x Miscellaneous‎ > ‎

Geoff G0EVW



Geoff, G0EVW at his Amateur Radio Station in 2009


Who's Afear'd!

ARMS: Argent three Lions passant guardant in pale and in base a Fleur-de-Lys Gules; the Shield ensigned with a Mural Crown towered Or.

SUPPORTERS: On either side a Dragon wings elevated and addorsed Or gorged with a Saxon Crown Gules.

The three lions are taken from the design on the seal formerly used by Dorset County Council from its incorporation in 1888. These together with the fleur-de-lys were probably derived from the old seal of Dorchester that bore the former royal arms of England, namely France Ancient and England quarterly.

The dragons and Saxon crowns recall that Dorset was once part of the Saxon kingdom of Wessex, whose kings, so tradition has it went to war with a golden dragon on their banners.

The motto 'Who's Afear'd' is that used by the Society of Dorset men. The three lions represent England and lions are found in the arms of Dorchester, Bridport, Lyme Regis, Weymouth and Blandford Forum. Lions' faces are in the coat of arms of Shaftesbury. The fleur-de-lis appears in the shields of Dorchester, Bridport, Wareham and Shaftesbury. The mural crown is designed to echo the insignia of the Dorset Regiment and the Society of Dorset Men and the golden dragon of Wessex or Wyvern represented the ancient kingdom of Wessex. The motto was one of four originally suggested, including Lord Shaftesbury's suggestion; 'Excellence where Beauty Reigns'. 'Who's afear'd' was adopted by the Society of Dorset Men in 1905 at the suggestion of Thomas Hardy. It was converted to Dorset dialect by them in 1908, and was suggested to the County Council by a Colonel C.D.Drew, then curator of the Dorset County Museum.


(My alter-ego)

"Dieu et Mon Droit" is the Watts family motto, it translates to; "Trust, but be careful in whom", particularly appropriate I feel! I have been doing some research and come up with this:

The name "Watts" originated in Germany as the name "Walther." People given this surname would have been considered great leaders or those who had great military power. In the first 1000 years A.D., the name made its way to France. It is believed the name was introduced to England from France in 1066 during the "Norman Conquest." It was in England where it was changed to Watt or Watts (son of Watt)

In England, there are records of the surname recorded in Pipe Rolls in Devonshire dating back to 1176 AD (twelfth century). It became one of the more popular surnames in Britain during the Middle Ages.

One of the most famous Watts in England is George Frederick Watts (1817-1904). He was a Brilliant Painter, and some of his works are on display at the Tate Museum in London.

With the accession of the buffoon Canute in 1017 the Kings of Wessex ceased to be recognised as Kings of England though Wessex was created one of four partially self-governing provinces. As a descendent of Godwin, the first Earl of Wessex perhaps a suitable signature for me therefore would be thus:- Dieu et Mon Droit - Geoffrey of Wessex

By the way, the pretender now falsely holding the title Earl of Wessex was appointed by someone whom most of my province regard as a usurper!

CRUELTY - 'a cruel act or attitude; indifference to another's suffering' www.league.org.uk

'One knows so well the popular idea of health. The English country gentleman galloping after a fox -- the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.'

 Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish poet and dramatist.

I followed, with increasing incredulity, the inane excuses put forward by the pro-hunting lobby to justify their barbaric activity. What nonsense to suggest that it's got anything to do with "conservation" or it's a "town verses country" argument, that it's somehow a "natural" process, that it's OK because dogs "instinctively enjoy hunting wildlife" and anyway the fox "enjoys the chase" and "on  balance prefers to be hunted to death than killed any other way" - what drivel !

Human Beings do not need to be cruel, we should, and most of us do, know better, it's an essential ingredient of our Humanity. In a now twenty first century Britain it should not be necessary to outlaw hunting with dogs but the plain truth is that only humans understand what it is to be cruel, and only cruel humans could possibly want to take part in this so called 'sport'. While people  with such sadistic inclinations exist, the need for the law exists. Nobody should have the right to have FUN at the expense of inflicting needless cruelty on any living creature.

The Magic of Wireless!

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things". "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. ... "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
From 'Through the Looking Glass' by Lewis Carroll (1872)

A personal view of Amateur Radio

As a young boy I was introduced to the 'magic of wireless' when an older friend showed me a crystal set he had built - a toilet roll former with some cotton covered wire wound around it attached to a pair of ex government headphones! With a length of wire stretched from his bedroom window down the garden to the top of a clothes line post and the headphones clamped firmly on my head I could hear the BBC West of England Home Service. To me, it was MAGIC and nearly 50 years later it still is Magic!

After my experience with my friend's crystal set and discovering that it did in fact use a crystal and a condenser as well as a toilet roll former I was well and truly hooked on Wireless. With help from my father and later magazines such as PW and Radio Constructor I was able to build my own sets and was listening to stations from all over Europe and eventually the World. I joined the School Science Club and later having heard some local Radio Amateurs talking on 160m on a wireless that covered the 'Trawler Band' discovered Amateur Radio. I also joined the National Society for Radio Amateurs, the RSGB and became a Short Wave Listener. The Society's magazine was my window on the world and I had a great sense of belonging to a world wide brotherhood of radio enthusiasts. Over 40 years later RadCom as it is now known is still a 'good read' and worth every penny of my subscription to RSGB.

In the 1960's I joined the South Dorset Radio Society. Over 30 years ago most members were middle aged or over and for a while it seemed I was the only person under 40. These days, far from what some suggest there are many young people in the hobby and the activity on the bands is at least as high as it was 30 years ago. Morse Code is still in daily use by thousands of Radio Amateurs all over the world and the greatest problem for most HF operators is QRM caused by the high level of activity! Although I held a 'B' licence for almost 20 years (I was finally licensed in 1967 as G8BCH) I had learned Morse Code in my teens. I can't imagine Amateur Radio without Morse Code. Even before I obtained the full 'A' license the ability to read the code was essential for the identification of beacons and later repeaters as well as weak signal working for which no other mode is it's equal.

Some things have changed of course, that's the nature of Science and Human nature as well. However, I have a copy of the RSGB Handbook published during WW2 and much of it, probably MOST of it has not changed. I suspect that the same holds true for Human behaviour! There is a general trend at the moment for people not to join clubs any more but this applies to all hobbys and interests and is certainly not unique to Amateur Radio. Nowadays a Radio Amateur can talk to friends every day with ease. We can chat on the local repeater while walking the dog, on the way to and from work, and even, in some cases while working. Yes, this is when we chat about the Internet and e-mail etc. and anything else in which we share a common interest including, of course, Wireless! This is a change. When I joined the local radio club it was the only place where like minded people could converse about the hobby that fascinated them. The few that were licensed could use wireless of course but for the most part that meant being at home in the shack. It was also much more difficult and expensive to obtain a licence and set up a station than it is now.

The privileges that we as Radio Amateurs enjoy did not come easily. They were won for us over the years by the hard work and dedication of an army of volunteers organised together under the auspices of our national society. I believe that it is my duty to support the National Society that represents us all so that it can be seen by the authorities as having a mandate to negotiate on our behalf. If there is a problem in our hobby it is that without that mandate the RSGB will find it increasingly difficult to argue our case with the authorities. That is the real threat as I see it.

Wireless as we know it is less than 100 years old. It came after the telephone and was not replaced by it. I use the Internet, e-mail, and the telephone and even watch TV occasionally! My HOBBY is Amateur Radio and using Wireless I can communicate with others all over the world. I operate on all bands from 160m to 70cm and use many different modes. I enjoy using the latest technology, much of it, like Packet Radio developed by Radio Amateurs and now used by the professionals. However, I could (if I had to) manage with just a few watts on HF and the 150 year old Morse Code and do without the local repeater, the PC and the land-line.

There has always been a wire down the garden at my QTH and I hope there always will be. Amateur Radio is a wonderful hobby. It's easy and it's fun and above all it's Magic! 

Geoff Watts, G0EVW - Weymouth, September 1999
Page updated 01/05/17

Contact: g0evw@sdrg.co.uk