Harry Heap, G5HF passed away on 27 August 2012 at a nursing home in Chelmsford, aged 95. He was the very active President of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) from October 2000 until October 2010. He presented the awards and prizes, officiated at AGMs and took part in club nets and other events.
He was first licensed as 2BZZ in 1932 at the age of 16 and was issued the callsign G5HF in 1933. Harry was especially interested in the then 56MHz band.
Following the outbreak of World War II he moved to Chelmsford to join Crompton Parkinson where he worked on devices to neutralise magnetic mines. The evenings he spent as a Voluntary Radio Interceptor.
Harry was a great lifelong friend and colleague of Louis Varney, G5RV, famous worldwide for his aerial design. Their young children used to play together at family gatherings. Both Harry and Louis were part of the very elite group of secret listeners providing received “off-air” coded material to “Box 25“, which we now know was Bletchley Park. Their names are on the Roll of Honour at the site. Harry regularly attended the reunions of the Box 25 RSS group to keep in touch with those still surviving.
In 1948 Harry was active in RSGB National Field day with Louis Varney, G5RV and Harry Lowe, G2HPF from a field between Hazeleigh and Purleigh in Essex. The antenna system consisted of two tall masts with a doublet fed by open line. The equipment was in a canvas tent.
The event was notable for the rain which poured down continuously while all the equipment was carted from cars parked on the road. There were several accumulators for the filament power and a huge pile of HT batteries giving a total of about 800 volts. As soon as the batteries were connected up, anything they touched gave an electric shock because the rain had soaked everything.
He was an industrial chemist by profession at Crompton Parkinson and produced many chemical gadgets for amateur radio and the study of worldwide weather watching, at which he was expert, giving talks to Engineering Societies and Radio clubs.
In his earlier days he owned and sailed a 32ft boat on the Blackwater and raced Mirantz and Riley cars at Boreham Airfield when it was a motor racing circuit, attended by famous motor racers such as José Froilán González driving the BRM.
He was a great entertainer, mentor and helper to us all and will be greatly missed.
Tribute by Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society
Category: Silent Keys