THE CATSWHISKER – FEBRUARY 2000

Hello again all readers, and welcome to another Catswhisker.

We’ve actually started to connect with people around the world, including Australia. We enjoy playing casino games with our Australian friends at this online casino Australia.

A club magazine that popped through the door the other day was from Bournemouth RS (their annual sale is on March 19th). BRS meet every other week, with an average attendance of about 19 members out of 54.

Yeovil ARC, much the same size, meet weekly, also with a normal turnout of about 20. Portland ARC is a bit bigger than SDRS but they have a problem – no regular QTH, so G1NLU’s place is used as a drop-in centre.

As for SDRS, our normal attendance represents about 60% of the membership which by comparison is most acceptable (Tho’ 100% is even better!).

Our friends in Yeovil claim that their success is due to the fact that they meet weekly. Bournemouth is two-weekly, we are monthly. Yeovil has more members of course, also – a big plus – a regular place for meeting.

The Bournemouth newsletter says, Amateur Radio is a pastime for the middle aged plus (questionable, though clubs do need more youngsters) so clearly it will not be possible for all Amateurs to participate in club events because they can’t always make it out for an evening.

As for ourselves, the same holds. It would be nice to see more members and guests but if you can’t make it be assured you are always in our thoughts.

John, M0BQO

MEETINGS

February 1st – The Quiz that had to be held over from January. This has now become established as an appropriate and friendly way to kick off a New Year on a cold, dark January night. Unfortunately, due to the raging flu bug there were too few at the meeting to go ahead, so it was decided to put the quiz back for a month. (Besides which I had toiled too long and hard dreaming up ninety-six questions about Radcom, Practical Wireless, Dorset and South to see my sweetness wasted in the desert sand!

(By the way, if any of our friends would like me to do it for them, just say so.)

March 7th – (TBA) – Computer, weather and satellites?

April 4th – SDRS Annual General Meeting.

OTHER EVENTS

Harwell Amateur Radio Society hold their Radio And Computing Rally on Sunday February 6th. The site is between Newbury and Oxford. For more details please phone me (M0BQO).

Bournemouth Radio Society have their annual sale at Kinson Community Centre on Sunday 19th March.

Dedicated to Dolly, Tony and Jan.

I write with a heavy heart to inform you that at 8.50 pm (2050 UTC) Saturday 14th January 2000, Wireless Communication in general and the South Dorset Radio Society in particular lost one of its most endearing operators – Bill Dean., G0NRQ became a silent key.

I first heard Bill’s voice late one evening in 1986. I had a small cheap two-channel hand held CB with a rod aerial, I was on my own and feeling rather lonely as my wife was in hospital expecting our first child, his voice was full and clear. We didn’t meet until August 1997 carnival day. I was on a float when a voice said, ‘Mike, it’s Bill’. I looked down and there was this chap, with an enormous camera round his neck (another hobby he succeeded at), this chap must be important, from the Echo maybe. I did not realise what effect this slightly balding, smiling – no, grinning person hopping from foot to foot would have on my life. ‘It’s Radio Bill’, he said. That same year I joined the South Dorset Radio Society, Ken G3SDO took me across to the Pennsylvania Castle Hotel; Bill was there, the grin shone across the room from the chap who John GU1DJN was later to call the little brown berry. ‘You’ve got to get your licence Mike’ he said encouragingly.

1988, Nothe Fort, a small room just below the battlements to the left of the lookout room, Special Event Station, GB0WNF. This was the first time I witnessed the G1SYE special event operating technique: the knowledge, the ability to communicate came in an amusing and often humorous way, made Bill so very much in demand. ‘They’re taking the aerials down this is —-Bill on the mic closing down I got to go now’. Over the years how many times we had to prise him away from the mic I don’t know!

In 1989 I decided to learn Morse Code, and needed a friend to practice with over the air on 2 metres, Bill was only too willing to be that friend; over the next 10 months Dits and Dahs flew back and forth over 2 metres night after night, with George G4DLE now G3AVV keeping a watchful ear! It was then our friendship turned to a special understanding, the sort where you don’t have to say anything, you can look at each other across a room and just know!

G1SYE became G0NRQ. I was waiting outside the Morse Test centre in Dorchester when Bill came out. We looked at each other, a few moments later one of the examiners came out, ‘You still here’, he turned inwards again and looking back over his shoulder, said with a twinkle in his eye, ‘We won?t need to see you here again!’ Of course he might have meant the test centre was going to move. Hi Hi! I thought Bill was going to explode, grinning from ear to ear off to the Pub for a quick half of Eldridge Popes Green Top.

John GU1JDN was not as lucky, and although Bill suffered a heart attack in 1990 he was determined that John would also become a G0. Over the next year Bill and John Ditted and Dahed, – the joy those two friends must have felt when John due to Bill?s determination and John ?s own hard work became GU0SUU! He was always helping someone, Jim next door, running someone here, collecting someone from there.

Shortly after Bill’s operation for a dodgy appendix I was talking to Roy, Ever Ready battery rep: ‘Bill Dean’ Oh! Yes I know Bill, you mean The Mayor of Chickerell! And from that day on he was our Mayor of Chickerell.

In 1993 preparations for the D-Day Special Event Station from the Nothe Fort, put on by SDRS, organised by Geoff G0EVW, were being discussed by us whilst talking to Jack KA4NCE, when a voice known to us all now as Doug KA8APD called in an said ‘Is that Weymouth England’ does anybody know Heather? Could you give her a ring please and say ‘Hi from Doug’? Over the ensuing years the Mayor as Doug called him and Doug himself became buddies.

The Nothe Fort D-Day Special Event Station was a superb communication success, due to many and in particular Bill. The Mayor was in his element, at close down each night he had to be prised away from the mic – ‘Sorry, got to go now they’re turning me off’ and so it went on! VE Day, VJ Day, Marconi International Field Day, Charlestown Social Club, it was Bill who arranged that and ran the station. At Weymouth’s Carnival it was always, ‘Come on Bill you’re going to have to stop transmitting, we want to take the aerials down’.

To me he meant someone I could pop in on at any time unannounced, and after a chat, a cuppa and a Dolly cake I always left feeling a lot better.

Someone I could call on the phone, he was always ready for a chat, when I hung up my heart was always lighter. If you needed advice, or a hand, or just a friend to talk to Bill was the one. If you knew him you were lucky, I was one of those.

Remember his words.

This is Gee Zero NRQ – November, Romeo, Quebec, Transmitting from the village of Chick-err-ell in the Naples of England, I’ve got to go now I’m wanted.’ ‘Bye Bill!’

Mike Carter, G0NEV

We were all deeply saddened by the death of G0NRQ. There have been many tributes orally, and friends are sending in their memories and anecdotes. If you would like to do so, there should be more next month.

From President of SDRS, Bill Burden, G3EAT come two memories:

The first was whilst clearing up after the last Marconi Day. By accident I locked my car keys in the boot and Bill being the sort of Chap he was, said no problem. I will run you home to get your spare set, which he did, this meant a return trip to Weymouth before he was able to leave for His own home.

And a more recent one was on January 3rd when although He could barely speak, rang me to let Me know that he would not be at the meeting on the 4th and to tell me the arrangements he had made about the hall for the meeting, sadly that was the last time I spoke to him.

Two memories which typify Bill, always willing to help and never letting anyone down.

WANTED

John Newman, G0PGT, is looking for a 2-metre handie, a Yaesu FT208. Please contact him (QTHR) if you can help.