10 Years on and 90 Years on - Ships Nostalgia

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10 Years on and 90 Years on

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Old 22nd April 2010, 22:22
BobDixon's Avatar
BobDixon BobDixon is offline  
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Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1972 - 2000
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10 Years on and 90 Years on

GKA closed ten years ago at 1200z on Sunday 30th April 2000.

In commemoration of that event, from 30th April 2010 until 27 May 2010, the callsign GB10GKA will be aired on the Amateur bands. It will be manned exclusively by ex-GKA staff and will predominantly be on HF w/t - however some VHF 2m coverage may be possible from the old station site.

Hours of operation will be dependent on individual operator's free time. However, it is intended that the callsign will be active extensively throughout the licenced period.

Operations will be on all HF bands from the following stations:-
  • G3YEC Rick 30 April until 6 May QTH near Colchester, Essex, England
  • G3ZRJ Tony 7 May until 13 May QTH near Hereford, Herefordshire,England
  • GW3UOF Mike 14 May until 20 May QTH near Treorchy, Mid Glamorgan, Wales
  • G3TJE/G4HLN Pete/Larry 21 May until 27 May QTH Nr Burnham on Sea, Somerset,England.
Special Anniversary QSL cards will be produced to mark this historic event, eQSL will also be used. Certificates for contacting GB10GKA on more than 4 HF bands will be available via soft copy thus at no cost to the winners. If you work the callsign on more than 4 bands please contact G3ZRJ as shown below so that your certificate can be sent to you via email.

Point of contact: Tony Roskilly G3ZRJ [email protected]

90 Years under GPO flag
This year also marks 90 years since the Admiralty radio stations at Wick, Portpatrick and Grimsby were transferred to the control of the General Post Office.

Prior to GPO control, Portpatrick had been operated on part-time hours - something which was claimed to have contributed to loss of life at sea when, in October 1921, in thick fog the American vessel West Camok rammed the Laird Lines passenger ship Rowan. Badly damaged, the Rowan sent an SOS. The admiralty-run radio station at Portpatrick was off watch that day but several other ships responded to the SOS. One of these, the Clan Malcolm, being without the aid of radar in those days, also collided with the Rowan causing her to sink rapidly. 785 passengers were rescued by other vessels but 36 died. Alerting the Portpatrick Lifeboat required a telephone call which had to be routed via Liverpool and Glasgow - the consequential delay resulting in nothing to be found by the time the lifeboat arrived on the scene.

Wick Radio came under GPO control on 25th April 1920. A celebration of the station's diamond jubilee under GPO/BT control was held at Wick in 1980 - a report about this event was published in BT International's house magazine "Hello World" and is attached to this posting.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 12:07
Larry Bennett's Avatar
Larry Bennett Larry Bennett is offline  
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Organisation: Merchant Navy
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Active: 1976 - Present
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Further to Bob's info about GB10GKA, I am currently trying to obtain permission to operate between May 21-27 from the housing development on the old GKA site at Highbridge. Initial response was encouraging but still awaiting a formal authorisation.

Will confirm once known.

Larry G4HLN
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Old 24th April 2010, 19:37
5TT 5TT is offline  
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Fantastic, 4+ H/F bands is going to be a challenge from this location but I'll surely give it a try.

QRY1 this time please or I'll trump them with an OBS :-)

= Adrian ZS1TTZ/M0GNC +
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Old 26th April 2010, 09:37
Graham P Powell Graham P Powell is offline  
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Posts: 367
Larry, I'll try and come down and see if I can still read the morse. Not got an amateur licence I'm afraid. See you Friday.
All the best
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