After my Dad was made redundant from Jones & Shipman’s, he spent some of his redundancy money on a new CB Radio from Dixons, on Gallowtree Gate. They were doing a sale, so he got the whole set up at a cheaper price – which included a mobile whip antenna (with a magnetic base to put on car’s roof).
For a time, before that, he used a Walkie-Talkie with just two channels which had been given to him, before buying his new set up. Having worked out how to wire this walkie talkie up to a mobile antenna, which sat on a metal biscuit tin in the living room, he was able to talk to people in places like Leicester Forest East, Kirby Muxloe and Rowley Fields. I remember his first contact with someone was a woman called June in the latter place. We eventually met her.
My Dad’s Dad had been a radio ham from about 1953 until 1963 (I have his logbook) – so I suppose my Dad wasn’t new to this sort of thing. For a while he had his new set up from Dixons, a Harrier CBX, set up in the living room – still on the antenna on a biscuit tin.
In time he moved to the back room and somehow acquired scaffold poles (Don’t ask me how?) to erect quite a tall mast in the back garden.
By then the furthest person had has spoken to was in Glasgow(!) Mainly he chatted to people in Leicestershire, northern Northamptonshire and southern Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire. In those first few years he made a lot of friends locally and we met a lot of them. Then when he passed away in 1990, some of the closer ones came to his funeral. They were all a lovely bunch.