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SIDE STORY FEATURE



ANOTHER SERVICE CLOSES DOWN

Portishead Radio, known to mariners the world over, has now closed it's doors.

British Telecom Maritime Radio Services announced that Portishead Radio and all of the VHF stations will close at 1200Z on Sunday 30 April, 2000. The Medium Frequency stations will close at 1200Z on Friday 30 June.

Portishead Radio first came on air 80 years ago in 1920 and was to
become the largest communications centre in the world. It employed over 340 people and was the Morse code and radiotelephone centre for the Commonwealth for many decades.

The following was the final broadcast made by Portishead at 1200z on
April 29, 2000 using phone, Telex and CW:

"CQ de GKB2/4/5/6

This is the last broadcast from Portishead Radio. For 81 years we have
served the maritime community.  We say thank you to all those who have supported and used our station.  We pay tribute to Marconi who made it all possible.  His first transmissions across water were made from nearby here and so started the radio era.  We are proud to have been part of that era. As this historic time in the commercial messaging world comes to a close the Manager and Radio Officers wish you farewell from Portishead Radio/GKB  AR VA"

As a final salute, there was a cross band event in which Portishead
radio made contacts with the amateur radio community. This is a full
transcript of their final message sent on 8559.5 KHz between
1955/2003z 29APR00:

"'CQ de GKB 2/4/5/6/7 =
THIS UNIQUE MARITIME/AMATEUR CROSS BAND EVENT
IS NOW AT IT's END. THE RADIO OFFICERS ASSOCIATION
WISH TO THANK BT MARITIME SERVICES & THE RADIO
COMMUNICATIONS AGENCY FOR MAKING IT POSSIBLE.
QSL ALL CONTACTS VIA BURO. NO INCOMING CARDS PLEASE.
ONLY S.A.E TO PO BOX 50 HELSTON TQ12 7YQ ENGLAND.

LETS REMEMBER ALL THOSE WHO DID NOT MAKE IT BACK
TO PORT BOTH IN WAR & PEACE TIME. THEIR LOG BOOKS
CAN NOW BE CLOSED & THEY CAN GO OFF WATCH AS WILL
PORTISHEAD RADIO TMW.   TO ALL OF THE AMATEURS, MNI
TKS NW QTP & CL SEE U TMW FOR LAST TIME = TU AND
GOOD BYE AR VA".

[Via Royal Amateur Radio Society Mail Reflector]


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