Young at Heart October 12th, 2013
It is always interesting to talk with hams like myself who have held an amateur radio licence for over fifty years. I have had several such conversations recently. I can still remember sitting my City and Guilds exam in a college in Dagenham and opening up the paper to see what the questions were. It was held in the evening and my father drove me to the college and then had to collect me later. It’s all a bit hazy as to the preparation I made for the exam. I remember sitting on the train going to work just after my sixteenth birthday and studying several books on radio. It was one of the first times that I remember enjoying what I was studying!
I know that there were was a question on interference and I also remember having to draw a circuit diagram but of what I have no recollection. I also remember my mum telephoning me to let me know that I had passed. It was then straight on to the Post Office in London to book my Morse test at the London location near where I was working. I had taught myself CW simply by listening to code on the radio and using a Morse buzzer to practice my sending. I got a very early appointment for the test and later found that G3OJZ (to be ) was also in the romm with me. We both passed.
With both pass slips it was then just a case of going up to the Post Office in London again to collect a call sign. I don’t;t remember making an appointment. I think that I just walked into this office where a lady opened an exercise book and said i could choose any call sign on the page. And that was it. I had my call and was on the air that night.
Equipment was a lot different in those days and what really prompted this rambling was that today I came across an old photograph of myself back in Dagenham, near where I took the exam. The photo shows me in white shirt operating a special event station. The event was the Dagenham Town Show, which was held annually. The photo would have been taken some time in 1960. I can’t remember the call sign but I seem to remember a couple of calls that may have been there, namely G3MVV and G3MML But it is too long ago to be sure, though I am certain that at least one of these gentlemen were there.
I had a head of hair then and was a lot slimmer than I am now. But my enthusiasm has not really wained and I don;t think it ever will. Peter G3OJV.