We heard tales of trips “home” to Cornwall from Bob Morris ZL2AVM. There was a pirate mentioned… just one as it happens, but Bob ZL2AVM took us on a fascinating illustrated communications romp through parts of Cornwall over several centuries. From coast-top beacons, flag signalling, telegraph experiments and undersea cables he lured us into his world as a lad growing up. His family links with the area helped set the scene for a discussion of Marconi’s activities (with special reference to Poldhu and Porthcurno, and to the impetus the development of railways gave to electrical signalling requirements.
There was even a glimpse of Goonhilly (further west) which began as a satellite telecoms tracking station, only to change its nature as reliable undersea cables and “stationary orbit” satellites became dominant. The site of Bob’s first amateur station G3KYB was disclosed, and he asserted that while he had been tempted, he never did run an antenna from the shack up the adjacent church tower.