The Tales of Flashover House – Man from the Council

The early morning caller to Flashover House arrived unannounced. As a matter of fact, the first indication the residents had that they were being visited was a scraping noise, a muttered oath, and the appearance of a human head through the cat-flap.

Two of the more agile hams made their way round to the front porch, grabbed one leg each and started to heave. This produced loud shrieks from the visitor, and it wasn’t until Matron had the foresight to ease his ears back through the cat-flap with a shoe-horn that he became free.

Rees Morgan hammered the dents out of the man’s bowler hat recovered his brief-case from the interior of a thorn bush, and escorted him to the lounge. After sampling the restorative powers of luke-warm cocoa, the visitor spoke for the first time. “Who the hell put that soddin’ trip wire across the garden path!?” There was a sharp intake of breath from the assembled hams. They appreciated that the man had just undergone a rather nasty experience, but they considered that to describe Weasel’s 80 metre radial earthing system as a trip wire showed a certain lack of reverence. But worse was to follow. The visitor pushed aside his cup, opened his brief-case, and got straight down to business.

“I have brought along some specimen letters of complaint received by the Council regarding the somewhat untidy appearance of these premises, particularly the excessive use of external wiring. Perhaps you would care to peruse them.” He spread the correspondence over the table and the hams dipped in. The words ‘disgraceful’ and ‘eyesore’ were frequently used and the whole thing made very depressing reading. The mildest remarks were from the Twittering sisters of ‘Peek-a-boo cottage’ who described the aerials as ‘not very nice’ and the most scathing from Major General Bulstrode-Bigot of Floggem Hall who likened Flashover House to an Edwardian tram depot.

“So you see” said the man from the Council, gathering up his papers and preparing to leave. “Something must be done. If you carry on like this, it is only a matter of time until you garrotte the postman. I will come back in a couple of weeks to see what you propose to do.”

Matron escorted the man to the gate, and when she returned she found the place in turmoil, and the residents were, once more, looking to G2 for guidance. They did not look in vain. He delivered his little lecture. “In this day and age” he said “Unbelievable as it may seem to most of us, there are some people in this world who do not instantly rejoice at the sight of a G5RV dangling from an old clothes-prop, so we will have to forgo our dipoles and long wires and take the crafty way out – the vertical disguised as a flag-pole.” “Hang on a minute laddie” said Angus “That will only give us one antenna among the lot of us.” “Not so” said G2 “We will have a row of ten flag¬poles to cover all the bands, each with its own national flag, just like the United Nations. We will give our neighbours a display of international friendship such as they never dreamed of. I know a man who can fix us up with ten scaffold poles. Do we go?”

There was no need to ask. The ancient ones were excited schoolboys again, and the new licensee Matron was feeling the years roll away. “Right then,” said G2 “I want you to go round the junk shops and boot fairs, ask people to look in their attics and see what flags you can come up with.” The flags came rolling in and even some of the complaining neighbours offered their help. The Twittering sisters raked out the Temperance Banner of the Frinton-on-Sea Young Ladies College and Major General Bulstrode-Bigot, who didn’t really know what was happening, offered to donate his snapshots of the Aldershot Glass-house. Both of these offers were kindly declined..

There was no shortage of Union Jacks, Stars and Stripes, and European flags but some were difficult to identify. Rees Morgan was sent to the reference library to sort these out, and he did pretty well, although Upper Silesia had him guessing for a while.

The plan was for them to list all the special days of the countries concerned and have a little ceremony of raising and lowering flags on the appropriate dates. In this way they were able to commemorate many of the famous events in history, such as the relief of Ladysmith, the opening of the Panama Canal, and the storming of the Bastille. There was, however one flag which defied all the research. They had an idea that G2 knew what it was, but even years later they were never going to hear from his lips that every year, on the first of April, he paraded them, bare-headed, in the rain, to pay silent homage to the house-flag of the Murco Petroleum Company!  That was G2s own private little joke.

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UK repeaters

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GB3EB 2m in Uckfield- Active
MB6EB 2m DStar Node in Eastbourne - 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

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