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GB5CT England flag England

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GB5CT is a Special Event Station held at Chalbury in Dorset England to commemorate over 200 years of the Admiralty Shutter Telegraph. The event was operational from 0900utc Sunday 24th March until 1800utc Friday 29th March 2013.

The operator for this event was John Wakefield and all direct QSL's should be sent to: John Wakefield, Oakhurst, Lower Common Road, West Wellow, Romsey, Hampshire, England SO51 6BT.


Unfortunately I was unable to use my Butternut vertical for more than a few hours because the ground radials interfered with the security system installed on the reservoir site. This meant I was restricted to the use ofthe G5RV only.This no doubt had an effect on some of the contacts I was able to make.




Reverse of QSL card


All QSL cards for this special event were forwarded to the RSGB for onward distribution on Thursday 25th April 2013


How the Shutter Telegraph looked

QSL Card: The QSL card shows a photograph of the Shutter Telegraph as it survived in 1908. By then the station had had the frame on the roof removed to prevent damage (it had rotted) and it was no longer owned by the Navy but had been returned to the land-owner and used as a farm labourer's cottage. The photograph is the earliest known to exist.

The photograph shows some of the family members: Aaron Poore, the head of the family with his young daughter Evelyn, and his teenage daughter Caroline. The use of the photograph is with the kind permission of Michael Poore.

Aaron is standing in front of what was originally the telegraph.Looking at the photograph and to the right of him can be seen a later addition where the telegraph building had been extended to form the cottage that would essentially remain the same until it was pulled down in 1968 to make way for the reservoir extension.

This photograph is a very important photograph, as it is the only one known to exist that closely resembles how the shutter telegraph looked. You can still see that it is mostly of timber construction. The age and repairs to the slate on the roof and the fact that it has started to sag is evident; the lead that covers the apex is not original and has been replaced to partly cover where the frame had been removed to prevent damage.

From my research it appears that almost all of the telegraph stations had the frames removed by 1825 as by this time the telegraphs were not being used operationally and the frames were not worth repairing. However, they had started to rot and were in danger of causing substantial damage if allowed to collapse. Please note that this photograph was taken at the back of Telegraph Cottage.

The locator for this event is IO90au and the WAB Square is: SU00. ITU Zone:27. CQ Zone 14 and IOTA: EU005





G5RV installed on three masts on top of reservoir


The Butternut HF6V installed on top of reservoir


View west from the top of the reservoir


Camped at the entrance to the reservoir

I also run special event stations for other Shutter Telegraph locations on the Plymouth extension: GB2CT, GB1WT, GB2TT, GB1TT, GB2BST, GB2BT, GB5NTT, GB2HST, GB5TST, GB5LCT, GB1DCT, GB5SCT, GB5RST, GB5GHT, GB1SKT, GB1MT, GB2LST, GB1ST and GB2MWT. Please see details on QRZ.com and also under M0XIG.

Chalbury Shutter Telegraph is the 7th Shutter Telegraph on the Plymouth line.

The event commemorates the fact that it is over 200 years since the shutter telegraph first operated at this site. During the Napoleonic wars Chalbury Telegraph was one of a number that operated as a communication link for the Admiralty between London and Plymouth. There was already a system in place between London and Deal and also Portsmouth and in 1805 this line was started to connect with the naval port of Plymouth.

The exact date of when the work was completed isn't known but the line was operational by July 1806. There is more information on the shutter telegraph at the Royal Signal Museum in Blandford and also on the Internet.


See GB2BRT also on QRZ.com



John Wakefield M0XIG



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