Monday, February 01, 2010

RSGB's VHF Columnist Norman Fitch, G3FPK - silent key

I've just heard the sad news that Norman Fitch, G3FPK, the RSGB's VHF/UHF columnist has died. Norman took over the VHF column in 1989 from Ken Willis, G8VR.

I first met Norman on the RSGB's VHF Committee in the 1980s. Norman was a real gentleman and always came along to committee meetings immaculately dressed in a suit (I'm sorry to tell you that I didn't...). It was nice to meet him, because prior to taking on the Radcom column, he'd written the VHF column for Short Wave Magazine, which I'd grown up with - and as soon as I got my G6 licence in the early 1980s, started writing to Norman, so it felt like we'd known each other for years.

Norman's Short Wave Magazine column gave really excellent VHF coverage at the time and it seemed a natural step for him to take over Radcom's VHF/UHF slot. For 21 years, he covered the evolving VHF/UHF DX scene and always managed to keep content fresh - I know how much creativity that involves.

RSGB's item on Norman can be found here

Thanks for all your work, old friend. I'm sorry I didn't get to say goodbye.


g4ilo said...

I am very sad to read this news. I have read Norman's VHF columns ever since he took over from Jack Hum G5UM in Short Wave Magazine. In those days as a G8 I was very active on 2m SSB and used to submit reports to him. I even worked him a couple of times.

I was very pleased when he took over the VHF column in RadCom. Norman was the VHF columnist par excellence, he had the format exactly right in my opinion. He will be a hard act to follow and I for one will miss him.

Brian Fletcher said...

I just heard of Norm's passing today from a fellow HAM in the UK. I used to talk to Norm on Echolink. It was there that we formed a great friendship. I will miss his wit & wisdom greatly

Brian Fletcher
Sioux Falls, SD, USA

Jon Stow said...

I am a bit late on the scene having been rather inactive recently in radio matters.

I first knew Norman in the late seventies when I was an avid VHF DX chaser. I used to talk to him quite often on 2 metres SSB, and contributed information for use in his VHF column in Short Wave Magazine, which covered 4M to 23cm.

Norman was a kind, helpful and knowledgable enthusiast who taught me a lot about working DX on those bands, and was a real gentleman as was evident on the couple of occasions I had the honour to meet him.

Norman will be missed and remembered with great affection.

Jon Stow
(G8LFJ 1976 to 1981)


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