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Old 21st Oct 2019, 9:12 am   #1
dave walsh
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Default Secret History of GCHQ

This Radio 4 series starts tonight at 8pm. The first part [of four] takes us to the East Coast and the Listening Station at Scarborough which was opened just before the First World War to monitor Radio activity in the North Sea. It goes on to look at Bletchley Park and subsequent more modern developments. There is an article in the current Radio Times!

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Old 22nd Oct 2019, 10:58 pm   #2
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Default Radio 4 program 'Secret History of GCHQ'

Yesterday I'm sure I saw a thread on the forum which mentioned the above program, and, having listened to it via BBC Sounds a short while ago, I wanted to add a comment about it, but cannot find the relevant thread anywhere. Has it, for some reason, been removed?
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 9:01 am   #3
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Default Re: Secret History of GCHQ

Don't know how I missed this thread, but I did find Monday evening's program interesting and informative. I have been to Bletchley Park, though I didn't have time to go and see the Colossus section, but, like most people I guess, had never even heard of Scarborough's role in GCHQ's activities.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 9:49 am   #4
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Default Re: Secret History of GCHQ

The Colossus rebuild was an excellent example of vintage electronics in action! I was wondering if any of those involved use this forum. The only chap I knew was Tony Sale, who is sadly no longer around.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 10:06 am   #5
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Default Re: Secret History of GCHQ

There's an article about this program and its contents (with specific reference to the Cuban Missile Crisis) in Monday's Telegraph:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...aving-pivotal/
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Old 24th Oct 2019, 6:27 pm   #6
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Default Re: Secret History of GCHQ

The Daily Telegraph article is not accurate about the outcome of the Cuban missile crisis. There is a more balanced view in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Missile_Crisis
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Old 24th Oct 2019, 6:41 pm   #7
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Default Re: Secret History of GCHQ

Slightly ot but Ive just watched an excellent 4 parter on youtube on station X, an old channel 4 documentary. Was going to get the book “the Ultra secret” but its apparently more battle accounts than Bletchley park stuff
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Old 24th Oct 2019, 7:47 pm   #8
dave walsh
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Default Re: Secret History of GCHQ

It wasn't removed but closed Live Wire. It's nice to get some feedback. I suspect that the other three episodes will be worth a listen as well but the first one seemed to be a guaranteed hit for the Forum! I'd heard a vague mention of Scarborough before but this was a confirmation. That excellent seaside town [home of Alan Ayckbourn] seemed an unlikely Wireless Pioneer at first but when you consider that the German Fleet was cruising around off shore


Dave W

I might be making this up but I seem to recall that the wartime [2nd] DST 100 receiver [even heavier than the AR88, at 100bs, cast iron case and brake drum tuning dial, might have been used and/or manufactured in that location. There was a bit of a discussion going on re this set at one time, as very little was known about it and there was a suggestion that it may have been used for Special Ops!

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Old 25th Oct 2019, 12:01 am   #9
dave walsh
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Default Re: Secret History of GCHQ

I wasn't completely out with my DST100 comments. Can somebody link in a thread by Chris Parry [19/1/12] "DST100-who made them?" An elderly chap [who was dying at the time] said that he used these sets in Winchester.... but they were made at Whitby. We used to stay with my wife's Godmother in Scarborough so I know that it's not so far away! I remain sorry that I parted with my set

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Old 25th Oct 2019, 12:11 am   #10
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Default Re: Secret History of GCHQ

This thread Dave ?

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ad.php?t=78909

As a frequent (as frequent as possible) visitor to Whitby I am mightily intrigued now!

Pete

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Old 25th Oct 2019, 12:04 pm   #11
dave walsh
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Default Re: Secret History of GCHQ

Yes thanks for that Pete It's all a bit curious isn't it? I photocopied the instructions [with a photo] when I sold mine and these are also available on-line somewhere as well but there has never been much else around

I have a Nems Clarke VHF set re which there is some technical detail but very little general background info. It's quite high spec and I was a bit puzzled until I realised that they were used in the US sixties Space Program!

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Old 25th Oct 2019, 3:07 pm   #12
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Default Re: Secret History of GCHQ

To Dave W, was the man you spoke to Les Hare? Les lived at the original Naval listening station site, the house/building was wired in a manner of a naval ship. Les said all the sockets were naval ship type. Les had an excellent collection of very early radios, maybe fifty or more with lots of spare components. All was individually sold by auction 20 or more years ago, the family just wasn't interested. Also as Barretter has already mention the Cuban crisis story was some what embellished. Nothing mentioned about Turkey.
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Old 25th Oct 2019, 7:06 pm   #13
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Default Re: Secret History of GCHQ

I have been trying to save the pdf specs document linked to by Pete in post #10. When I click "save as" in Adobe, it just comes up with a blank "save as" page. I can't find a workaround, although the document is printable (could scan the print and save it, but surely there's an easier way...). Can anyone make suggestion?

Mike
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Old 26th Oct 2019, 12:06 am   #14
dave walsh
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Default Re: Secret History of GCHQ

Hi ex 2 Base. Interesting info, what do you mean by the original listening site? The man I spoke to was at the Bury Radio Rally, prob 1984 [as per the linked in thread from 2012 by Chris Parry p7*]. The elderly chap in that Nursing Home had been interviewed by Chris p8*. I only wish I'd done the same with the man at the Rally When I just click on Pete's link Mike [I don't use Adobe] it comes up right away but I am computer numb so I can't help you with that problem. Somebody will I'm sure.

I note that Chris's excellent [and free] "THE RESTORATION OF VALVED HIGH FREQUENCY COMMUNICATIONS RECEIVERS", posted on line, is now in it's third [2014] edition and still available. 120 pages but well worth the ink and paper. Recommended!

Dave W

Last edited by dave walsh; 26th Oct 2019 at 12:34 am.
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Old 27th Oct 2019, 2:44 pm   #15
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Default Re: Secret History of GCHQ

In reply to Dave W. Well the original premises were some where away from where they are at present, another hill, still high up. I'm pretty certain Les would not have gone to Bury rally,he was a plumber and so was his two sons. All of Les set were in working order and he loved to switch them on for the benefit of visitors. It was a shame to split up the collection, must have been 20/25 years ago.
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Old 27th Oct 2019, 2:56 pm   #16
dave walsh
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Default Re: Secret History of GCHQ

Thanks for that reply. I wasn't sure if you did meant Scarborough [or Winchester as per Chris's interviewee!]
Part two of this series is on tomorrow. We'll see where that takes us.

Cheers,

Dave
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