The late John Taplin G3HRI Part 2 – by John Heys G3BDQ

A good friend and mentor of John was Roy Sutherland, G5RO. G5RO was regarded as a true old timer’ by the local amateur fraternity for he had been a member of the old pre-WW2 Club. Surprisingly he was still only in his late 5Os when he died in 1956 or 1957. He was the Government Inspector of Commercial Vehicles which included motor buses and trolley buses and also was a driving test examiner for prospective drivers of such vehicles. His-own vehicle was an ancient prewar Austin Seven, seemingly held together by string. This led him to have the nickname ‘Old nuts and bolts’.

the-late-john-taplin-g3hri-p2-1 When Roy died John G3HRI inherited all his radio gear. Apart from his receivers this was all homebrew, rough and ready but powerful and effective. The main HF transmitter used an 813 Tetrode as final amplifier and he could put out about 250 watts of RF. Roy G5RO had devoted most of his time in the shack to work on the then quite new 2 metre band.

Around the time of Roy’s death the Hastings Club gained lots of publicity by organising a Top Band Tour of the rare Welsh counties and the English county of Rutland. Myself and G3HRI were two of the amateurs involved in this together with Bill Thompson (Club Secretary G3MQT) and his son. At a stop in Central Wales the port table 3O ft mast went up in anticipation a little daylight operation but for some reason the halyard at the top of the mast became tangled in the pulley which prevented any antenna erection and the prospects of dropping the mast and starting all over again. John insisted that he could fix the pulley and quickly climbed to the top. .Soon he was down again, job done. He said such an event was not at all frightening for he could not see the ground or have any sense of height.

A second great interest or hobby followed by John was Ballroom Dancing. He became very proficient at this activity, and gained a Gold Medal for his prowess on the dance floor. For many years after his death there was a large framed photograph of him in Dancing Kit’ with a partner hanging on the wall of the present Clubroom at the Taplin Blind Centre. It vanished at least five or six years ago.

John’ sense of fun and Devilment was displayed when he deposited an ex-Government mechanical time-delay switch ( it could be set for times ahead up to 14 days ) working in conjunction with a battery and bell, all in a shoe box in the trench of a roadwork in Whitefriar’s Road. It was covered by the filling in and caused consternation amongst the residents nearby when the untraceable bell rang for a considerable time seemingly sounding from nowhere!

One of John’s frequent activities was reclaiming the wire which was found in old and unwanted transformers. The older transformers used regular transformer oil as a coolant, but the more recently made units employed a new chemical formula as a more effective coolant. Sadly John did not realise that this new liquid was a very active carcinogen which could penetrate human skin. John developed Bladder Cancer and sadly the condition could not be held or beaten. I saw him about a week before the end which came very quickly and we nattered on at length about ‘The old days’. John remained cheerful right to the end. For many years he had inherited the role of Net Controller’ on the old 160 metre Sunday morning get together and when he had gone we all missed him deeply and also missed the loud ticking of his shack clock.

John married not long before his death but I cannot say that I can remember much about the lady whom l only met once or twice.. What happened to all thatradio gear and the Museum you may ask? I am not prepared to involve Vital Spark, The Club and myself in any possible litigation so I cannot answer the question. Should you be in my company in the future, just on a ‘ one to one’  basis I could – perhaps enlighten you.

John Heys G3BDQ – from Vital Spark May 2011.

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G3MGQ’s Month on the Air

Prepared by the clubs RSGB trainer, G3MGQ, you will find the latest DX contests including the ones to shoot for as well as ones to give a wide berth. Why not download the latest edition of Month on the Air and enjoy your DX just that little bit more.

Become a member of HERC

Join the Hastings Electronics and Radio Club.

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Vital Spark Archive

Vital Spark newsletter articles

Take a look through a large selection of articles written by club members over the years which have been published in the monthly Vital Spark newsletter .

Used Ham Radio Equipment

View HERC's Used Ham Radio Equipment for sale list..

Every four weeks, HERC's Used Ham Radio Equipment for sale list is updated on the site. Bookmark the gear for sale page to re-visit easily and take advantage of the used equipment on sale through the club.

Club Photographs

HERC Image Galleries.

Here is the official HERC photograph archive which contains multiple image galleries spanning several decades since the club was formed many years ago. Enjoy the images!

UK Amateur Radio Repeaters

UK repeaters

Click button above for full list, or a local repeater callsign below for info.

GB3EB 2m in Uckfield- Active
MB6EB 2m DStar Node in Eastbourne - Active
MB6RY Wires-X DigiGate in Broad Oak - Active
GB3HE 70cm in Hastings - Active
GB7HE 70cm DStar in Hastings - Coming soon
GB3ZX 70cm in Eastbourne - Low Power
GB3JT 23cm ATV in Hastings - NoV cleared
GB7RY 70cm X-Wires Repeater Rye - Active
GB7ES Eastbourne - DSTAR Rpt. - Active
GB3ES 2m in Hastings - Active

For a complete list of repeaters, head over to
the UK Amateur Radio repeaters list.

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.

HERC members sites

Sigord - Gordon Sweet
Hastings Radio Comms - Andrew Haas-Campbell
Hoofbags - Liz Costa