In 1979 fresh out of school found myself sat in the passenger seat of my mates Morris oxford and there were voices coming out of the glove box.” What’s that” I said to Dave, “oh that’s my CB radio.” Anyway, he passed me the mike which I immediately gave back and took some persuading to speak into, which I know those that know me will find hard to believe.
A couple of weeks later found me at the doors of SSE in Dorking (yes we had a Cb radio shop) 3o mins later I was let out the back door of the shop with a Viking 40 ch AM rig and a Dv27 the rig in a Tesco carrier bag with the instructions that if stopped I didn’t buy it from there. Off I trotted and with help from Love Machine and his SWR meter, it was all installed in my Mk2 Cortina.
First calls were made using Drummer Man as a handle but everyone that came back called me Drummer Boy and it stuck. 6 months later and I was addicted to this new hobby spending hours on hilltops until the early hours, and putting up a silver rod on the chimney pot at home. Various radios followed from superstars to Cobras and a President Grant which I still have from 82, and I even got hold of a Speedy valve linear.
Had a stab at doing the RAE in about 82 but only got as far as doing all the learning and never sat the exam. I continued with the CB and was the secretary for The Acorn Breakers Club formed at my local pub The Royal Oak. Packed all my gear away in 2002 and rediscovered it in 2016 when I built a new shed which is now my Shack. I still had a Sirio 827 up and away I went. I soon discovered that there were a few people on but most were hill toppers due to home-based QRM.
Soon got into a routine of doing the South Coast net on a Thursday night on FM then later in the evening USB. Here I met a lot of people that are a huge part of my radio family today. Dougie Fresh suggested we start an AM net for nostalgia’s sake as it was now legal and what some of us fought to get back in the day. Well on a cold January evening the net was born and I was elected chair after a unanimous vote between Doug and Boris down at Bexhill.
There soon followed a Facebook page where logs from the nets were put up and the AMC was born (Aunty Mary Crew). In 2019 I took my Foundation after a lot of study at my local club and with encouragement from the AMC and some other ops who I had first met on Cb .
6 weeks later I took my intermediate just before the changes to the syllabus. I thought that was it and I wasn’t clever enough to become a full license holder and stayed a 2E0 until 2021. Started to read the book in 2020 but my learning was sporadic, to say the least with long periods of not doing it. People kept saying book it up and I made excuses, finally deciding to book it early Feb and failing.
20 minutes later I had booked another for 10 days time and the learning continued with 14 hours put in on a weekend and numerous hours during the week. I wanted it so bad and it was a great relief to finally pass at the second attempt. I still can’t believe I managed to do it but the call sign says different. I still operate on CB radio usually from a hilltop and from the comfort of my shack on the Hf bands. Radio has been a fantastic hobby and I’ve made many good friends through it. De Drummer Boy/AMC674/M0KCV.