Members Stories

The following page includes some members stories from former and existing members of the club and how initially got involved with Amateur Radio and joining SARC.

“I remember being ‘partially’ interested in Ham Radio in 1967 or 1968 – and indeed visited the Club on many a Friday Evening at Twyford House – and recall Addy being Chairman then. Sadly I had broken my ankle three days before I was due to join a ship in Tilbury.  Addy suggested then, that might be a good time to become a ‘Radio Ham’ – I’d done my RAE Exam in 1967 – and didn’t need to do a Morse Test with a Certificate that said I could send and receive morse code at 25 wpm – and I bought Maurice’s old KW2000 for my first ‘rig’. An old Valve Job, but it worked well – and I took it away to sea with me on my next trip.”

Vince G4HHL

“I moved into the area in autumn 2016, and went along for some company and a bit of support to get my station back up after the move.  Shirehampton is a friendly club with lots of practical stuff going on – including training to help new people gain an amateur radio licence.  I found a group that was open to new members and after the usual period of settling in, I felt I really belonged.  It’s now a regular feature of my week, meeting friends with a wide variety of interests within the hobby, laughing, sharing stories, bringing along projects, asking questions, doing events and generally supporting one another in a great hobby.  I’ve made some really good friends and my enjoyment of amateur radio has been greatly enhanced.”

Paul G0OER

Dave Knight G3YNH became a silent key in October 2021. Dave taught the RAE for many years at the club before moving out of the area. The following comments were received from current and former club members about their recollections of Dave.

Colin, Dave and I got into radio at the same time when we were in our early teens. I’m not sure how the introductions were made but Colin lived just along the road from me and I was at school (Fairfield Grammar) with Dave. Both taught me a lot about radio and I was never sure where their knowledge came from. There was no internet, of course. I recall the day when SARC was founded. I remember visiting him at home and when I went to the loo, there was a note from his mum on the wall asking visitors to only use one sheet of paper! We all three lived in Shirehampton but had to trek up to Barton Hill to find a club where we could meet fellow amateurs. The three of us were at my parents’ house in Springfield Avenue one morning, and the talk turned to whether we could start a local club to save the journey into Bristol. During the same conversation, Twyford House, which ran adult education courses was suggested as a possible venue. We just walked up there and knocked on the door. The rest is history. Some of Dave’s history is almost folklore. From memory, he left school at 16 with few qualifications and went to work in the Sony Electronics shop on Broadmead. He had a spell studying at Malvern but that didn’t work out. Then, from what he told me later, he later went to classes at college in Bristol to study for A-levels, sitting at the back because he’d never registered or paid for the courses! We were out of touch for many years but he went on to get not only a degree but also a doctorate. He also took up classical guitar for a while at one time and was a competent player within a few months. I’ve always thought of him as a rather introverted and slightly eccentric genius, and I’m so pleased to have known him. RIP, Dave.

Bob – G3YIQ

 I first met Dave when a school friend of mine said” you must meet my next door neighbour, he is mad on electrical things just like you”.  I think I was twelve at the time.  Dave lived in a tiny council maisonette in Shirehampton  with his parents and two older siblings. I remember his mother was very much like Hyacinth Bouquet. I remember we wound massive coils of wire around the picture rails of our bedrooms to try and communicate magnetically ( it failed !)  however we did try sending audio down the gas and water pipes to Kevin Jones over the road ( that worked !) – We also bought some old WW2 tank radios and managed to get them all working, coming home from school and chatting on 3 MHz with them… When older, Dave was at the the Royal Radar institute R.R.E in Malvern. He used to commute from Bristol on an ancient BSA B31 motorbike , he wore an old RAF ground crew suit and looked like a huge rubber coated yeti. But it kept him warm and dry!

Colin – G3YHV

Dave was the closest amateur to me in Henbury for a while and I remember well resolving his DSB transmissions from his hone brew DSB valve rig! My other memory of him is when I helped him and Keith put up a long wire, a small audio transformer was attached to the end of the wire and slung up Into a tree! I wonder if the transformer is still wedged up there!!

Andy – G4EQP

I had recently arrived in Bristol and on joining SARC met Dave.  He was living in a flat in Henbury before moving to a house in Redland, where his kitchen resembled a chemistry laboratory.  I spent quite a lot of time with him in those days as he was good company.  He came to my wedding in 1979 (see photo).
Dave moved to Horfield, and opened a camera shop in Kellaway Avenue specialising in underwater photographic equipment a lot of which he designed and manufactured.  He used to go to the Maldives on holiday to enjoy the clear warm water and ideal underwater photo opportunities.
In the early eighties I started a new business – Global Telecommunications Laboratories Ltd.- in Hill Street, Kingswood.  He came to work for me as a contractor designing and constructing test equipment for our expanding business, something he could only do with a cup of tea in front of him and an occasional break to hang on the end of one of his roll-ups.  I sold the company in 1989 and he stayed with the business which in the following years changed direction from telephone development and testing to EMC compliance development and testing (to which he refers in his page).  I think he was still working in the business when it was bought by York EMC. This company moved to a purpose built laboratories in Yate – it recently changed its name to Eurofins and I expect is still using some of Dave’s products in their testing facilities.  Sadly, I never did get to his place at Ottery St. Mary but several other SARC members did. The short video on his website shows him in typical enthusiastic mode demonstrating some of the equipment he has built.
His departure is a sad loss for science and the amateur radio fraternity – he will be sadly missed, and are thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
RIP Dave.
Steve Birch

G3YNH @ G8DMS wedding in 1979