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Old Timers of the Isle of Man

by MD0MDI
Old Timer's of the Isle of Man

Old Timer's of Isle of Man Amateur Radio Society (IOMARS)

I have been asked by members of the Island Radio Club here on the Isle of Man to put together a page such as the one that I have done for the scrapbook of Alec Anderson (GD3HQR), but for all the old operators living and past on that lived and operated on and around the Island over the years.

Please keep calling back as this will be updated as and when I get photos.

Local Hams

Below is a page from the 1983 RSGB Call book that shows the few members that we had active back then, sadly there are not many of these left today, though you cannot help wonder how many actual ‘Active’ members there are now compared to then????

RSGB Callbook 1983

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Most amateurs here are aware that I purchased Douglas’s old Versatower 120ft tower from him back in the summer of 2011, the reason the lucky git didn’t need it was that he had found a much better way to get his SteppIR off the ground, and after seeing this in action, I don’t blame him, it certainly makes it easy to get the beam out of the bad winds that we can get here.

Douglas had been what I can only say is the best of friends I have met in a long while, He has some wonderful stories and his work ethics are as OCD as mine, basically a ‘REALLY’ good friend.

Douglas Dodd (GD3RFK) and his new Antenna Mast
Douglas Dodd (GD3RFK) and his new Antenna Mast

Jurby Days

Back I the day many event were put on, and normally at any excuse possible as well, these were either organized through the Isle of Man Amateur Radio Society (IOMARS) or through separate members of other organizations such as RAFARS (Royal Air Force Amateur Radio Society), etc. 

John Melling (GD4MNS) taking in the sun at Jurby Day from 1985.
John Melling (GD4MNS) taking in the sun at Jurby Day from 1985.
Mike Jones (GD4WBY) back in the days
Mike Jones (GD4WBY) back in the days

This photo dates back to either 1985 when Mike had ‘Black Hair’, personally I think he die’ d it, I don’t think he has ever had ‘Black’ hair, mind you we cannot tell from this photo whether he had his hairy legs with him.

John Melling (GD4MNS) taking in the sun at Jurby Day from 1985.
John Melling (GD4MNS) taking in the sun at Jurby Day from 1985.
RAFARS logbook from 1990
RAFARS logbook from 1990
Here is a copy of the RAFARS Logbook from when the locals over here operated at RAF Jurby, this one dated back to 1990.
RAFARS Flag flying off the Mast at Jurby Day.
RAFARS Flag flying off the Mast at Jurby Day.
Here is a copy of the RAFARS Logbook from when the locals over here operated at RAF Jurby, this one dated back to 1988, and you can see that the first operator of the day was Mike Jones (GD4WBY), who then handed the reigns over to Mike Dunning (GD0HYM) at 13:53, it seems that there wasn’t a lack of help around in them days…
RAFARS logbook from 1988
RAFARS logbook from 1988

Another RAFARS Logbook taken from Jurby Day here in the Isle of Man, this time from 1989.

RAFARS Logbook from 1989.
RAFARS Logbook from 1989.
GD4RAF RAFARS Jurby Day QSL Card from 1989
GD4RAF RAFARS Jurby Day QSL Card from 1989
Mike Jones operating at the old Jurby RAF Base in 1985.
Mike Jones operating at the old Jurby RAF Base in 1985.
GB50RAF QSL Card
GB50RAF QSL Card
Field Day Shack used for RAFARS Event at Jurby
Field Day Shack used for RAFARS Event at Jurby
RAFARS Flag flying at Jurby Airfield for the RAFARS Field Day
The RAFARS Tent at Jurby
The RAFARS Tent at Jurby
An 'Unknown Operator' Playing with the antenna at Jurby for the RAFARS Activation.
An 'Unknown Operator' Playing with the antenna at Jurby for the RAFARS Activation.
GT4RAF QSL Card
GT4RAF QSL Card

Calf of Man DXpedition of 1988

This was when the local IOMARS put on a small DXpedition to the Calf of Man, and although the small Island just sits off the coastline of the Isle of Man, it seems strange that this is not a more normal occurrence.

Notice also in them days that the whole family got involved, both XYL’s and children were dragged along for a fun weekend!

IOMARS waiting to travel to the Calf of Man
IOMARS waiting to travel to the Calf of Man

The guy standing on the boat itself is Arthur Birchenough, he was a farmer at Glen Tramman, Lazayre.

On the far left of the shot is a very young Simon Brown (HB9DRV) better known as the brains behind Ham Radio Deluxe.

Leaving Port Erin for the Calf of Man
Leaving Port Erin for the Calf of Man

Leaving Port Erin with the Ocean Youth Club’s ketch the ‘Francis Drake’ moored in the harbor, just as a useless bit of info, I’ve actually sailed on this one!

 

The team making there way to the Island.

IOMARS Team on the second boat travelling to the Calf of Man
IOMARS Team on the second boat travelling to the Calf of Man

Arriving at the Calf of Man with good old Arthur Sinclair (GD3TNS) doing the Health and Safety job for the IOMARS and making sure that the team is not eaten by Sharks!

Arthur Sinclair (GD3TNS) Standing at the edge of the boat as it enters the harbor on the Calf of Man.
Arthur Sinclair (GD3TNS) Standing at the edge of the boat as it enters the harbor on the Calf of Man.

Making the most of the good weather and taking a walk to the far side of the Calf of Man.

IOMARS Calf of Man DXpedition
IOMARS Calf of Man DXpedition
Colin Matthewman (GD4FWQ), Hayden Glaister (GD0BCN), and Mary (Mike Jones XYL) walking over the Calf of Man.
Colin Matthewman (GD4FWQ), Hayden Glaister (GD0BCN), and Mary (Mike Jones XYL) walking over the Calf of Man.

Resting before all the hard work starts, and picking straws to see who’s climbing up the outside of that Lighthouse!

All at rest on the Calf of Man
All at rest on the Calf of Man
Getting ready to put up some wires! Anyone see a useful tower we can use????
Getting ready to put up some wires! Anyone see a useful tower we can use????

There seems to be a lot of standing around drinking and relaxing?….

….while the rest of the team do all the work!

Brian Brough (GD4PTV) and David Corlett (GD1GHK) playing with wires on the Calf of Man.
Brian Brough (GD4PTV) and David Corlett (GD1GHK) playing with wires on the Calf of Man.

Its nice that there are loads of buildings around to mount a wire up, the team were given permission to use the lighthouses to put wires up, which made life a little easy for this DXpedition.

The Calf of Man IOMARS DXpedition
The Calf of Man IOMARS DXpedition
One of the many Lighthouses on the Calf of Man
One of the many Lighthouses on the Calf of Man

Perfect little mast for a wire! The crew put tape over the wires to stop birds from landing on the wires.

Unable to see the wires in the mist in the morning!
Unable to see the wires in the mist in the morning!

You cannot really see it that well in these old photos but there are wires going between the two lighthouses here!

Chicken Rock Lighthouse.
Chicken Rock Lighthouse.

I wonder if it was suggested that someone string a wire out to this lighthouse?????

View of the Coastline of the Calf of Man
View of the Coastline of the Calf of Man

Looking South after the mist had cleared over the Calf of Man shows just what a nice place to operate from.

Where’s Health and Safety when you need them, well hopefully locked up at the time these guys were having this much fun!, here the crew are putting up Robert Ferguson’s (GD4GNH) baby, a portable lightweight array for VHF!

Starting to raise the VHF Antennas
Starting to raise the VHF Antennas
Still nearly there!
Still nearly there!
Finally up, now for a little fine fettling.
Finally up, now for a little fine fettling.
With all the hard work done, the team have a well ernt rest.
Not all hard work, time for rest as well.
Not all hard work, time for rest as well.
I think Brian had fun on this DXpedition, I don’t think there is a photo of him anywhere without a Can of Beer in the shot!
Brian Brough (GD4PTV) taking in the sun during a walk over the Calf of Man during a DXpedition to the Island.
Brian Brough (GD4PTV) taking in the sun during a walk over the Calf of Man during a DXpedition to the Island.
Stan Ellis (GD3LSF) operating the radio on the Calf of Man, notice the nice crib sheets stuck on the wall!
Stan Ellis (GD3LSF) operating the radio on the Calf of Man, notice the nice crib sheets stuck on the wall!
Brian Brough (GD4PTV) cracking through the Pile-up on HF (notice the beer can again!).
Brian Brough (GD4PTV) cracking through the Pile-up on HF (notice the beer can again!).
As well as the HF side of things, Robert Ferguson was handling VHF with his normal style, Big and Bold! and doing a great job of it!
The VHF Station at the Calf of Man
The VHF Station at the Calf of Man
Robert Ferguson (GD4GNH) having a rest from the VHF gear.
Robert Ferguson (GD4GNH) having a rest from the VHF gear.
Gone to lunch 12:43!
Gone to lunch 12:43!
It’s true, see here are some of the reprobates having a well ernt break from the radio.
Robert Ferguson (GD4GNH), Brian Brough (GD4PTV) and John Wilson (GD6NDE)
Robert Ferguson (GD4GNH), Brian Brough (GD4PTV) and John Wilson (GD6NDE)

having a rest next to one of the antennas (actually its the lighthouse keepers washing line, but I bet they tried to use it!

The team looking for suitable antenna mounting spots.
The team looking for suitable antenna mounting spots.

It looks like the team had time for a quick tour of one of the Lighthouse’s on the Calf of Man.

You can get a feeling of the great view that can be had from one of the Lighthouses on the Calf of Man.

The View to one of the lighthouses.
The View to one of the lighthouses.

The crew packing up the gear ready for the off. On the left of the Land Rover is Stan Ellis (GD3LSF), on the right hand side of the car we have an unknown, then David Corlett (GD1GHK), then Stan Keys (GD4BGK), Les Nichol, Chris Douglas with the Red Shoulders, and hiding behind him is Richard Rimmer (GD3YEO) who was videoing the whole event!

Relaxing before the Packing up me thinks?

The team getting ready for the off.
The team getting ready for the off.
First off we have Haydn, then Brian Brough (GD4PTV), next we have Arthur Sinclair (GD3TNS), and in-front of him is John Martin with the white hat, the fifth one is Robert Ferguson (GD4GNH) and standing next to him is Richard Rimmer (GD3YEO), then finally outside next to Richard is John Williams (GD6OXG).
Time to leave the Island for a little larger one….
Time to leave the Island for a little larger one….

What do we do now?

With the weekend over the team sits down to wait for the boat to come to pick them up! Maybe they are still there? does anyone know if they were ever collected!?

From Left to right, and with lots of unknowns I’m afraid, we start with the gentleman with the Blue coat on, this is John Willes Browne (GD4XWB), he was one of the mainstays of the club at the time and was a major contributor to the launch fund for the Repeater Group.

All having a rest while waiting on the boat to arrive.
All having a rest while waiting on the boat to arrive.

The Brown Jumper ed person in the group in the distance is Ken Wilson, then next in the same group is Arthur Sinclair (GD3TNS), then possibly one of the Lighthouse Keepers, then the last on the right of this group is George Kissack in the blue shirt.

Out of the woman sitting in front of John we only know that the one with the Blue top on is Diane Parslow. The next person with the bright red top and the sports bag is Colin Gerrard (GD4OEA), next to him is Jack Etherington (GD5UG) in the mustard coloured top, the only other operator known at this moment is the very last operator at the far right of this photo which is Robert Ferguson (GD4GNH).

Below we have Stan Keyes (far left at the back) with Haydn Glaister (GD0BCN) in the white top at the back, just in-front of these two are 2 Lighthouse Keepers, then in the front with the hair sitting across the scaffold poles is John Williams (GD6OXG) who built the first repeater logic controller.

Waiting for the Boat Home
Waiting for the Boat Home
Next with the fine hat with the badges is Brian Brough (GD4PTV) and behind him is Dave Corlett (GD1GHK).
And finally, still waiting for the Boat…
And finally, still waiting for the Boat…

Please also checkout the Scrapbook that I came across that belonged to Alec Anderson (FD3HQR) , another very active member of the Isle of Man Amateur Radio Society (IOMARS) back in the day.

If anyone has any photos in their collections of local Ham Radio Operators, or of anyone that just visited and operated from here, I would be grateful if they could forward them to me and maybe put a few words in also and I will post them on this page, I will even return them after scanning them in if you have a problem getting them to me and only have photos!

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