The School Radio Society

The Radio Society History

Some of the pupils developed a stronger interest in physics than they might have done without the inflluence of one of Rex Sawyer's own hobbies - Amateur Radio. On his return from service in the RAF during the Second World War, he obtained the callsign G3DTB - the next on the list to be issued. Later, forseeeing its issue, he made a special application to the issuing authorities and was succesful in obtaining the callsign G3IGS - ostensibly for the boys at the school. Thus began the School Radio Society.

Prior to issue of G3IGS, Rex was already 'talking to the world' from his home (initially, a caravan on the school grounds) and this did not go unoticed by a few inividuals who, with his help, went on to become radio amateurs. However with a transmitting and receiving station (all made by Rex and the pupils) set up in the science laboratory and complete with a very decent aerial (as we then used to call the antenna); the world could be listened to with awe - during lunchtime and other breaks. Certain pupils, who with Rex's tuition and encouragement formally sat and passed both the Radio Amateurs Examination and The Morse Test, could actually talk to the world. These were exciting times !

The Radio Shack of G3IGS

In this photograph of G3IGS, Rex is tuning into a station on the CR100 receiver. The 'home made' transmitter is the centre unit of the right hand rack and comprises a Geloso vfo driving an 807 valve as the pa. At the bottom of the rack is the psu whilst at the top is the atu. Writing up the log is "one of the boys" also (at that time) a licenced Radio Amateur.

Radio Society Activities

Radio society members were (as all boys at the School) members of the Army Cadet Force - and consequently grew stronger as a result of carrying the 'portable' radios then in use by the Army. The healthy outdoor life led to participation in the annual radio competition known as National Field Day. (Perhaps it offered an escape from the rigours of shool life, or was it that the Girls School boarders did the catering?)

The photo shows some visitors from another club together with boys and old boys outside the tent housing the 'portable' radio station.

Although proud of the term 'amateur', the Society held formal meetings and issued an annual newsletter.

The photo shows those attending the 1962 AGM - all Radio Amateurs. These and many others attending the School were inspired by the 'hobby' activities of R.W.Sawyer (and other masters) and are enjoying professional careers in technical disciplines.

To celebrate the 450th Anniversary of the Founding of Ilminster Grammar School, in 1999, a 'Special Event Station' was put 'on the air'

Yes, the original callsign G3IGS was re-licenced. For the Re-union, aerials and a transceiver were set up at the Shrubbery and a number of 'Old Boys' gathered there and 'on the air' to celebrate G3IGS again.

The Station was operated by Richard, G3OTK and Gordon, G3KOV and contacts were made with stations in the USA and the Black Sea: also, many in the UK, including G3LYW, John and G6JNS, Peter - both Old Boys

Several guests at the Re-union spoke 'on the air' including two very special guests: George Maher, and Enid Sawyer.


Malcolm, G3OJL

photo from D.J.Wheadon 1335x1008px

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