wythall radio club

having fun with RF

The UK in 1967 – Colour TV.. Girls in mini skirts..a ruined filming ..Glasgow night life ..and strange licensing laws!

May 21, 2024 By: john daws Category: Club, Fun

It’s not often I ask for QSL cards.. but this one came direct following  a 20m CW QRP QSO with Adriano IV3DRP. He accompanied it with a letter detailing some of his memories of a visit  here 57 years ago: a vivid snapshot of life at sea  and two great UK Cities.
With the Adriano’s permission I reproduce it here.

Pictured ‘Elettra’- A model of Marconi’s Yacht in the Civico Museo del Mare in Trieste

“In November 1967 on my first boarding as trainee R/O on the M/T Paranà/6ZSZ, we loaded molasses in Durban, intended for feeding cows. We unloaded half the cargo at Avonmouth and half at Greenock. It was my first time visiting the UK. I had a very good impression of the places (also visited Bristol and Glasgow) and the very friendly people. I really liked England and Scotland.
Still underway, a few hours before arriving in Avonmouth, Customs Officials had come on board delivering mail for the crew: a pleasant and much appreciated surprise! From the sea you could see the large Portishead Radio/GKA station, with whom I used to exchange many messages.

       Bristol Docks and Dockers 1967

   In the afternoon/evening we went to Bristol by train or bus 98/99, a truly splendid city. Here I saw a colour TV for the first time (it did not arrive in Italy until 1972 with the Munich Olympics), perfect images and colours; and for the first time I saw girls in miniskirts, not yet in Italy.
I took some sailors to the hospital to have their teeth treated. That time there was free treatment for anyone, even foreigners in the UK, and the shipowners took advantage of this to save money… Inside Avonmouth harbour they were shooting a film, my colleague and I entered the scene unknowingly suddenly appeared from behind some railways wagons, we ruined the scene but they did not insult us.

IV3DRP. Adriano FT 817 G5RV and dedicated QRP operator

We continued our journey to Greenock. In the roadstead before entering the port we caught some large fish (perhaps cod?) which we passed to the cook.
This is a beautiful town, birthplace of Samuel Watt, I remember the monument dedicated to him, and the city shrouded in fog and a pleasant smell of whisky on the street. In Glasgow we went to a brewery inside where there were many cheerful people singing folk songs, just like in the beer gardens of Trieste: it felt like home. In the city centre we were invited to a Casino where only members could play: they made us instant members and I think I still am, but we didn’t have much luck at the game.
In the UK it was strange to me that just before 10 p.m. a bell would ring in the pubs and all the customers would run to the counter to stock up on alcoholic drinks.
A lovely week in the UK that I won’t forget.
From Scotland we left for Canada and in Three Rivers on the St Lawrence River already partly frozen with ice blocks like small icebergs, we loaded up with wheat for Bombay. But that’s another story.”
        Best wishes, Adriano IV3DRP