Friday, 31 January 2020

Ham Radio constructor-highlights fire-fighting days

Ham Radio constructor-highlights fire-fighting days

Ham Radio constructor-highlights fire-fighting days. My early memories surround waking up during the night due to the fire bell sounding at the bottom of the stairs at Shafto terrace, my dad Stan was in the local fire brigade and the method of summoning the fire crew to the station following emergency calls was via a large house bell and the switching on of a siren located on the rooftop of the fire station.

I joined the fire service at 18 and enjoyed responding to fire calls over a twenty-four hour period seven days a week, technology had moved on by now, we were called to the fire station via a PYE fireman's alert system, a pocket-set device, which would bleep at a high pitch, when we went to bed an acoustic hood was placed over the top to accentuate the sound.

Modern technology replaced the bell and siren


My radio interest was sparked by many things but the curiosity of wanting to know where my dad had gone when he dashed out of the house to drive the local appliance was one of my entry triggers to learn about radio.

I eventually built a receiver to listen to M to LF and the fire appliance from Washington, call sign Foxtrot 181, Washington was station B18 in those days, the old station located behind Walter Wilson's shop on front street Washington.

I went on with radio and became a Radio Engineer working on digital telecommunications systems, but it all started with Durham County Fire Brigade.

 Their control was located in Aycliffe in the early days, the fire service had no radio system on their own and used to ask for talk through the LF via the police network-these systems were on A.M. near 98 MHZ, they now use a fire link system over TETRA and its an encrypted radio system, no more listening in.






Fire station Washington county Durham

The picture shows Station B18 Washington County Durham


Fire station Washington county Durham

This is the retained appliance call sign Foxtrot 181


Fire station Washington county Durham

The retained crew at B18 Washington County Durham


Fire station Washington county Durham

My dad and I as Firemen


Fire station Washington county Durham

An incident in Washington involving a tanker-Sub Officer Knight giving the sign come to me


Fire station Washington county Durham

This is Eddie Hill attending the incident above-he is putting in the hydrant


This is where the station moved to Hollin Hill Road


This is where the station moved to Hollin Hill Road-Washington now in Tyne & Wear.

The picture on the left is Foxtrot 181 caught in color in 1969, the right-hand side shows my dad Stan Allsopp & Tommy Knight on a turnout

Ham Radio constructor-highlights fire-fighting days