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GB50 - News Release
27 May, 2002


Press Release

The Queen's Jubilee is to be proclaimed worldwide this week, through the medium of amateur radio. The Radio Society of Great Britain, the Cray Valley Radio Society and the Burnham Beeches Radio Club are delighted to announce details of a special amateur radio event at Windsor Castle, in connection with the Golden Jubilee.

The amateur radio event will take place from a marquee on the North Terrace of Windsor Castle from 0900z on 29th May until 2100z on 9th June. The event will feature a state of the art amateur radio station and an "Amateur Radio Experience" area.

The amateur radio station will use the unique callsign GB50 (Great Britain Fifty or, in the phonetic alphabet, Golf Bravo Five Zero), and will be manned daily during the event. It is hoped that this radio station will allow brief greetings to be exchanged with up to 20,000 radio amateurs throughout the world, enabling them to feel that they have participated in some small way in the Jubilee celebrations. Those who make contact with GB50 will also be able to apply for a commemorative "QSL card" as a souvenir of the occasion. The station will be looking especially for contacts with radio amateurs in the various countries of the Commonwealth.

The "Amateur Radio Experience" area will promote amateur radio, and will feature information boards tracking the history of amateur radio from Marconi to the present day. The purpose of this area is to draw the public's attention to the fact that amateur radio is alive and well and continues to play an active and valuable role in society. It will also be an opportunity for would-be radio amateurs to find out more about the hobby.

There are over 40,000 radio amateurs in the UK, and several million worldwide. For many years amateur radio was the hobby of choice for those of a technical disposition. It now competes with computing and the Internet, but continues to be a more personal medium of communication than simply sitting at a computer terminal. The hobby also receives support from government as a basis for a variety of technical careers (an increasing variety of everyday appliances are based on radio technology). Radio amateurs also perform a number of public service roles, such as offering communications support at public events or in times of crisis (for example, radio amateurs in New York helped to carry many humanitarian messages in the aftermath of September 11th, when other communications media were either out of action or heavily congested).

We are delighted to announce that all the transmitting equipment to be used at GB50 will be supplied by Icom UK.

Organising Committee
Bob Treacher BRS32525 (Team Leader)
Dave Lawley G4BUO (HF Manager)
Chris Whitmarsh G0FDZ (VHF Manager)
Paul Lethbridge G3SXE (Project Manager)
Bernard Harrad G8LDV (Treasurer)
Nigel Peacock G4KIU (Webmaster)
Tim Kirby G4VXE (Station Manager, Specialist Modes)
Dave Chislett G4XDU
Owen Cross G4DFI (QSL Manager)
Don Field G3XTT (Publicity)
Miss C Treacher RS102891 (Awards)