The Story Behind The Card Series 2 No. 5 1936, An interesting year

1936 is very memorable to me for several reasons. King George V died and we had his eldest son as King until December 10th when his brother George ascended the Throne. I was a keen 13 year old SWL, had just become able to read Morse code call signs and was just a little besotted with DX on the 20 metre band. The RSGB was discovered when I was able to buy a copy of the ‘T & R Bulletin’ at the bookstall on Torquay station platform. Coincidentally the 20 odd year old son of our Hotel Proprietor was involved with the amateur radio hobby, for one evening I witnessed him doing a deal in the entrance lobby when be bought a McElroy Bug Key.

interestingyear-qsl-card-g3bdqThis QSL card has a photo taken at the 1936 Radiolympia and shows the RSGB Stand. John Clarricoats (G6CL) is shown with the characteristic tilt of the head to be seen in all of my photos of him. The redoubtable Miss May Gadsden is the centre figure within the trio of ladies. At that time ‘Clarry’, G6CL was the Society’s Secretary / Editor and he and May were its only paid employees.

In 1936 Manchester too had its own big Radio Exhibition, held I think in the Free Trade Hall, and together with my mother and a school friend I spent most of one Saturday there. Manchester is only a 20 mile train journey from Macclesfield where I then lived, The big things in domestic radios that year were sets operated on the mains ‘Magic Eye’ tuning and a Short Wave Band. Valves had started to have a new shape with the new ‘head and shoulders’ glass envelopes. Metal  valves including the early beam tetrodes (6LG, 6V6 etc.) were being imported from the USA.

The Manchester Amateur Radio Club had a small display area and I was astonished to notice that all the ‘home-brew’ receivers displayed were the TRF (‘straight’ sets not superhets) variety with baseboards and non-metal ebonite front panels. To eliminate hand capacity effects some of the receivers used extension rods between the front panel dials and the tuning capacitors, Eddystone six pin plug-in coils were in evidence together with a wide variety of larger diameter coil formers. My home built receiver employed a steel chassis and aluminum front panel.

By 1936 home constructed (often from kits) broadcast receivers were almost extinct and in my home town there were three or four short-lived shops selling all manner of components that were no longer needed for the construction of home made receivers. Complicated wave change switches, coils,  audio transformers, speakers and filament potentiometers abounded.

These ‘bits and bobs’ all had terminal connections with screw-down nuts for the home built sets rarely had soldered connections.

In 1936 my home town did not have a single radio amateur transmitter, but by scanning the big International CallBook  (American) I spotted G2HB who lived about 5 miles out of town. I sent him a letter and soon I was aboard a bus on my way to actually visit a real amateur’s shack.

By John Heys G3BDQ – Vital Spark September 2012.

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G3MGQ’s Month on the Air

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Used Ham Radio Equipment

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UK Amateur Radio Repeaters

UK repeaters

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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

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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.

HERC members sites

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