George Banner, G3AHX.
George died on the 5th May 2013 at the Care Home in Amersham where he had been for the last few years. He was 97.
George was a graduate of the Colwyn Bay Radio College and was at sea as a Radio Officer for several years in the 1930’s, before coming ashore in 1937 on his marriage. He joined the GPO and was sent to Leafield shortwave station. In 1939 he joined the Radio Security Service and spent the first years of the war at a direction finding facility near Thurso. Later, still direction finding, he was moved to Leatherhead. In 1942 he returned to Leafield and worked on Operation Corona, tuning the powerful transmitter there to German night fighter frequencies so that misleading instructions could be sent to confuse the defences.
In 1945 he was transferred to Criggion long wave station. George had already been introduced to amateur radio before the war on a visit to a radio club in Sydney, and when licences again became available he became G3AHX. During the 50’s at Criggion he was a keen DXer.
In 1964 he was given the job of rebuilding GBR at Rugby. This had meant that there was little opportunity for his hobby, and when the task at Rugby was complete in 1968 he saw an ad for the post of Radio Communications Manager for the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. Exotic DX beckoned, but sadly his interviewer pointed out that there was a post at a place called Goonhilly in Cornwall for which he was much better suited! George arrived at Goonhilly and spent from 1972 to 1980, when he retired, as Station Manager.
In retirement George was able to give more time to amateur radio. There was a RAYNET group at Goonhilly, and this group was offered a redundant building at the rear of the old Poldhu Hotel. The Poldhu Amateur Radio Club was formed with George becoming its President. For the next twenty years George worked tirelessly for the club, first in the old building and then later when the club moved in to the Marconi Centre on the 2001 Centenary. George, together with Davey, G3AGA, maintained the aerials until they were both into their late 80’s!
George’s last few years were spent in Amersham to be near family but he remained President of the club and kept in frequent touch with members.
Poldhu Amateur Radio Club has suffered a very sad loss.
Tribute by Keith Matthew, G0WYS
Hon Sec Poldhu Amateur Radio Club
Category: Silent Keys