I was born in the City of Bristol, South-West England, in 1959. From the age of 13 I discovered short-wave radio, and took a keen interest in broadcast band DXing, which served as a useful radio apprenticeship.
I attended radio college in Bristol between 1976 and 1979, obtaining all my R/O qualifications in electronics and commercial working, as well as radar maintenance. In 1979 I joined the BBC Monitoring Service as an electronics technician, but in early 1980 I was offered the post as a Radio Officer at Portishead Radio/GKA, where I stayed until the station closed in 2000. Part of my duties involved being an examiner for radio amateur Morse tests, which I undertook until 1985. I subsequently worked for BT Satellite Services, allocating Inmarsat numbers for UK-registered ships and land mobile terminals.
When BT sold the Aeronautical and Maritime service in 2001, I joined the UK Hydrographic Office as editor of the Admiralty List of Radio Signals (ALRS), subsequently becoming manager of the ALRS team in 2011.
I served on various Maritime Safety Information (MSI) committees worldwide, and was secretary and then chairman of the IMO NAVTEX Coordinating Panel, overseeing the installation and operation of NAVTEX stations worldwide.
I took early retirement in 2019, and have been using my time researching maritime radio history. I have had two books published; the first one about the history of Portishead Radio was published in 2020, and my latest one about the history of the UK Coast Radio Station network was published in 2021.
I was initially active in amateur radio between 1977 and 1982, returning to the hobby in 2010. I enjoy CW, operating with my ex-Portishead Radio Morse keys, and operate from my home QTH with a Kenwood TS570D into a 4BTV vertical antenna.
I also enjoy QRP operating and playing with antennas – my garden is very small so I do not have enough room for a large antenna system!
Other hobbies include family history research, model railways, local history, amateur dramatics, playing my guitar, collecting records and following my local football team – Bristol Rovers.
I live in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, very close to the former Portishead Radio site, with partner Wendy. I have 3 grown-up children (all boys) from a previous marriage, but sadly they have no interest in amateur radio.
I hope to work many of you during CWT.This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.