted to Papua/New Guinea PortMoresbyRadio/VIG. Heard later that Ron went back to Scotland, he was from Aberdeen and I was from Edinburgh but thought he went to WickRadio/GKR. If you bump into him at all give him my best.
Thanks Ern Barrett
Hello, Ern:

I haven't seen Ron for some time now. In common with most of the operators, he had been at GKR first then got a move to GND. He left GND late eighties-early nineties and moved back to his place of birth in Culter, just outside Aberdeen - I think he managed to buy the house he was brought up in. He often mentioned his time in Oz. I remember him telling of a fellow operator who had a magnificent Vibroplex key that was kept in a red leather case. Ron tried a few dots and dashes one day and got a right b*ll*ck*ng for touching it - the story has stayed with me for some reason...

Rgds/Bill

R651400
19th April 2009, 07:29
Interesting comment on VIS. During all my time on the Aussie coast I never heard VIS use a hand key. I later learned that VIS had automatic keys that worked on the electric bell/buzzer principle.

Riccarton
22nd May 2009, 15:12
Noted in "The Herald", 21 May, in the paper's Commercial Section the site of Stonehaven Radio Station in being offered for sale in 2 Lots

IAINT
14th July 2009, 19:21
Just read in today's Press and Journal that the campaigners have been unsuccessful in buying the former coast radio station.There was nine offers for
the old building.

Regards
Iain T

BobDixon
15th July 2009, 07:56
Noted in "The Herald", 21 May, in the paper's Commercial Section the site of Stonehaven Radio Station in being offered for sale in 2 Lots

http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1306313?UserKey=

david.hopcroft
15th July 2009, 19:35
Bob

The BT Telereal man - Collinson - most definitely has the shareholders in mind and will squeeze every last penny he can from the sale. I know, I came across him when advising our local council about the remote Tx site at GKZ which they wanted for a Cemetary extension. They had to go to auction in the end and pay through the nose. And this for a landlocked field !

Dave
+

Larry Bennett
16th July 2009, 09:05
Not surprised - BT showed no interest at all in preserving anything of the Portishead site at Highbridge - and the proposed plaque/obelisk detailing the history of the radio station has yet to appear. Any visitor to 'Mulholland Park' will find no evidence whatsoever that a radio station once existed on the site.
The developers have used every square inch for housing, and even the 'protected' sections have mysteriously been bulldozed....

BT/Wimpey/Bellway obviously have no interest in the history of the site - when it comes to profit, nothing else matters.

A sad state of affairs.

BobDixon
16th July 2009, 14:28
Bob

The BT Telereal man - Collinson - most definitely has the shareholders in mind and will squeeze every last penny he can from the sale. I know, I came across him when advising our local council about the remote Tx site at GKZ which they wanted for a Cemetary extension. They had to go to auction in the end and pay through the nose. And this for a landlocked field !

+

Hi Dave,

This seems to be the norm with BT. At GNE the local community wanted to buy the buildings as they existed and use them for community purposes. But that was refused because the site apparently was not to be used for that sort of purpose nor for building on. Strange that there's three luxuty houses on the site nowadays !

And I note Larry's comments about the GKA site.

Maybe we need to start a campaign to have all the former coast station sites marked by some form of memorial - they are part of our maritime heritage after all (not sure if that means anything to anyone nowadays !)

Moulder
16th July 2009, 15:20
I wonder if it would have been any good getting a group together to purchase a few BT shares then fight the fight from within?

Steve.
(Thumb)

hawkey01
16th July 2009, 16:11
Larry et all,

I had a look at the old GKA site the other day. As is the norm with all these building sites now days they are sure crammed in. The only concession I can see is one of the house types is a Portishead! and of course Mulholland Park!
Have a look on their web site to see how crammed it is.

Neville - Hawkey01

david.hopcroft
16th July 2009, 17:01
There is one very smal memento of the 1927 GKZ that has been preserved.

Dave
+

david.hopcroft
17th July 2009, 19:37
Oh Yes ! And this one too !

Dave
+

Jim S
28th January 2010, 19:38
The local newspaper reports (27 Jan 2010) that Aberdeenshire Council has received a planning application to convert the former Stonehaven Radio Station - a C-Listed building into "offices and light industrial work".
The former radio station was sold by British Telecom in July 2009.

Graham P Powell
29th January 2010, 10:10
Larry and Hawkeye are quite correct. I live within about 100 yards of GKA and
the housing estate they are putting up is pretty ghastly. You would not even know the radio station had ever been there. I find it quite sad but lets face it, what has happened has occurred to many other great things we had in this country.........