Maurice became interested in radio in 1935 when his father constructed a radio with 2V valves, accumulator, 120V HT battery and a horned speaker. A Peto Scott commercial receiver with shortwave was purchased a couple of years later and this was the first time Maurice heard amateur radio. This spurred on his interest and he also became very proficient at CW. In February 1939 he obtained his AA licence with the call sign 2BLA held in his mother’s name with him as her agent but he was not allowed to transmit over the air.
At the outbreak of war the transmitter parts he had collected were confiscated but he continued to listen on his Howard receiver and he enrolled in the National Wireless Register. In 1939/40 he became a member of the “Y” service as a voluntary interceptor.
He volunteered for the RAF in 1941 and was taken on as a Wireless Operator/Mechanic. After initial training Maurice was employed at RAF Hendon on the maintenance of aircraft radios. In 1943 he was promoted to Flying Officer and was posted to Cheadle and then to Dunstable.
After the war Maurice restarted his interest in amateur radio as he still had his Howard receiver and got back the equipment that had been confiscated at the beginning of the war. Fortunately there was plenty of surplus radio equipment available so he built a Top Band transmitter and made his first real QSO in 1947. Different surplus receivers were obtained and various transmitters were built during the ensuing years until he purchased his first transceiver, a KW200E, and then a linear amplifier. This was followed by various other transceivers, the last being an IC-7400 in 2009.
He was always interested in DX and during his lifetime worked over 250 countries using an 80m loop aerial. He also used to enter the BERU contest regularly. Later in life when he was not able to erect large aerials he became a great fan of the 6m band and spent many a happy hour chasing DX on that band.
Maurice was an RSGB member for 70 years and also a member of the Radio Fraternity Lodge since 1967, becoming Master in 1978 and he remained an enthusiastic member of both organisations throughout the remainder of his life. His other interest was bird watching and he was involved in the ringing and research of bird movements.
He will be greatly missed by his daughter and grand children as well as his radio and Masonic friends.
Tribute by Robin Powell, G3GOP
Category: Silent Keys