Frank in 1940 ..... at Queen's Road Primary School, aged 10 years.
From 1935 until the day he left in 1946 Frank remembers that for the most time he was totally bored with the proceedings. At primary school almost the only
distraction was the nose of a certain Miss Prowse which had an interesting twitch. Frank was in awe of Miss Prowse for it was she who told him that 'she would make him smile
on the other side of his face'. "That must be some trick !", Frank mused, admiringly.
G3CNM was still seven years away.
The American Radio Relay League
International Short Wave League
|Photo left: Frank in Auckland, New Zealand as 2nd R/O aboard the RMS Athenic. En route the ship called in at Pitcairn Island where Frank was welcomed by VR6AA, Nelson Dyett and VR6AY, Andrew Young. Andrew was Pitcairn's first radio amateur. He was commemorated in 1996 by the issue of a postage stamp (photo right), one of a series which noted the contribution which amateur radio had made over the years to the welfare of the island. Whilst in New Zealand Frank operated G3CNM/ZL1 from Auckland Harbour and met many local amateurs at the Auckland club including ZL1HD.
|It had to happen ! What else can a radio amateur do when he finds himself with a 7mhz crystal in his pocket and a Canadian Marconi short wave marine transmitter simply begging to be tuned up on 40 metres?
|MN2FA/MM came alive around 1950 for a brief period. Activity was on 40m cw and Frank can remember working the late G6QB - editor of the column 'DX Commentary' in the Short Wave Magazine.
The Island of Tubuai, South Pacific
Photo: Lawrence A Miller
|On one trip Frank put a message in a sealed bottle and dropped this in the Pacific. In less than 15 months the bottle travelled about 3,500 miles from just off the Galapagos Islands to the island of Tubuai in the Austral Group, Society Islands. There the bottle was found and taken to a Harry J Klein who had given up civilisation to live on Tubuai 'with his native wives'. He kept a few pigs and grew a few crops and that was about all. Frank always regrets not having kept up the correspondence with this man and his family.
Not much else of great interest happened during the 50-odd years that Frank has been licensed, although
it is prudent to draw a veil over the events surrounding Frank's 'declaration of war' against the NATO alliance in a sort of 'test' cw message
which went catastrophically wrong (for Frank), or the hydrogen-filled balloon which broke loose trailing 300ft of antenna wire.
|More recently, with Frank 'well-retired', activity is mainly on 40-metres CW. The retirement QTH is a small bungalow which, at 700ft asl, overlooks Liverpool Bay, The Irish Sea and much of Lancashire. This provides an uninterupted view to the horizon at 34 miles from about 280 degs through north to 080 degs for the simple vertical antenna. The antenna sits atop a good-sized earth mat and has interchangeable top 'whips' for 40m and 80m. By far the most activity takes place on 40m cw.
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Sunrise over Gorsedd village.
Local houses and St Pauls Church
are silhouetted early on a bright spring morning