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Friends Remembered Home | Friends Detail

Peter Hale (G4OAD)

24th August 2010

In my lifetime I have met a handful of people who are very special. They instantly become part of your life. Peter was one of them. There is a natural rapport amongst engineers and technicians so we enjoyed each others company and humour. I first met Peter face to face at our radio club in an upstairs room at the Paddocks, Canvey Island. Heíd had trouble finding where we were and arrived complaining and breathless having struggled up two flights of stairs. I had spoken to him just a few days previously, when operating Amateur radio from Rayleigh Windmill. Fellow radio ham Dave had recognized Peterís voice and callsign so I handed over the microphone and the pair of them reminisced over their past acquaintances. Dave invited him to the Paddocks. At the end of the meeting Peter again moaned about the stairs so I offered to throw him down them or give him a kick him in the rear. I got a retort about his judo abilities and the Palestine Police which amused me greatly. We both laughed and a lasting friendship had begun. Soon afterwards we met again at a radio club field station. There was more banter. It was a glorious hot summer day. Come on he said Iíll buy you an ice-cream. He was staggered when the man in the van charged him £6.00 for two small cornets! We had a boyís trip to RAF Duxford, a good time but unfortunately the Radio shack was closed. We decided to return another day. There followed a day out to a Colchester Rally. We set off in the Toyota Yaris with Pete and I in the front and Vera in the back with Peterís scooter! On that occasion I bought the ice-cream. My wife, Terri, and I would pop in to see Vera and Peter; the ladies would be in the lounge and the gents in the shack! Some evenings Peter would drive over to join me in a pint at the local or make up the numbers on our Monday night quiz team. With us all getting along so well it was decided to have a return day out at RAF Duxford. This time we used the Ford Explorer with plenty of room. We were able to spend time in the radio shack there while the wives sat in the sunshine. Peterís favourite was the Land Warfare Museum where he gave us a running commentary as we walked around. It was a fascinating day enjoyed by all. Peter again says he wants to return and heíll drive next time! Late December 2009, on a bright but bitterly cold day we teamed up to trace a source of radio interference. We took bearings at Leigh, Shoebury, Canvey Island and the Isle of Sheppey. It was a long day. As Peter always felt the cold I insisted that he stay in the car with the engine running while I worked outside but he was so enthusiastic about our task that he chose to suffer the cold and got frozen to the marrow. Shortly afterwards, while discussing our findings over a pint, I presented him with a wooly hat. This prompted him to buy a high tog sleeping bag to get him through the night on a 24hr Morse competition. He had a lot of pluck for an octogenarian. For anyone visiting Peter in his radio shack it was a memorable experience. He liked it to be warm so the convector heater was on night and day. At 85F it was tropical. Thankfully Vera would keep us supplied with tea but about every Ĺ hour Iíd have to go out and cool off. We spent days together making and testing wire antennas. We lofted them on the enormous wind up mast in his garden. Guy ropes were a must but we could never agree on the best knots to use. He used sailorís knots and I used fishing knots. His came undone easily, mine didnít. We would meet on Skype or the radio in the evenings and chat for hours. It always amazed me that somebody who could talk for England insisted that the brevity of Morse code was still the ultimate form of communication. We never could agree on that and I was often the butt of his jibes about not being able to read it. I think he secretly wanted to teach me Morse code, sadly it is something I still have absolutely no interest in. At the radio club meetings he would often spill his drink. As I cleared up I would accuse him of trying to attract attention to himself. Once he had joined the Committee I would make a point of recording these episodes in the meetings minutes! Peter was the most enthusiastic and irrepressible senior citizen I have known. As a member of South Essex Amateur Radio Society, Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society and Essex Repeater Group he was a great asset to Amateur Radio, supporting the meetings and most of the field events. He was a fine example of how to grow old with dignity. He will be greatly missed.

Contributed by: Norman Crampton (M0FZW)

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