A SCHOOL’s amateur radio station has linked up with more than 40 people from across the world as part of a special birthday event.
Eureka Primary School, in Dunsmore Road, Midway, held its first Legion-Air Day on Sunday after working with the Swadlincote and District branch of the Royal British Legion on a unique idea to celebrate the legion’s 91st birthday.
Jacqui Johnson, who teaches information and computer technology (ICT) at the school, set up an amateur radio station with her husband, and said: “We have a radio station set up at the school, but we wanted a special call sign for this event and went with GB2SBL — Swadlincote British Legion.
“We had had promises of potential contacts from The Falklands, Northern Ireland and Portugal as well as many local groups.
“A man by the name of Peter Weaver, a resident in Portugal and a member of its Algarve legion, was very keen and wanted to try everything he could to make contact.
“We had shared various emails prior to the event. He was as enthusiastic as I and the children from school were.”
After a slow morning with hardly any contacts, Mr Weaver then got in touch Mrs Johnson said: “We called and called and then all of a sudden there he was. It was a fabulous report, with both of us passing compliments, call signs and then he vanished, but what an achievement. I later found out that this had been his first ever contact.”
The school also contacted other radio amateurs in John O’Groats, Warsaw in Poland, Almeria in Spain, and RAF Waddington, and a man from his narrowboat, in Alrewas.
Mrs Johnson added: “All in all we made 44 contacts and were very pleased with that. Many amateurs were very kind and took the time to speak to the three children from my class who took time out of their Sunday to come and operate at the special event — we would like to thank them very much.
“The children and I will be filling in our QSL cards at our next club meeting and getting them sent off to the people we contacted.” QSL is one of the ‘Q codes’ used in radio communication and radio broadcasting.