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A Tribute to UK Coast Stations

United Kingdom Coastal Radio Stations
Station Name and Callsign

Portishead Radio Station --- GKA/GKL
Burnham Radio --- GRL
Land's End Radio --- GLD
Niton Radio --- GNI
North Foreland Radio --- GNF
Humber Radio --- GKZ
Cullercoats Radio --- GCC
Stonehaven Radio --- GND
Wick Radio --- GKR
Oban Radio --- GNE
Portpatrick Radio --- GPK
Anglesey Radio --- GLV
Ilfracombe Radio --- GIL

The above are all medium frequency stations with medium range comms, with the exception of Portishead, which was a high frequency station.

All the above stations have now closed down. The very sad end of an era in maritime radio communications.

A Tribute to Coast Stations
As the majority of our members are all ex MN Radio Officers and that a great part of our working lives when at sea was communicating from all over the world with these listed UK coast stations who we all found to provide an excellent service, a lot even helped us considerably when we experienced bad communication times with ever changing propagation conditions bad QSB, QRM/N, long QRY lists etc.

They all kept distress watches on 500khz and 2182khz  and Ch 16 VHF This was there main function of “safety of life at sea” and it was very nice to know they were there in the event of ships at sea being in distress, needing medical advice or assistance as well as the W/T, R/T and telex traffic etc.

Their excellent listening abilities certainly saved many lives at sea during the many years the coast stations were open, even the very last day before close down a distress was picked up from the ship MV OAK by Radio Officers at Stonehaven radio GND.

I dread to think what the final outcome had been if it had happened the day after it had closed down!

We would all like to send our thanks and 73’s to these wonderful men and women who manned these coastal radio stations for many years and who also are not needed anymore as the shore and ship stations soon began to dwindle and eventually close down completely with the advent of the new GMDSS radio system coming into operation in 1999, bringing a sad end to the days of the MN and coast station Radio Officer.

Old Marconi himself would probably be turning in his grave if he knew what had happened to Maritime radio!

Who invented satellites?
So unfortunately all the coast station Radio Officers as well as a big majority of the sea going Radio officers were all “ up the beach”---Not required on voyage---- the label says!

Here we are in year 2009 with barely a Radio officer left working in the UK in his original capacity----all no doubt doing very varied jobs or maybe just---retired.

We see pictures of Portishead Radio station being demolished and housing estates replacing the buildings and also of Stonehaven radio station being internally wrecked and vandalised---a very sad day indeed.

Also by BT selling off its other UK coast radio station sites---no loyalty here---not even for the ex coast station staff who wanted to buy the stations like GKZ and GND to make a contribution to the heritage of maritime radio---a very good effort in trying to all concerned.

The bottom line is king----ask any accountant! Sad but true!

Anyway Guys and Gal’s of the coast stations
Many thanks once again

You all did a great job!