Chapter 3 - A Royal Meeting (1970-1971)

Early in 1970 the Club, faced with a move from Roxeth School, eventually found alternative premises at Harrow County School where a room was put at our disposal. It was a classroom in the annexe outbuilding but it did not offer the same facilities as our previous QTH. There was no cupboard space available and we were not able to cater for teas or erect an antenna to operate a station. This of course was a great drawback and the Committee soon realised that this venue could only be a temporary arrangement until more suitable premises could be found.

It was about this period that QZZ appeared again, this time under the editorship of Russell Medcraft G3JVM. The Committee at the time was President Jack Pennel G3EFP, Chairman and Treasurer Chris Rees G3TUX, Secretary and Editor Russell G3JVM and members Arnold G3HBW, Derek Morris G3LSY, Don G3MLS, Errol Walling G3RZK, John Mandrak and Ken Ash. The programme continued as before with Lectures, Demonstrations, Junk Sales alternating with practical nights but without the facilities for construction that were available at Roxeth. Information about this period is very scarce as certain minutes of Committee meetings and log books covering the period 1970 to 1972 have been lost. However the most interesting event of the time was the first meeting with H.M. King Hussein of Jordan.

It so happened that one of the Club's experienced members, Norman Joly G3FNJ, had a contact on the air with His Majesty who was at the time operating his transmitter using his UK callsign from a London Clinic where he was undergoing treatment. Norman knew that in the early 50s the King had been a pupil at Harrow School, so Norman explained that he was a member of the Harrow Radio Society and the King was most interested.

As a result of this the Committee decided to ask His Majesty to accept Honorary membership of the Club. He graciously accepted and three members of the Committee were invited to an audience with him at the Dorchester Hotel on the 15th January 1971, so that they could present him with a suitable hand prepared certificate to mark the occasion. This scroll had been prepared at short notice by the Secretary's sister Miss Ann Rees a student at the Harrow Art School. The three members invited were Norman Joly G3FNJ, Chris Rees G3TUX and Russell Medcraft G3JVM. They spent an interesting half-hour with the King talking about Amateur Radio. They were also accompanied by Harrow Observer reporter Jennie Wilkinson and chief photographer Doug Avent and an interesting article with photographs appeared in the "Observer" on the 19th January 1971.

The photo shows from left to right: King Hussein, JY1; Norman Joly, G3FNJ; Chris Rees, G3TUX; Russell Medcraft, G3JVM
The photo shows from left to right: King Hussein, JY1; Norman Joly, G3FNJ; Chris Rees, G3TUX; Russell Medcraft, G3JVM

Several years later, in 1979, another meeting with the King was arranged. Details of this appear in a later chapter.

However, as mentioned earlier, the venue at Harrow County school was far from satisfactory and the Committee welcomed the opportunity of a change when approached by Commander Turner of the Harrow Sea Cadets. He was looking for a local radio amateur to give some elementary instruction to his cadets in radio communication and morse code. As we were looking for new premises he was prepared, as part of the arrangement, to allow the Club to use a room in the Cadets H.Q. in Woodlands Road, Harrow on regular Friday nights for a small rental. Both sides could see the possibilities in this and so the Club moved again, to Woodlands Road.

On to Chapter 4

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