We were very pleased to greet our guest from China, Lan,Di BD5SLD in 2014
Lan,Di was pleased to meet all the members, and to have the grand tour of the Club room and shack.
Here is his write up in Chinese and in English to CQ Mag China.
Reflections on meeting the Humberside HAM Club
Last year my family and I had the opportunity to visit England in order to attend my daughter’s graduation. She studied in Hull, which is a city in Yorkshire, northeast England. It is an old seaside city situated at the mouth of the River Humber.
During my time in the UK, I came to know of the Humberside HAM Club (Humber Fortress DX Amateur Club, club call MX0HFC), and had the privilege of visiting them. I was the first amateur radio guest that they had welcomed from China.
The club members were so warm and welcoming; meeting them was an experience that I will never forget. I decided to write this article so that I can remember those good memories and share my experiences with others.
How I came to know of this club
It was through my daughter that I became introduced to Humberside HAM Club. She had met an elderly man whilst shopping one day; who was wearing a t-shirt with radio coding. After talking to him, they became good friends; he was John Cunliffe (G6LNV)- an instructor at the club.
It was one Friday night that I met G6LNV and was taken to see the club. He drove to the road where I was staying in Hull to pick me up.
G6LNV was a retired nurse of medium build and white hair, he had a soft and slow voice, and a warm manner. After a little small talk, he drove me to the club which was about 8-9 km east from my house.
We talked for the entire journey. G6LNV had a very strong northern English accent- luckily he didn’t speak very quickly, so I was able to understand him. He told me that he was an instructor for the club and gave me some general information regarding the club; including the venue and the basic facilities.
I heard him mention Fort Paull many times, but I didn’t quite understand it clearly, but I could tell that John was very proud and sincere when he spoke about it. This led me to guess that he was talking about something special.
I looked out onto the street and observed the change in surroundings as the many houses quickly diminished to just a few. We came to a misty meadow which we had to drive through; it felt like we were driving into a never-ending picture.
The fresh wind blew with a hint of saltiness from the sea and, together with the mellow rays of the English summer sunlight, gave a slight dreamy kind of feel to the evening.
Humberside HAM club is located at a previous army base. As we arrived, the car stopped in front of a large metal door. After getting out of the car, I saw a gold plated sign which said Fort Paull, so I knew that this club was situated in a historical place.
We entered through the door, to face a large piece of green grass (80 acres), surrounded by walls. The name of this place was Fort Paul, which had about 500 years of history. There were many canons and large Guns, there was so much to see that I could not see everything. G6LNV led me through into the radio station.
It was well-hidden, with plants growing over. The exterior aerials were placed a bit further away in order to be hidden away. The entrance was so small that only one person can enter at a time. There was a long straight corridor; to the right was the workplace, lounge and a training room. Halfway down the corridor was a notice board with many different notices. There were a few people inside the lounge, drinking tea. We exchanged business cards and small gifts. After a time of introductions, John became serious and invited me to see their ‘treasure’. I was surprised to be led into the training room, which was filled with lots of equipment and tools; I wasn’t quite what I expected to see.
Humberside HAM like history!
Upon entering the training room, I met the vice chairman of the club, Mr Andy Nielsen (G7LRR), who was waiting to greet me. He was holding a box made of red wood and carefully put it onto the table. After opening the lid, I saw that the box was made in England (Cossor Empire Melody Maker, Model 234). I could clearly see 3 vacuum tubes at the base of the box. This was the treasure. G7LRR explained that this was a replicate of the 1928 radio, which had been made by the club; this was the reason why they were so proud of it. At that time, the vacuum tubes had only just been discovered and were being used in England, and it was also at the time that radio broadcasting first started. A radio would have been extremely expensive and rare to have in the home. I realised that the person who owned this radio would have been quite wealthy and able to afford to buy new things. I imagined that many people would have gathered around the radio to listen. This was during a short time of peace, between the two world wars.
Whilst I was still thinking about the first piece of treasure, the second item appeared. It was a gold box, which was a rusty, radio receiver. The marks and the buttons had been well kept and I could still see them clearly. This was a product of the England PYE, made in 1944. It was made especially for attacking France during the war. It was still under repair.
After seeing these two pieces of equipment, I felt that the Humberside HAM Club were experts in history; as they were repairing the receiver and also were seeking to continue the history of the receiver. I had heard that English people like history, and now I could really believe it.
Grandpa and granddaughter are both members
After looking at the two items, we went back to look at the notice board where I observed a newspaper cutting. There was photo of G7LRR’s granddaughter, Kayleigh Huntley, who was not even 6 years old. She not only had a great interest in radio, but also managed to get a licence to become England’s youngest HM. This was an interesting and wonderful thing to see that both grandpa and granddaughter could be members of the same club.
Tiny England, great history
We went outside and ZE0CIK was riding a mountain bike. There was mobile radio on the handlebars of the bike, and there were shiny aerials on the back of the bike. Next to him were canons, and he was next to an old canon which was on a red frame. The old canon had been placed there since it was made 400 years ago and had never been moved.
Before leaving China, I had read in a travel book which used the phrase ‘tiny England, great history’ to describe England. I couldn’t comprehend the true meaning of it then, but now I can understand it after seeing it with my own eyes.
Before the end of the visit we took a group photograph. It is a shame that couldn’t remember all of their names, but I will never forget their warm and welcome.
The Humberside HAM club has already been established for 4 years. They use a very normal radio (YAESU FT-2000) and have two aerials. However, if you happen to come across the club transmitted over the radio, then please say hi, as they really love to meet people from the east!