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2009 News Releases

 

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WIA Director Visits RSGB

Date : 09 / 08 / 2009
Author : Robert Broomhead - VK3DN

During a business trip to London last week, I had the opportunity to catch up with Colin Thomas G3PSM and Peter Kirby G0TWW President and General manager of the RSGB. Our meeting took place at the Little Ship club overlooking the river Thames and directly opposite the offices of Ofcom (the UK equivalent to the Australia’s ACMA). Pictured are Colin Thomas (left) and Peter Kirby (right) with the Ofcom building in the background.

Over a light lunch we discussed matters relating to the services provided by both our radio societies and the promotion of membership to our societies. We also exchanged ideas and material for the ongoing marketing and promotion of Amateur Radio. One thing which did become apparent during the discussion was the firm commitment that UK amateurs have to membership of their society, with the RSGB having over 50% of all licenced amateurs as members of their society. In Australia the WIA has approximately 4,600 members of around 15,000 licenced radio amateurs.

I also had the opportunity to visit Bletchley Park home of the code breakers. During the second world war encrypted radio transmissions were intercepted and decoded by a team of under cover scientists and mathematicians working secretly at Bletchley Park. Most of the original code breaking equipment in use at the site was deliberately destroyed after the war, however a team of historians and engineers have been able to carefully reconstruct much of the equipment used. Today Bletchley Park has become a popular tourist attraction, you can walk around grounds and displays at your own pace or choose to join in one of the guided tours. On display is the enigma cipher machine, a working Bombe and the worlds very first computer system which was invented and built during the war to speed up the code breaking process.

The RSGB also have a public display of Amateur Radio at Bletchley Park and the RSGB HQ Station GB3RS operates from the display area. In April 2008 the RSGB announced that they would be moving the Society's "public headquarters" (library, radio station, museum and bookshop) to Bletchley Park, this will be a purpose built facility which is scheduled to be constructed in time for it's official opening in April 2010.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit the UK, I would encourage you to consider a trip to Bletchley Park, it is well worth the 45 minute train ride from London.



 

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