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Were you a member? What did you make?
Hut 30 Radio Club 1961 with (arrowed) a home-made VHF TV aerial
I was in the Radio Club 1962-4. It occupied a side room on the left of Hut 30, where lots of ex-WD radio and radar stuff was gathered and experimented with. There was no health and safety in those days, so most of it was absolutely lethal.
Trevor Dodd and I joined in the Summer term of 1961, when the Club was in the last hut at the end of the enclosed covered way. The other North House members were Bob Craske and Barry Aves. I used to buy all sorts of war surplus junk & cannibalise it for parts & have still got a Practical Wireless from the late 50's with Lancaster T1154 transmitters selling for 19/6d plus 10/- carriage! I think one of the blokes managed to make a TV from a radar display unit.
Transistors were pretty expensive then, so all our designs & projects were based on valve technology. Chassis' were made in the workshops after school hours - said Seeley "don't you lads blunt my drills on that aluminium, haw haw!"
Regarding the radio club, I was one of the final members! It had been moved into a corner of the 101 club by 1967 and thereafter interest died down, so that by about 1972 only a few of us were using it, . The stores cupboard was broken into that year and a lot of the members' stuff was nicked or vandalised. The Club really ceased to exist after that.
It was due to membership of the Radio Club that I got involved with the cricket scoreboard. Also ended up as a projectionist for the films and running the school dances. also doing lighting for the school plays. It was amazing what the membership of one club could lead to!
It was the likes of Scott, Slegg, Gomeche and Southgate that got me involved. I remember, as a first former, building my first crystal set and picking up the world service.
John Hinchliffe was President for a year, then Francis Wright and then me. I didn't do much 'presiding' but it did look good on my UCCA form though! Francis has already reminded me about the unbeatable noughts and crosses machine I made. I really remember all the ring modulators we used to build so we could out-Floyd the Floyd at school dances!
We had some fun outings to the Post Office labs at Martlesham and Dollis Hill etc. I also remember scraping the black paint off the ubiquitous Mullard OC71 transistors to try and produce photo-electric transistors [OCP71 - Ed.] on the (relatively) cheap. John sold me a big valve radio with a massive speaker which had been fitted to the back panel - at least I think it was John who sold me it . Actually Hazzard was always flogging dodgy stuff so it might have been him on reflection!
From the 1968 College Magazine
This year the club has really got back on its feet after its move to new premises behind the workshops. We now have a wide range of members from first form to sixth form, and are hoping for some members among the girls in the near future. Since many of our members are building very simple radio sets it became essential to have a good aerial and earth, and we were very fortunate in being given some lengths of copper pipe for an earth. After several attempts to bore a hole four feet deep in the ground outside the club room had been frustrated by water pipes and concrete footing, we eventually managed to bury these copper pipes and run a wire to the workbenches.
We were again lucky to be given a television aerial, which had been discarded in favour of BBC2 and is now mounted in the rafters of the club. With the small profits made on sales of club stock this year we have been able to buy a small transistor amplifier for test purposes and increase the number of tools in the club.
Winter in the club was more comfortable since the hole in the roof, which used to be a chimney, was effectively repaired, and two tubular heaters were mounted on the wall keeping the room warm enough to work in.
Several interesting projects have been completed, notably a "Noughts and Crosses Machine" built by Ian Gomeche. This is a simple switched logical computer, which will happily play "noughts and crosses" will all comers, safe in the knowledge that it is inherently impossible for it to lose, but if you are lucky you might get it to draw!
We have recently become affiliated to the Mullard Educational Service, from whom we have received literature on radio and electronics, and we are hoping to be able to show some of their films on the subject next year.
I don't recall the Radio Club ever having any female members. I don't know whether they were not allowed or just not interested. It would have had interesting potential!
It would be good to read about some of the other projects too - there was a lot of other very interesting work going on. I think I mentioned the white line following vehicle before and there was also large scale project using the swimming pool as a wave tank to test different ship hull designs. Also the "Practical Electronics" Analogue Computer.
The Radio Club ceased operation in the early 1970s, reappeared briefly in 1976/77 and was then reborn in 1979 as the Electronics Club.
Wymondham College Remembered