Thursday, March 20, 2008

Frank Watts, G5BM


Reading the Silent Keys listing in Radcom is something I always start with a vague feeling of dread. Having been licenced 25 years now, I've seen many friends pass through the column. It was with particular sadness, I read that Frank Watts, G5BM had passed away in February.

When I was a young G6, Frank lived out on a hill near Newent in Gloucestershire. From there, he seemed to work all manner of DX. And he was a master of the art known as Morse. To his great credit, he was willing to share this art with newcomers to the hobby like me. Every night on 2m FM, Frank would send slow morse code to a group. I couldn't begin to count how many of these went on to achieve a Class A licence and get onto HF - it must be hundreds. Though a number of people helped me learn Morse, Frank was one who made a real difference.

It was a source of pleasure to me and I think, to him, that as the years went on, I worked Frank on CW from various parts of the world; I remember QSOs from the Bahamas, the Comoros amongst others. I always took a moment to thank him for making the QSO possible.

I remember working him from Canada one day on 24MHz CW - he was working a group of locals in the Gloucester area and I just dropped into say hello. After we signed, I heard him tell some of the locals that he 'helped Tim learn Morse'.

Indeed you did, Frank. Thank you, old friend. Bless you.

1 comment:

Phil said...

Tim,
Frank was a great CW man & he also learnt me the art of CW a loss to the ham world, he also had lovely addio as well work him a few times.
Phil G0BVD

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