Derek Stanley Babbage, G4CI, 2 December 2014

| January 5, 2015
Derek Babbage, G4CI (SK)

Derek Babbage, G4CI (SK)

Derek Stanley Babbage, G4CI, passed away peacefully on 2nd December 2014. He is survived by his wife Joan and their two children Ian and Susan. He was born in Wimbledon and attended Tiffins school in Kingston and subsequently took a degree course in radio engineering at the Regent Street Polytechnic, now the University of Westminster. As a holiday job, he joined the Quartz Crystal Company in New Malden Surrey, staying there throughout WW2 and retiring as its Managing Director and owner at 65.

Married in 1949, life was spent at Worcester Park, Surrey, in a house selected, amongst other things, for its elevation and radio attributes. Until he moved early in 2013 he operated from his loft shack, climbing the access ladder several times a day. For the past 18 months he and Joan have been living in sheltered accommodation near family in Gloucester, Derek spending his time cataloguing many of his recordings, and transferring them to CD and DVD. He still embraced new technology, was an avid Skype user, treating it as an extension of amateur radio and was just coming to terms with Windows 8 on a new laptop. Motor sport had always held his interest, and although in recent years no longer able to attend meetings, he followed it passionately.

Derek was a founder member of the Thames Valley Amateur Radio Transmitters Society, TVARTS, and an active participant until its recent closure. His distinctive call sign G4CI often resulted in requests for a missing letter. A very competent engineer and electronics technician, he built much of his own equipment over the years, including an early television set with rows of bright red EF50 valves. He also built a number of high quality audio tape recorders to complement his hobby of sound recording the classical music that he loved. He was a keen amateur photographer, processing both black and white as well as colour films at home. When younger he could often be found tuning up cars for enhanced performance in the garage that he built at the end of his garden.

A philosophy that nothing was irreparable served him well, and many of his household appliances were maintained in full working condition well past their sell-by date. His enthusiasm for everything he undertook over a long and productive life will be missed by all who knew him. He celebrated his 94th birthday in August 2014 with a family party at a local hostelry, but in the last few months his health had deteriorated.

Tribute by Nigel Babbage, G1DZB

Category: Silent Keys