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71000
"DUKE
of
GLOUCESTER" - Torbay Express

05AUGUST.2012


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to view
YouTube clip




6201
"Princess Elizabeth"
during
the recent
Jubilee
celebrations
JUNE.2012


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to view
YouTube clip





Bluebell
Railway
Opening
Festival-Day 7

29MARCH.2013


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to view
BR(TV)
YouTube clip




"Ellan Vannin"
sung by
Robin Gibbs

Clip by Paul Daley.

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for
YouTube.




"NESWT Radio College Bridlington East Yorkshire
1955-1957


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to visit
NESWT site




Para Handy
and "Vital Spark"
A musical
tribute
to these great
little steamships



Historic puffer returns to the Clyde
06SEPT.2010

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to view
Scottish TV
Video clip




"Tornado" 60163
Didcot
11JUNE.2011
for a
weeks visit

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to view
YouTube clip




4492
"Dominion of
New Zealand"
Durham
16APRIL.2011

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to view
YouTube clip




China's Naval expansion
Ex. USSR carrier
rennovated
&
almost completed

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to view
BBC News clip




"Tornado" #60163 in Brunswick Green
26MAY.2011
at NYMR
Grosmont


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to view
YouTube clip




NYMR TV
celebrates
175 years
over
the May Bank Holiday [2011] which will
include "Tornado" 60163
27-30 MAY 2011
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to view
the YouTube clip




6024 & 70000
Swindon
05APRIL.2011
bound for Didcot


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to view
YouTube clip




GWR Railmotor 93
Llangollen Railway
Heritage Railway Magazine
March 2011. WOW


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to view
YouTube clip




Didcot
Railway Centre
50th Anniversary
1961-2011
GWS


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to view
YouTube clip




Didcot
Railway Centre
02APRIL.2011
King Edward II
6023


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to view
YouTube clip




"Bittern"
in full flight

Doncaster
07DEC.2013


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to view
Sam Shenton clip




"Torbay Express"
"King Edward I" 6024
Autumn
2010
Marvellous

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to view
You Tube clip




LNER A4
"UNION of SOUTH AFRICA" 60009

passing Newark
at speed
10SEPT.2010
Marvellous

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to view
You Tube clip




"Tornado"
# 60163
04DEC.2010
passing Keynsham
at speed

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to view
YouTube clip




60163 passes Wigan
with "Coronation"
express at 75mph
20NOV.
2010

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to view
video clip





Great Central Railway [UK]
29JAN.2011
excellant
photography

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to view
YouTube video clip




NEW "Queen Elizabeth"
sets sail on maiden voyage 12OCTOBER.2010
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to view
BBC clip




"Swanage Tornado" passes Andover at speed
16JUNE.2010

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to view
Video clip




Cathedrals Express at Retford ECML
"Tornado 60163"
08MAY.2010


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to view
Video clip




"RAF 102 & MGB # 52"
Remember the RAF rescue boat flotilla based at Bridlington 1957
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to view
BBC clip




Brisbaneradio VIB
1912-2002

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to visit
VIB site
FREE




"Oliver Cromwell" 70013
On a TPO from the footplate
of "Oliver Cromwell"
GCR
14OCT.20090


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to view
Video clip




Jonboy [Jonathan] Walton

Greetings from 'down-under'.

Site currently under re-adjustment - SEPTEMBER 2013

A History of an Naval & Amateur Radio Operator

Biographical History

Created & arrived April 1939 at Latimer Street Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire - house destroyed during storm early in 1942 when a barrage balloon broke loose & damaged quite a large area of Crooksmoor and where I was born by its massive chain. Fond memories and the hair on back of my neck still rises when an air-raid siren [these days fire alarm siren] is activated. Moved to Blackrock Dublin where Dad was employed by Irish Govt. so most of my formative years were spent in the Dun-Laoghaire, Blackrock, Seapoint areas. Marvellous place, marvellous country in spite of its religous clashes - being a Pom in Southern Ireland at the end of WW2 & upto 1953 wasn't very funny. Still it gave me a great appreciation for the Celts, their language, traditions, customs, humour & in particular their ability to enjoy a good craic. Cycling to school 7.5 miles [Irish miles too] to and from daily, in all weathers meant that in time cycling around and visiting the River Liffey & the boats going to/fro was a great relaxing time. Befriended one of the crew of the "Lady Gwendolen" (- SEE PIC CLICK HERE) one of two specially constructed Guniness boats that daily sailed from Dublin to Liverpool with the good oil - "porter". No Irishman worth his salt would ever refuse a glass & must admit some 70 plus years later a good porter is a welcome drop at the end of the day. It was that plus fooling around with crystal sets and an old RAF WW2 receiver - an R1155 - which gave me the interest in the morse code and Amateur Radio. Dad had played around with it in the 1920's but hadn't taken it further so a chance meeting with a mates's Dad who was a Radio Officer, on leave put the idea into my head about going to sea. About that time too 1953, Coronation year Mum/Dad decided to return to England and finally decided on settling at Salisbury, Wiltshire - famous for its cathedral and its 404 foot spire, not being too far from Stonehenge, Southampton, finally all the family had moved by March/April 1960.

British Merchant Navy: 1955 - 1968

"I started in Radio in the UK having studied at the North Eastern School of Wireless Telegraphy, Bridlington Yorkshire 1955, joining the Marconi Radio Company doing my first trip on the "Irish Hazel" (- SEE PIC CLICK HERE) before going to "Charles H Merz" (- SEE PIC CLICK HERE) and then to the "Wavebank" (- SEE PIC CLICK HERE) of the famous Bank Line from 1958 until December 1960 when we visited Brisbane in 1959. By the way, Charles H Merz (1874-1940), was a pioneer in the field of electricity generation and railway electrification and who was heavily influential in the 1920s in the setting up of the National Grid. Every time you turn an electrical appliance on in your house, you should remember Merz because his vision helped in no small way to make electricity the universal service it is now. Tragically, he was killed in an air raid in October 1940. Incidently thanks to the ex.G7SV boys who have since contacted me and updated their experiences - good to hear from you, some after a very long time.

In 1960 I then joined the Elder Dempster Lines of Liverpool sailing between the UK/Europe, West Africa and the USA/Canada with a stint of their passenger vessel "Aureol" GMGJ (- SEE PIC CLICK HERE) remembering when we sailed from Las Palmas, Canary Isles the evening JF Kennedy was assassinated - that night's press run was hectic to say the least. I sat the UK City & Guilds Radio Amateur Examination # 55 and became G3PLQ - the hobby and work becoming synonymous with work interests. Recently caught up an old pal Paul Hughes G3OSR married a publicans daughter in Fleetwood Lancs.- lots of catching up to do - Paul was on "Eboe" when I first met him. Good to catch up again mate. Left ED's in 1965 as I wanted to do a radar maintenance course at Bristol's Brunel University. Prior to its successful conclusion I then joined the P&O Shipping Company as a Radio/Electronics Officer sailing on oil tankers eg "Kent", (- SEE PIC CLICK HERE) - Bulk carriers eg "Grafton",(- SEE PIC CLICK HERE) passenger/cargo vessels and doing dock staff work on such liners as "Arcadia",(- SEE PIC CLICK HERE) "Oriana",(- SEE PIC CLICK HERE) "Chusan" (- SEE PIC CLICK HERE)etc - see the picture gallery. I left P&O in 1968 and joined Portisheadradio; [NB sadly BT Internet have withdrawn support for the site;] - and remained ashore until 1971 before coming to Australia.

Portishead Radio [GKA]: 1968 - 1971

This was a marvellous experience partly because for many years I'd been in contact with Bob Purdam G3NOO who was working at GKA and who lived in the Burnham-on-Sea area along with John Davies ex P&O but along with Gil Elks, Rick Edmonson G3YEC had been at The North Eastern School for Wireless Telegraphy, Bridlington, East Riding [Yorkshire] in the mid 1950's when training so, having also been in regular contact with this station during my Maritime career thus far, [was known as "little Paddy" then] it was a pleasure to catch up with them again plus make a myriad of new friends. These included Ray Stevens, Dave Holman [readers of "Heritage Railways' & "Steam Railway" magazines will recognise David's superb photographs of steam locomotives]. Mike G3UOF now GW3UOF whom I'd met later when at Sydneyradio VIS. Tremendous change in work loads, including shift work but a great esprit d'corp exisited then and in many ways is 'noticable' on the Portisheadradio link. Refer to the "Links" page and check it out including all it's associated sites - most interesting. Still trying to come to terms with the fact it and so many other Maritime Coast Radio Stations literally NO LONGER EXIST. Many of us still feel that putting all 'the eggs in one basket' with regard to satellite communications is still fraught with danger. Carrington Flare. - Only time will tell though I can almost guarantee many ex Coast Radio & Maritime Radio Officers will agree with me. Several photographs will be added to the "Gallery" as and when they are located. Amazing when you move how 'dis-organised' you again become even though ''but I put it in box 'xyz'"!!

Around the early 1970's the UK was going through a period when the wheels seemed to 'come off'; two day working week, political upheaval by 'leaders' who appeared to be on/or from another planet. Due to this degree of uncertainty, I made the conscious decision to go to Australia, having had discusions with the Overseas Telecommunications Commission [Sydney] - Coast Radio Division and was given to understand employment in that section was available providing I presented myself at their Sydney Head Office in Martin Place.

So, after a trip to London and Australia House, all papers, visas, financial dealings being sorted out, I departed for Australia and arrived just before Australia Day, January 1972. By the way checkout the Portisheadradio web site via the link provided below as organised by Larry Bennett - well done Larry.

                  Sadly BT Internet no longer support the GKA link./p>

Coast Radio Service Australia: 1972 - 1979 and 1991 - 1994
Radio Surveyor [Brisbane] for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority [AMSA] 1994 - 2001

Around March/April 1994 - received a telephone from Glenn Dunstan VK1XX then head of the Radio Inspector at AMSA [Australian Maritime Safety Authority] at Belconnen, Canberra if I would consider an appointment as the Radio Communications Inspector based in Brisbane.
The very thought of being around ships again was too good an opportunity to refuse so a trip to Canberra ensued. Brisbane was to be my "home port" working as far South as Yamba in Northern NSW with the odd sojourn to Darwin and North Western Australia to cover the FPSO's "Jabiru Venture"; "Challice Venture" and one other whose name for the moment escapes me. This incidently gave me the opportunity to catch up with Dan VK8AN in Darwin. Dan flew the helicopters to the FPSO's from Troughton Island - sadly owing to recent ill health he's been grounded. Know the feeling !! Also in Darwin caught up some of the old OTC operators now working at VID Darwinradio I'd knew from La Perouse [VIS] days eg Ross Dennis etc.
Had some great experiences over the next seven years with AMSA. Also had the sad duty to watch the demise of the ship's Radio Officer from Australian, then many on overseas shipping companies with the advent to the GMDSS [Global Maritime Distress Safety System]. A system whereby to a large extent communication is via satellites using the Sat."A" or Sat. "C" systems followed by the smaller units "Sat.B" and "Sat.M" that are now used universally. These new systems were supplemented by HF Maritime radio, basically as a "back-up" - sadly all the Australian Coast Radio Stations have gone - that is those operated by OTC - later Telstra. Refer to the "LINKS" page for information Brisbaneradio and Portisheadradio Stations.
Caught up too with some of my old sea-faring friends; In Brisbane my old Chief Engineer of the "Sid McGrath" - Col Barker; In Gladstone Steve Austin from ANL "Australian Venture" etc.
The PSC [Port State Control] Inspections are conducted under the auspics of the IMO [International Maritime Organisation] which is UN based. These basically are "on-the-spot" Inspections of any ship entering any port in the world, conducted by the relevant maritime Authority of the county concerned. These "un-covered" some wierd and wonderful issues which could in fact detain a vessel under certain circumstances. These days with limited crew, Officers etc. to put it bluntly a PSC was a "pain-in-the-butt" a Captain/Master could well do without. On large liners eg "Queen Elizabeth 2", "Sea Princess" etc - the Staff Captain would delegate his Safety Officer and assistants to assist the regulatory Authorities - in our case AMSA, to contact Radio, Deck, Stores, Medical, Engineer, Accommodation and even crew complaints. All could have a book attached to each subject - maybe one day. The issues as mentioned could be wide and varied. Some resolved 'easily'; others a 'tad more tact' was required with the local State Manager - for Brisbane Gerry Price if Gerry was not available his 2IC Mike Kinley , if of a more serious nature "someone in Canberra" - in my case Glenn Dunstan.
Incidentally, see that Mike Kinley - 2010 is now based in Canberra dealing with the SAR [Search and Rescue] - recently on National TV co-ordinating the rescue of U.S. young yachts woman Abby Sunderland. Then there were the full Radio[GMDSS] Survey which was an annual event for all Australian registered vessels over 1600 GRT. This meant all the ANL, BHP, shipping including overseas Government requests for the same, the range being vast. Again a challenge with time constraints, especially with the increasing OH&S [Occupational Health and Safety], these guys would have been given the flick 100 years ago - Australia would still be a penal colony if they had existed then !!. Usually covered at the same time on Australian vessels with the Deck and Engineering Surveys. Under 1600 GRT vessels came under the local State Control or USL 2B codes. Again a wide and varied selection of craft come under these surveys. eg "Young Endeavour" for the RAN, "HMB Endeavour"; "South Passage" a Brisbane based gaff rigged schooner which came 2nd in the recent Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht race. Then the odd overseas small craft. Interesting times.
"Gallery 3" covers a variety of vessel, from sail to liners, to cargo boats, coal carriers, tankers - chemical and oil, container vessels, fishing vessels, tug boats, customs and the odd naval craft under mercantile marine control until handed over to the RAN [Royal Australian Navy]. Believe that in spite of being retired for eight years now, am still covered by the "Secrecy Act" - have had to have this section 'vetted' so, there are many gaps in the story. Good to have a yarn over a beer or three! Some of the good jobs I can re-call are eg "Island Trader" based in Yamba NSW which was an old Burns Philp trader now running between Yamba and Lord Howe Island. Great little company with helpful crews, ashore/afloat. Always a joy to look forward to. "Grey Scout" in Gladstone were nothing was to much trouble to rectify. Family run business with a great 'esprit d'corp' again issued from both the Owner to ships/office staff. Brisbane Tugs - located down at Fishermans Island, again always helpful. Would come across the odd crew member I'd sailed with "deep-sea" with. Same can be said for Gladstone Tug Company. Naturally, the Ocean Liners were a 'treat' especially on PSC's. Canberra called into Brisbane on her last voyage - graceful old lady too. QE2 which of course has since proven to be ahead of her time being the percurser of modern cruise ships - sadly has departed and now based in Dubai as a floating function facility.
All ended in 2001 when the IMO declared that all vessels were GMDSS approved - even though some nations namely, China, India and Indonesia plus others continued to have radio operators with locally manned Coast Radio Stations. The majority of these too now have succumbed to the inevitable. So, I ended up being "sacrificed upon the altar of expediency Mark 3": Since then retirement. Oddly enough, I'm busier now then when I was working so, round goes the wheel. Would not have missed the experience and thanks to all those I met, to those mentioned and the countless folk who should be but a book will rectify that. If you remember catching up, sailing and visiting YOUR ship - contact me via the E-mail address provided at the foot of this page. Bon voyage with smooth seas and fair winds.

Amateur Radio History: 1961 - present date and still going strong

Interest in Amateur Radio commenced long before I was actually licenced. As mentioned elsewhere having an old RAF R1155 receiver and power unit, in marvellous condition purchased from the UK, morse code was very much the order of the day in all spheres of communication. Ships went to sea and "Sparks" - the Radio Officer/Operator - was the lifeline to the outside world until the vessel arrived at its destination having regular 'skeds' (schedules) with the National communication station eg for the UK it was Portisheadradio GKA, for Germany Norddeichradio DAN, for Holland it was Scheveningenradio PCH, for Sweden it was Goteborgradio SAG etc.. Out of this and the fact I was meeting various local Radio Amateurs in both Ireland [EI] & England [G] and had always enjoyed Geography at school, everything went into the 'melting pot of life' and I realised a career in the Navy was for me.

Arriving in Salisbury [UK] I joined the local Amateur Radio Club with its grandeous title of the "Salisbury & District Amateur Radio Society". There under the guidance of Evan G5YN & Bert G2FIX , use of the local club radioes under the callsign of G3FKF, honed my skills. Both men are now SK [Silent Key] - Evan in 1992 and Bert in 1997. The other day [09JULY.2010], had a little E-Mail from the son of an early friend at G3FKF, Terry Williams Ex.MW3JQK. His son Bob Williams [now living in Dublin] contacted me and nice to renew that 'lost link' with Salisbury.

Another link to that time, again thanks to Bob is Pepperbox Hill. - often used this site for my 160m mobile QSO's with Bert G2FIX plus good QTH for 'fox hunts' etc., naturally, the 160m interest really got its kick start from these activites. Its historical significent is interesting especially with my maritime links - thanks Bob for the 'reminders'!.

Around this period I had already obtained my First Class Radio Certificate and was proficient at 25 wpm plus on a hand key. At that time in the UK even though I was a fully qualified Radio Officer, the GPO who administered the licences insisted I also had to sit for a written examination and then sit a seperate morse examination - pictures of these documents are attached - there was no easy access to 'acquiring' a ticket in those days [1960] how times have changed!. The written examination [City & Guilds # 55]was sat onboard mv "Donga" at Port Harcourt Nigeria under the gaze of Captain Hill. Finally the 'pass slip' arrived - see attached documents under "Gallery 5" so when we next arrived in the UK, I travelled up to London [by train naturally] and sat the morse test - again documents attached. Finally on the 16th October 1961 notification - by mail - arrived and I was the life owner of the callsign G3PLQ - this is something that does not occur in many parts of the world, Australia included. One thing Bert G2FIX - an ex RAF operator/technician of the highest standard instilled in me was 'good operating procedures' - assisted by Evan G5YN who was with Younghusbands expedition to Tibet in 1932/33 as AC4YN - being the first European to operate Amateur Radio from there, under the umbrella of the British Military of the day - both were exemplary morse operators & lovers of the 160m or "Top Band" frequencies - 1.8 to 2MHz[UK]. In time and with a modest low powered transmitter [10 watts was the maximum allowed] - see the attached Radio Inspectors signature in my then Radio Log Book - I was working all over the UK, Europe and even made trans-atlantic contacts with W1BB [Stewart Perry] better known as 'Mr 160' & Jack VE1ZZ. Remember too a contact with an Operator in Libya, who returned to Devon - he was associated with the Racal Decca Group with an unique location system which tied in with the Decca Navigational System. Others who have been friends over the years include Phil G3SWH - Phil G3SWH., John G3PQA, John G3GRL [sadly SK], John G3LYW, John G2FSR, Mike G3SED - Mike G3SED., Ern G3PU [SK], Armin DL1FF [also SK] - he was with the Kreigsmarine also a brilliant operator, Pete PA0PN, HB9T and many many more. Hence one of my favourite bands these days is 160m which in Australia is a tad short [1.8 to 1.875KHz] - see from the various DX Clusters John G3PQA is still there so, one day or is it "wundai" we'll get the opportunity of saying "G'day" again.

Recently 'found' the Radio Log for my very last Maritime Mobile operation as VK4CY/MM from 24th April to 30th April 1994. The ships Korean RO had been taken ill at Gladstone and I filled in taking the ship from Gladstone to Tauranga NZ. Ship was the "Sunrise Fair"/3ENK4. A small chemical carrier of 4441GRT with a Korean crew of 19. See from the 'stats' compiled that I managed 64 QSO's on HF [80,40,30,20,17,15 & 10m] with 11 Entities incl. DK, EA5, G, HL9, JI6, KA4, RW0/MM, UA6, VE6, VK, ZL. Had a 2m/70cms handheld and remember 'yacking' to Les VK4YI ex. marine engineer on Macleay Island - my neighbour as I was living on Lamb Island at that time. Good memories.

Further research regarding the Amateur Radio callsign VK4CY - it was originally issed to Les Bell MBE in 1922 - As Les describes in his book, all amateur radio activity ceased September 1939. After the War [WW2] Les requested his old callsign and license be restored. The authorities could not locate any details of Les's previous callsign so he had to re-sit the examination and then they issued him with a new licence and callsign VK4LZ on 16 JANUARY 1967. Les was an Engineer in New Guinea; Born 1904 and became Silent Key in 2000. Unlike the UK and my old callsign of G3PLQ which is issued once and for all time, here in Australia, apparently I am the second holder of the VK4CY callsign. Les, like me was a keen CW operator and very proficient in the art of Morse Code. I say art because that is exactly what it is. Some folk never master the art. I was a late learner but, once mastered it became my bread and butter as a Marine Radio Operator/Officer for which I will always be grateful. Talking of Les Bell, there is a book entitled "New Guinea Engineer - The Memoirs of Les Bell MBE Silent Key" by VK4LZ - an interesting story according to my friend Bob Williams of Dublin. Recently received the book - and on Page 242 Paragraph 2 refers to Les's comments as mentioned above. Les pioneered a lot of radar work during the war and it is obvious that in conjunction with the Coast Watchers kept the Japanese on their toes - fabulous read. Apparently Warwick VK4AP ex Mackay knew Les personally and had seen that lathe mentioned/pictured in the book at Les's Airlie Beach QTH. The book ISBN # is ISBN 1-877058-07-6 [27MAY.2011]

Recent research regarding the ANARS : Australian Naval Amateur Radio Society - It was originally founded by Glenn Dunstan VK1ZZ - Chairman [AX.010], Terry Clark Ex,VK2ALG - Secretary [AX.011] and Jon Walton VK4CY - Treasurer [AX.012], in the early 1990's. Membership grew to over 200 members with Radio Amateurs members in Australia, UK, New Zealand, Germany, Holland, etc and ranging from Serving RAN Staff, Ex RAN, Ex Merchant Navies [Australia, British, German, Dutch] even a ex RAAF Navy pilot who flew with the local QANTAS Dash 8 services. I departed the scene in 1994/96 and 'lost contact' with many of my old friends. Great days especially when we had the BBQs in the recreation area on Brisbane South Bank alongside "HMAS Diamantina" [VK4RAN] whose radio station was manned usually by Colin VK4CU. - it is still going today too.
The ANARS demise came in 2010 when the Society was disbanded. Reasons etc. currently unknown but, if any of the old gang would contact me via the usual channels any errors can be rectified.

[Info. updated by VK4CY 13MAY.2013]

LAMB ISLAND [NGUDOOROO]: 1987 - 2001

Lamb Island is located in Moreton Bay at 27 degrees 37.7 minutes South 153 degrees 22.7 minutes East - Maidenhead Locator Reference: QG62qi, that is approx. 55Km SouthSouthEast from Brisbane, South-Eastern Queensland.

It is one of the 365 Islands of Moreton, the main Islands being the famous Moreton Island and sand Islands of North and South Stradbroke Island along with Bribie, Coochiemudloo, St.Helena, Peel, Russell - infamous for the DP or drainage problem blocks of land sold to Southern State personnel in the 1960's which accounts for that islands present low population levels in comparison with it's neighbours of Karragarra, Lamb and Macleay Islands !

Lamb obtained it's name, we assume from Admiral Lamb who was a prominent member of the Royal Naval Board assigned to take care of the penal colony of New South Wales which Queensland was originally part of, and also famous in Royal Navy circles for "Lambs Navy Rum" - this incidently is conjecture!

The Island's native name is Ngudooroo or 'peaceful place' which is exactly what it is!

The Island is 2Km long by 1Km at its widest point and least less than 400m at the narrow neck.

Total population is now in excess of 250 families though this is swollen during the holiday periods as many people have holiday homes on the Island and a constant changing population of itinerant personnel attracted to [or what was] the low rental facilities.

The Island possesses a single store currently run by the McCarragher's who are magnificent - you name it and they will - within reason - attempt to supply same, nothing is too much trouble.

It also has the original farm house - called "Progress Hall" built in 1924 and recently extensively renovated by the local Council. This also houses the local Library and the hall is used by various groups as a meeting area.

Close to the hall are the tennis courts - first laid in the 1920's - a recently built Medical centre through the hard efforts of the Islands Ambulance Officer - Svend Raleigh & resident Nurse Dawn Thompson. Memo - Svends' daughter Charmaine Tilley sent a cheery message 13AUG.2010 thanking me for the acknowledgement of her fathers work.

The Island and its surrounding waters where part of the Moreton Bay Oyster Company whose leases have long expired. Oysters, crabbing and fishing are still popular pastimes though the fish and crab stocks have been depleted by the Bays general growing popularity and the local Councils stupidity of environmental vandalism at the Raby Bay complex off Cleveland - hopefully the recently passed declaration by the State Government will arrest this behaviour.

Another couple that moved onto the Island in 1993 were Ray and Nola Cowie. Ray and Nola had served and attempted to get the Peel Island leprosarium recognised as a museum. Both managed to get a good array of items used from the bush. Iron beds, early phonographic discs, wood-chip stoves during their early years on the Island and stored them for future display/usage. Both became known as the "Protectors of Peel Island". Sadly, all their efforts fell by the wayside even though the Federal Government's one Nation package provided a $225,000 grant to stabilise the lazaret buildings. To administer this grant, the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage took over the Island in 1993. Even though the buildings etc are classified as Heritage listed, Peel Island cannot be gazetted as a National Park because of an aboriginal land rights claim. Even now as far as I can trace, this state of limbo still exists. Both Ray and Nola often fondly talked about their years on Peel. Ray never really recovered from that ordeal. He was wealth of knowledge about the Islands too.

Islands became a series of farms, eight in all, one of the sons of the original groups still resides here along with Peg Saunders who has lived here for over 50 years - her knowledge of the both the fauna and flora is staggering.

The Islands became the garden basket of Brisbane, slowly declining as the farms where sub-divided further until 1973 when the Redland Shire Council took over the management of the four Islands. That brought the power and to the remaining 'originals', a lot of the present day problems - can see their point - European "progress" is very costly.

Lamb is now classified as residential "A" island and becoming more developed as the years pass - the constant influx of cats and dogs has put paid to the quail, bandicoots, stone curlews to name a few - unknown to most Europeans and non-Islanders, the MAJORITY OF AUSTRALIAN NATIVE BIRDS ARE GROUND NESTING - this means the cats especially are destroying local wildlife at a very alarming rate - the Moreton Bay Strategic Plan, HOPEFULLY - will reverse this situation. Native bird life is still wide and varied - people are encouraged to grow native trees and the majority of Islanders are conservation minded - they have to if we want to retain some semblance of what was.

Access to the Island is by water taxi and/or vehicle ferry from Redland Bay and in case of a major emergency, you could get lifted out by the helicopter from the emergency helipad close to the Progress Hall.

In the six years I've been active as Lamb Island's only Radio Amateur, Lamb Island has been put on the Amateur World Map by my activation of the IOTA [Islands Of The Air] award - OC.137 - standing for Oceania Island Group 137 encompassing ALL the Moreton Bay Islands. I've now contacted in excess of 300 Countries have the unique postal address which goes back to the period when mail was delivered to the Community Mail Bag area but curtailed by Australia Post owing to complaints from some Islanders on non-delivery. Alan, our resident mail man is a regular visitor with my mail and countless QSL's from some exotic places, so I'm doing my part in promoting the Islands of Moreton Bay and hopefully, playing a small part in encouraging Tourism for the local area.
Needless to say, you make myriads of Radio friends - some whom you never meet though you have waxed lyrical on the radio waves. One such couple was Jim & Kirsti Smith on Norfolk Island [VK9NS and VK9NL respectively]. Assisted Jim & Kirsti with the 222 DX Net also the various HIDXA Nets - great days. Sadly Jim passed away 10FEBRUARY.2009 - have temporary lost contact with Kirsti too.

This information is usually mailed with DIRECT QSL's to those people who request a little background to Lamb Island - the comment usually being: where is Lamb Island? - not on my map??? I therefore trust this resume of Lamb Island will be useful to you. Since all this was compiled, the changes have been immense and so have the people and attitudes, sadly for the 'worst'.

Come and visit VK4 [Queensland] and see for yourself.

NB - One of the many Nets I joined was with Horace ZL3WE of Christchurch, NZ. We recently re-connected in 2011 and this brought back to mind the various characters with this marvellous net. The regular contacts with the "ZL3WE Net" on 15m/21MHz. We talked with folk from all over the world and some interesting contacts too. One which really stands out was when a Radio Amateur in Kota Kinabalu popped in and said he'd sighted the "Patanela" - a 19m schooner with a crew of four that was last heard [by VIS Sydneyradio] on 08NOVEMBER.1988. Working within the Maritime Industry at this time and remembering the "Patanela" incident at VIS and Keith McLennan - the OTC operator and a work collegue from OTC days, I contacted the AMSA Canberra Search & Rescue section and forwarded this data. Sadly, it turned out to be one of several false sightings. Mind you, the sighted vessel in Kota Kinabalau at first sight looked 'similar' - Interesting!.
Even when I was on various vessels doing Surveys for AMSA in later years - a check in with the Net always brought a myriad of 'sandbaggers' off the shelf so to speak. Happydaze.

Do you require a QSL for IOTA OC-137 Lamb Island? Did you work me? If so, providing you are 'in the log' for the period mentioned & provide postage, this card can be yours.

BRIBIE ISLAND : 2008 - 2014

Bribie Island is the northern most Island located at the head of Moreton Bay at 27 degrees 10 minutes South 153 degrees 12 minutes East [approx.] - Maidenhead Locator Reference: QG62ow based at Woorim, that is approx. 70Km due North from Brisbane CBD, South-Eastern Queensland.
The Gubbi Gubbi people were its origional owners who like the Minjerrba people on North Stradbroke Island, Lamb Island etc., lived off the bountiful ocean on fish, turtle, dugong. It was sighted by Capt. James Cook on Thursday 17th May 1770 as he viewed the Glass House Mountains on board "HM Bark Endeavour". The next known European in the area was Capt. Matthew Flinders on the 15th July 1799 as documented in his journal "A voyage to Terra Australia". There was a confrontation which lead to an altercation with the indigenous people involving a misunderstanding over his hat. In the melee and fearful for the well being of his crew, Capt. Flinders fired shots at the locals scaring them away. He marked his chart "Skirmish Point". Interestingly his chart was marked and subsequent observations of his map shows he marked Bribie Island as Skirmish Point believing it was part of the main land. There is an area marked on the modern map marked Skirmish Point but should not be confused with the actual place of the incident which is known as "South Point". Flinders repaired his leaking boat some five miles further North of the area spending 15 days in the region and scaling Mt. Beerburrum to get a view of the area. It wasn't until sometime later that the concept that this area was an island was determained and the changing of the name of the waterway between Bribie Island and the mainland would be made at some other point.
[Info. (a) "Moreton Bay People" Vol. # 1 by Peter Ludlow {March 1994 Edition} (b) Comments by VK4CY 11MARCH.2011]

2001 - present date: Retirement.

Moving from Lamb Island my first stop was at Redland Bay before heading to the Northern Suburbs of Brisbane. This was assisting the Roze Bros. build a house at Burpengary which, when at the 'lock up' stage was home for approx. 4 months. Next stage was moving a 'few blocks' away to another Roze Bros. property which was to be refurbished prior to sale. When completed, I assisted in obtaining a reasonable sized property at Moorina, again with the Roze Bros. remaining there until April 2005. A further move was made to Dakabin, near Alma Park Zoo which concluded circa September 2007 following an understanding of a flat at Beachmere which sadly didn't come to fruition so in late January 2008 I ended up at Sandstone Point. Thence to Woorim or Ocean Shores on the Eastern side of Bribie Island [November 2009]

Since then I have been at three localities, the fourth one will occur by mid-year (2014) and still within a small Housing Commission area. My current Maidenhead Locator data is at QG62ow41mc or Latitude: -27.0786881 South: Longitude, 153.2044188 East. Had to 'down-size' dramatically but almost there and enjoying the peace and solitude of the area. Still a positive attitude of taking each day as it comes along, keep smiling, do to others as you would like to be treated is a treasure in itself [The Golden Rule]. Happydaze folks and enjoy lifes experiences - time is too valuable to waste on trivia.
[Info. updated 08APRIL.2014 - JW]

 

 

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