I’m a radio junkie – not surprising for a broadcast journalist and former BBC Local Radio editor, but my interest in radio began with what many call Ham Radio although the UK hobbyists prefer to call it Amateur Radio. I still have my call sign, G4VRU, which was secured through a series of exams which included tests in morse code and the fine detail of the GPO licensing laws as well as technical tests.
Last week I received an invitation to renew my membership of the Radio Society of Great Britain. My membership probably lapsed in the early 1980s so my knowledge of the hobby is at least 25 years out of date.
The monthly “organ” of the society is Radio Communication or RadCom as it is affectionately known. I would be sent free copies for three months if I revived my membership. So I did and I’ve just received my first copy. There are some things that never die. Opening it’s pages the look and feel of the pages is familiar – even if the content has been driven into the digital age.
To my amazement some of the old contributors are still writing. One in particular. Pat Hawker, callsign G3VA. I’ll simply say that he’s not young, but he is still writing the Technical Topics pages. His column was there when I read my first copy of the magazine. What a trouper! The effect on me is similar to steam trains and the Authorised Version of the Bible. Deep emotions and memories are revived by the smell of steam, the crackle of India paper and the sight of a propagation chart.
So should I indulge the old hobby again or just settle for reading about it?