The story behind the card #36 G6CL Clarry

John Clarricoats, who was licensed G6CL in May 1926, could have been described as “Mr RSGB” during his 37 years of service with the Society. Everyone, save perhaps his family, called him Clarry, although I do have a QSL card that he sent to G6OM in 1946 which is signed ‘Jack.’

Clarry worked as a senior sound engineer with the first UK broadcast station 2LO and was responsible for the microphone placings and testing for that station’s first broadcast of an opera, ‘The Magic Flute’ at Covent Garden in early 1923. Soon after obtaining his callsign Clarry became very involved with the very young RSGB, becoming a member of the Council and working on various committees. He acted as Honorary Secretary during 1926 and assumed that title permanently on January 1st 1930. Miss May Gadson was appointed Assistant Secretary in December 1929 and for the next three years was the only paid member of the RSGB staff.

The Society Office was located at 53 Victoria Street, London, where it occupied three rooms of an office block, and remained there until July 1943 when it moved to cramped accommodation on the top floor of New Ruskin House in Little Russell Street near the British Museum. The Society stayed there until the late 1960s when it moved to offices in Doughty Street. I still remember climbing the many ill-lit stairs to Clarry’s office at Ruskin House.  Clarry had a strong, some say overbearing , personality and was something of a workaholic, running the Society, attending Council and other meetings, some many miles from London. Overseas trips to attend International IARU conferences were also on Clarry’s itinerary. He was for many years Honorary Editor of the monthly T&R Bulletin.

In January 1955 G6CL was in the New Year Honours List and was appointed an OBE. He had done a great deal for the Society and his country though the War years and kept the RSGB alive in those dark and dangerous times.

For many years Clarry was Councillor then Alderman and eventually Mayor of Southgate Borough Council.  The year before he had completed 25 years as Hon. Secretary and was appointed the RSGB’s General Secretary. He continued in office until his official retirement in December 1963. I was fortunate to be present at the Special General Meeting on December 19th where as acknowledgement of his 37 years service he ws presented with a KW2000 transceiver and other gifts including his old office chair and a cheque for £456, a considerable sum forty years ago. Miss May Gadson, (the prototype ‘Iron Lady’) and Clarry’s ‘number two’ retired on December 31st 1964 after 30 years with the Society. Bye the way, she had a G3 brother who lived on Belle Hill, Bexhill for many years.

Clarry’s crowded diary somehow still left him time to operate his home station. He was keen on QRP and before WWII never ran more than 10 watts input with many of his contacts made when running under 1 watt. During most RSGB contests, HF and VHF, he came on for a few minutes to give away a few points and I often had CW contacts with him. He is pictured in numerous photographs taken right through his long time with the Society and invariably he can be seen standing with his head inclined towards his right shoulder. He presents an unmistakable photographic image.

John Heys G3BDQ – October 2006.

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Popular pages

Get your amateur radio licence - Find out more about amateur radio licence training.
Month on the Air - G3MGQ's popular monthly DX contest/expedition list.
Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup - The clubs annual operating event in the memory of Wilf Gaye M0GYE.
St. Richard's College Buildathon/STEM/ARISS - HERC attends St. Richard's Catholic College for their various events surrounding the Tim Peake ARISS contact.
G3BDQ - John Hey's Rare QSL Cards.
Sussex Electronics Radio Fair - SERF Sussex Electronics Radio Fair 2016.
Vital Spark - A selection of articles re-published from the Vital Spark.
RSGB News - Find out how to get RSGB news on your mobile or PC.
Experimenters Corner - A selection of Proteus projects by Bob Gornal (G7DME)
BBADL - Bath Based Distance Learning Course.
Conquest Hospital Radio - Presented by HERC member Antony (G4CUS).
Radio Rallies 2016 - An up to date list of radio rallies scheduled for 2016.
Club QSL Cards - A selection of QSL cards the club has received over the years.
Other Newsletters - Excellent newsletters and magazines from other clubs.
TX Factor episodes - Take a look at the TX Factors YouTube videos.
John Taplin - A bio of the late John Taplin.

Amateur Radio Resources

Other Radio Clubs & RAYNET

BSARS - Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society

RAYNET - The Hastings and Rother RAYNET Group.

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Sigord - Gordon Sweet
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