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Silent Keys

The following obituaries are for Amateur Radio Operators that are now sadly, Silent Keys. They where all at some time either members of the Andover Radio Amateur Club, connected to it or the Club has benefitted from their estate.

image of Rodney, silent key memberRodney Hope, G6YEY sadly died after a long illness on 19th March 2022, aged 75. Some will remember Rodney the cyclist, some Rodney the warehouseman. Some of us will also remember Rodney the rose gardener - a side not many at ARAC ever actually saw…it seems there is more to life than radio! He was a long standing member of the club though, before he passed his Amateur exams, he was a keen CBer and some of our members knew him from back then. Rodney was a staunch volunteer at our annual Boot Sales and a very enthusiastic participant in the DX Foxhunts. He was absolutely made up when, after a number of years of chasing round the countryside, he finally won. The over-riding memory of Rodney is that he was a very gentle and kindly man, a true radio amateur, who never spoke badly of anyone. He will be a much missed member of our club. Rodney is survived by his wife Veronica and two sons.

image  of Jim Chick, former committee member and silent key of ARAC Chick, G4NWJ died unexpectedly and suddenly on 5th August 2018, aged 74. He left school at 15 having been head boy, despite having spent a year in hospital with Meningitis, to attend Salisbury Technical College, where he did very well and subsequently, achieved a 5 year apprenticeship at Auto and General as an auto electrician. When Jim's apprenticeship was finally at an end in 1965, he was a very able car mechanic but more importantly had enhanced his electronics skills significantly. The Post Office were the fastest to reply of his job applications and he was employed as a Postal Engineer. The work was very varied, he would do anything from fixing stamp cancelling machines, to installing alarm systems, repairing conveyor belts in the sorting office and recalibrating the scales in the small village shops all across Salisbury Plain and into Hampshire. The only reason that Jim could leave the Post Office in the late 80s, was that Falcon Telemetrics, the falconry transmitter business that he had created, was going well and it allowed him more time to indulge in his really passion of falconry. Over the years he entertained and educated 1000s of people with flying displays and was influential in the world of falconry both politically and personally for over 40 years. He passed his Amateur Radio exam in 1980 and was allocated the callsign G6ABM, he quickly learned Morse code and passed his A Class Licence so that he could move on as G4NWJ, freeing up his old callsign for his daughter, Angie to take up in 1982. He was initially a member of the Salisbury Amateur Radio Club and continued to be so until its sad demise, when he moved to the Andover club along with many others, some of which are still members today. He was a driving force within the club, having spent many years as the Chairman and on the committee. When radios stopped being valve driven, he was very sceptical at the “hippy doodah” changes, but just before he died, he has not only completed a uBitx, an All-band High Frequency Amateur Radio Transceiver which utilises Arduino technology, but assisted other Andover Radio Club members in the completion of theirs. Over the years, he was instrumental in many projects that the club undertook. Jim was often called on for his technical experience and expertise to repair other members kit and radios. He was also invaluable at the Car boot sales having an extensive knowledge of electric and electronic tools, kit, radios and cables. Jim enjoyed participating in many radio events often being the mainstay of the overnight contests. Radio Foxhunting is something that he has always excelled in, due in the main part to the experience he had tracking birds with the falconry transmitters that he designed and retailed.On the day he died he was proudly telling a fellow amateur that he met at the show of his win on the previous Tuesday with Angie. He died on a lovely sunny day at a show where we were about to perform our flying display, sat under a tree, eating his lunch, surrounded by his birds and telling a funny story to Angie whilst his wife, Liz made him a coffee. He wouldn't have wanted to go any other way!

image of Jack Wintle former life member and silent keyJack Wintle GØUJW died peacefully in his sleep on 30th Dec 2016 aged 86. His wife Jean continues to reside there. Amongst his many interests, Jack focused on radio communication and along with many others initially made use of CB radio, which allowed him to speak to friends in distant parts. This interest grew and he joined the Andover Radio Amateur Club where he was able to obtain his full licence. With this and some new equipment he could work stations around the world and with that many friendships were struck up. One of the things that fascinated Jack was being able to intercept weather map data from the latest satellites and then discuss the forthcoming weather with people all around the British Isles. Jack was very popular with all the members of the Andover Radio club eventually becoming its Chairman, which allowed him to invigorate the club with new ideas. One of his best was to suggest that the club held twice annual Car Boot Sales, the first of which was held at Middle Wallop in September 1996 and later at Wildhern in April 2001, the profits from which saved the club from folding when accommodation charges became prohibitively more expensive. These sales still carry on today and are a real lifeline for the club. One of the things that he will be remembered for is his nightly Morse code classes because having learned the code himself he decided to spread it to the other newer members by use of a twice weekly 'Net'. At least five club members and six more outside Hampshire gained their certificates because of his efforts. The club decided to elect Jack to be its President in 2000, a post which he held until 2006, but his popularity continued and shortly afterwards he was made a life member (of which there are only 5) Jack will be missed by many of the members at the club meetings and hundreds around the world on the air.

image of Ray Jolly, former member and silent key of ARACRay Jolly G4VMJ. Ray had been a member of ARAC since the days when we all met up at the Love Lane Social Club. He unfortunately suffered bad health over a number of years and was not often able to attend the club and this was exacerbated after his wife died. Ray lived in Mile End Eoad and was occasionally active on HF. As his health deteriorated he went to live with his daughter Sue who would bring him in his wheelchair to the Boot Sales at Wildhern. His picture shown here dates back to happier times in 1980.

Arthur Sharp GØWNZ. He was a former member of ARAC. Arthur lived in Winchester and became a member of the Andover Club after the collapse of the Winchester club. He had started life his working with heavy horses on a farm and ended up a chauffeur, he was always happy to share lots of country sport stories.His wife is an excellent cook and each time Jim (G4NWJ) went to his QTH to help him install his radios or fix up aerials she produced a superb lunch. In later years he moved to Portsmouth and was no longer able to get to the ARAC Boot sales. He will be sorely missed by those who knew him and those who recognised his friendly style.

Gerry Sanderson G2DBT - please click on this link for his obituary. Gerry Sanderson

George Sweet G3OZY (not actually an ARAC member). He was the RNARS representative for the Andover area. George for many years lived in South Street, Andover.

Frank Green G4UVO (ex-Treasurer). He was the First President of ARAC who also ran a "Pound" shop in Bridge Street, Andover. Frank used his caravanette as a meeting point for the ARAC members visiting the Rallies at Longleat, which was very handy. A member of RNARS and a great CW operator until arthritus in the wrists stopped him.

Dave Cox G8OPR/GØRRJ. A great SHF operator on all bands up to 10GHz. Participated and virtually ran the ARAC VHF field days from Chute Causeway. Dave died aged only 49 on 17 March 2003

Pete Sankey G6DKO. Worked for many years for a branch of Racal. He was resident at Summerlug in Winterbourne for a long time.

John Lundy SWL (ex- Chairman). Known to his circle of friends as 'M'. John actually kept ARAC running when no one else wanted to take on the reins of power. He never actually took the Ham exams, unlike his daughter Sarah-Jane and son-in-law Nick G6GFO

Maurice Barnes GØFVE. Was in the RAF and stationed at Boscombe Down many years ago, he retired back to the local area to be close to his family.

Dennis Price G3AEO (ex-Chairman). Member of the old school of technically proficient Chairmen. Dennis worked latterly at the Home Office technical unit at Weyhill. He was a prolific builder of Ham equipment in his village of Little London.

Joyce Price G4RJP Married to Dennis Price (G3AEO) and employed at the Home Office technical unit. Joyce was a competant CW operator and was part of the Observer Corps at the end of WWII and beyond.

Bill Brown G1GCS. A handy man to have around, Bill could shin up anything to install antennas. He operated on 2m and 70cm as well as all the HF bands for which he had an 80ft lattice tower behind his council house! Bill also bred and raced pigeons together with his nursery for Koi Carp.

Dave Lunn G3LSL (ex-Chairman). Dave lived in Clatford/Abbots Ann which did not have a good takeoff for VHF nets. After his retirement he moved away, to Leicester we understand, but died shortly after.

Gone but not forgoten.....