Bob Wilkinson, G3VVT – 13 February 2024

| February 23, 2024

Bob Wilkinson, G3VVT, started his interest and career in communications when he started repairing TVs and radios at a local electrical shop in Colne. Maybe this piqued his interest in amateur radio or maybe it was the other way round. He then moved to Rediffusion TV rentals, based in Keswick and Kendal, where he managed the workshop and aerial sites even at that time in the 1970s. This patch also covered Northern Ireland, so he was used to managing large geographical areas. In the early 1980s his role was threatened to become desk-based, so, as an outdoors person, he decided to move on from Rediffusion and because of his specialist knowledge, he gained a role with Aramco in Saudi Arabia working on the early fibre optic and microwave communications across the desert oil fields. He had managed to turn his hobby into a career. He remained at Aramco as a Senior Engineer for 20 years.

Bob was an active and prominent member of the RSGB. He obtained his G3VVT call sign in 1966 and was an RSGB member well before that. Latterly he was known to many at the RSGB, where he served as the ETCC Northern England Manager for 20 years. At his time of passing, Bob was also active in several local repeater groups including the North Western in Accrington, South Lakeland and the Anglo Scottish groups.

His other interests included cycling and motorcycling as well as travel and hill walking, which brought him into contact with the North West Mountain Rescue team and their radio equipment. He was always willing to help others and Mike M1IKE recollects that when he had problems with his radio, Bob jumped on his Triumph Tiger Cub and rode in all weathers to help him to get things working again.

This sense of willingness to help others can be seen in that he built two repeaters GB3LD and GB3LF to enable many amateurs to communicate with each other, in North Lancashire and South Cumbria. He kept the repeaters going come what may, even digging into his own pocket when necessary. His efforts were directly responsible for the evolution of the multi-site repeater network on the Isle of Man, thanks to his detailed knowledge of the island’s topography. Bob and Mike went to many NARSA rallies to promote the LD and LF repeaters and to gather donations for the repeaters.

Bob joined the Morecambe Bay ARS in the early 2000’s. He played an active role in MBARS especially in the annual construction competition and annual DF hunt, which he won four times. He also gave talks to the club members to try and improve their knowledge on radio matters.  He was latterly appointed club President.

Bob was still working at the age of 82, and is survived by his wife Pauline and daughter Ria. The cremation at Beetham Hall Crematorium on 4 March 2024 was attended by a large cross-section of his Amateur radio friends. Bob was much respected for his knowledge and wisdom.

He will be sorely missed by many. RIP Bob.

Andrew Barrett, G8DOR

Category: Silent Keys