Chapter 1 - In the Beginning...
It was early summer, 1946, just after transmitting licences had been reallocated and transmitters (confiscated at the beginning of World War II in 1939) had been returned to their owners. Several amateurs around the Harrow area, having established friendships over the air, decided to start a Harrow Club.
A meeting took place in the shack of Ernie Welling G5OO. Those attending were Frank Smith G2DD, Harry Medcraft G5JV, Sylvia Medcraft 2DRZ, Peter Butsen 2DBM and Hal Hardy G4GB. At this meeting it was decided to form a Club and thus the foundations of the Radio Society of Harrow were laid.
Many local amateurs just released from the Services joined the Club which established its HQ at the Kenton Tea Rooms next to the Odeon Cinema, Kenton. At about this time G5JV and 2DRZ left the initial Committee due to other commitments and a new Committee was formed comprising: G5OO, G2UA, G2KA, 2DSM, G2DD and G3SM. The Club now met in a larger room situated over a Timber Merchant's in central Harrow (Hunt, Kennard and Co.).
The picture shows enthusiastic Club members gathered around the radio. We don't recognise anyone in the picture!
In December 1949, the first Club magazine was published. The Hon. Editor was N. Hanscombe G3APK and the first issue consisted of 8 duplicated pages of about half A4 size. It contained an editorial, contest news, technical articles and members' adverts. This pattern seems to have continued in subsequent issues of the Club magazine and persists right up to now.
It was also in 1949 that the Club began to meet at Roxeth Manor School, South Harrow. Meetings were first held on Thursdays and then changed to Fridays. The President at this time was Hal Hardy G4GB. Whilst at the Roxeth Manor School the meetings were held in the Science Laboratory which was very convenient as there was a wall blackboard and also a dais for lecturers and auctioneers at junk sales. Tea and biscuits were provided at the interval; there was a copper kettle which was boiled on a gas ring running from a Bunsen burner outlet on the bench.
The picture shows members in the very early days of the Club, we are not certain but we believe this was taken at the Roxeth Manor School in the Science Laboratory. You might spot some people in this picture who are also in the one above.
A cupboard was reserved for Club use which stored the Club's transmitter, receiver and accessories including log books and technical radio books. The transmitter at that time was a KW Valiant and the receiver a venerable HRO. The Valiant was constructed by Club members on practical nights.
Many constructional projects were undertaken, the laboratory benches were ideal for this work. Successful projects worth a mention were designed by Arnold (G3HBW): a 2m and a 4m converter and the grid dip oscillator which merited a technical article in the RSGB bulletin of the time.
The Club station was also in action on other practical nights using a G2RV type antenna which was strung over the school quadrangle at about 30 feet. There was also a Joystick antenna in the loft space over the lab.
At the Roxeth Manor School the Club thrived under the able Committee of those days led by Chairman Ron Ray, G2TA. The membership climbed to about 120 and the school remained the Club's HQ for over 20 years.