COVENTRY AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY
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TONY HANCOCK'S 90TH BIRTHDAY - GB8TH

THE COVENTRY AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY OPERATED SPECIAL EVENT STATION GB8TH FROM THE BIRTHPLACE OF TONY HANCOCK AT 41 SOUTHAM ROAD BIRMINGHAM. ANTHONY JOHN "TONY" HANCOCK (12 MAY 1924 25 JUNE 1968) WAS AN ENGLISH TRAGI-COMEDIAN AND ACTOR. ONE OF HIS MORE FAMOUS EPISODES OF HIS OUTPUT WAS "THE RADIO HAM" HENCE OUR INTEREST.

27 Jan 2016

You couldn't make it up! Organising & running GB8TH was worthy of being a comedy show of its own.

Looking at his May meeting schedule Brian G8GMU realised the 12th of May was looming large. With about 20 days to go a rapid visit was made to 41 Southam Road Birmingham. The residents not speaking
English to well I left my mobile number. I received a call,(this is verbatim)"Hello my name is Khyber, as in Pass I own the Hancock House. Permission was granted to set up on the drive, to big an ask to invade a family home.

A call then made to Ofcom to reserve GB9TH, yes I know 9 series calls are professional experimental but you have to try. A few days later Ofcom issued GB8TH.

The publicity machine started to ensure maximum media coverage on the day. This included having Greggs sponsor the bread pudding. To understand the bread pudding link please listen to "The Radio Ham".

One the day 12th May we set up on the drive with 2 metres FM & 40 Metres SSB much to the puzzlement of the local residents. The newspapers & BBC TV arrived.
Our guest of honour was G7CDK Allan Florence who was the recording engineer for the Radio Ham & Blood Donor.

G8GMU was on BBC radio for several interviews including being able to put a question to Allan Simpson of Galton & Simpson fame, about the original concept of The Radio Ham. Allan had lived next door to a dentist who was a ham & he heard QSOs through the wall.


Back at Southam Road the neighbours really joined in, 2 of whom dressed in character. The BBC had a live feed for Midlands lunchtime news & a recording of the days events for the 6 O,Clock News. Th Bread pudding was cut live on air as the Hancock Birthday Cake, all went well until G8GMU nearly swallowed his dentures with the pudding live on TV. I said you cant make it up.

Being on the air on 2Metres caused several mobiles to appear to join in the fun. Indeed a real fun day & a privilege to run the special event station.

PLEASE NOTE: 41 Southam Road Hall Green Birmingham is a private residence not a museum or similar entity kindly do not disturb.

The plaque at Hancock's Birthpalce

Alison & Steve Gove-Humphries, as Grizelda Pugh & Hancock's Rebel Character.

Alan Florence G7CDK (right in image) attended bringing his invaluable insight into the recording of the Blood Donor & The Radio Ham records. Alan was the recording engineer on the day.

Brian G8GMU, Ben Sidwell BBC reporter, John G8SEQ

41 Southam Road with GB8TH & BBC Sat van.

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