Rev George Dobbs, G3RJV, 11th March 2019

| March 11, 2019
Rev George Dobbs, G3RJV (SK)

Rev George Dobbs, G3RJV (SK)

It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that the Reverend George Dobbs, G3RJV, founder of the GQRP Club passed away in the early hours of Monday 11 March 2019.

George had been unwell for some time but he had been living quite comfortably in a care home. Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated quite rapidly over his last few days. Jo, his wife, was with him when he passed.

A full obituary will follow and all GQRP members will receive a special G3RJV memorial edition of SPRAT.

RIP George.

73, & 72, Steve, G0FUW
Chairman, GQRP Club


This news came too late to be included in the forthcoming (April) RadCom, however we will include a full tribute to George in the May edition. If you have any memories and/or photos you would like to share about G3RJV, please email and include “G3RJV” in the title.

RSGB understands that George’s funeral will be at 1.30pm on 27 March at his old church – St Aidans – in Sudden, Rochdale OL11 3EL.  The family requests no flowers other than their own, but any donations in George’s name to the Alzheimer’s Society would be appreciated. 


George and I both worked in the process laboratories of Laporte Titanium (in the 60s) where we both became interested in amateur radio along with Pete Linsley, G3PDL, who was in the R and D electronics laboratory. We passed the exam and went to Trusthorpe radio station for our Morse test. I was seated uncomfortably on the pillion seat of his scooter. We were successful and the only reason my call sign G3RGC precedes his was that  I had the readies that week!

When Pete and George both married and had adjoining  flats in Park Street, Grimsby they had to share a common aerial but needed to agree operating schedules. Eventually George left the area to take up the cloth and later founded the GQRP Club.

Memories by Trevor Matthews, G3RGC



My father, Syd Gornall (G4OFS) was a genius electronic engineer designing the telemetry on rockets in the 1950’s and 60’s and enabling colour television with original circuit designs that created the BBC colour cameras and associated studio monitors. But he had a hero. The Rev. George Dobbs, G3RJV, who had a passion for the ‘less is more’ school of electronics and was the founder of the UK low power radio communication club G-QRP. Radio transmitters that could be put into a mint tin and used practically to bounce subtle radio signals off the ionosphere to be picked up 300 miles or more away. 1000 miles a watt was his promise and when we made these little circuits and had change out of a ten pound note it was life affirming and formed a counter culture to the credit card purchased black box for the price of a car style of radios that developed after the second world war. Amateur radio was never easy. Apart from flying aircraft it is probably the only hobby that requires a licence with international agreement. But George made it a little easier and much more interesting. If you were interested in QRP radio (less than 5 watts transmitter power) it was possible to receive a magazine containing a project from George’s pen every month for perhaps half a century. In addition he edited and chaired the G-QRP club. His legacy is priceless and the simple techniques he proposed for low power, home brewed amateur radios will live for ever in these publications. I cannot tell you how sad I am to hear of his death this week. As he passes to a world of higher frequencies and plunges into the ocean of light in the next world I can only mourn his loss with a heart full of thanks for the encouragement he gave to several generations of radio amateurs. He was one of a kind.

George Dobbs G3RJV at Rishworth 2015 speaking on Why QRP

George Dobbs, G3RJV at Rishworth 2015 speaking on Why QRP

As I write this and look around my shack I can see the evidence of the influence of George.  From Practical Wireless, a PW7 transceiver, one of the best designs of integrated transceiver for homebuilding ever made according to my late father, a professional electronics engineer. There are two mint tins with 40m 0.3watt Pixies on different crystals, 7.030 MHz and 7.023MHz and the TX/RX set with the red light on, antenna and Morse key connected is the G-QRP 40 m Sudden Transmitter /Receiver (George always favoured the listen and pounce approach to making QRP contacts), plus the  Z-Match tuner – one of the best ever, all George’s designs.  A Youkits HB-1B QRP/CW multi band rig and an IC-703 QRP rig for SSB have seen field trips as far away as Stornoway but never put out more than about 7 watts.  There is no doubt about it, Goerge, G3RJV made a difference to the world of amateur radio. He was generous with his time and at Rishworth and other club events his sparkling eyes, dry wit and wisdom were shared over dinner and around the stands equally to old friends and new acquaintances. He will be greatly missed.

I suggest an annual memorial QRP on air meeting 11th March beginning at 07.03 UTC in memory of Rev. George Dobbs on the anniversary of his death at a time that remembers the QRP frequency on 40 meters.

Dr Leslie (Les) Gornall,  GI1BZT
D.Phil,BSc.(Hons),C.Biol. FRSB



There is a delicious irony that George fervently espoused QRP and yet had a QRO effect on amateur radio worldwide. I feel that George’s promotion of QRP put it on the same level of significance as the introduction of SSB, semiconductors and beam aerials.

I first heard of George in the 1970s when my local club received a letter from him proposing (or announcing) the formation of a QRP club. I first met him when he moved to the Nottingham area in the late 1970s. We subsequently mostly met at the QRP convention at St Aiden’s in Sudden. The last time I saw George was at the RSGB AGM where he was awarded the Calcutta Key.

Want an anecdote? I was the final link in a chain getting a glass callsign plaque to George. It was too delicate to entrust to the post so it was passed hand-to-hand. This saw me arrive at George’s front door at an early hour of the day and lower the plaque, on a loop of string, through his letterbox and onto the floor. Couldn’t simply post it through  as it might have had a hard landing and broken – after all that trouble!

Ian Brothwell, G4EAN / 9H3YI


Category: Silent Keys