QSL cards

Alec’s hobby of amateur (ham) radio hasn’t made much of an appearance here yet because he didn’t take it up until the 1960s, and then it spent some considerable time evolving. However – as there is a gap in the correspondence here – this seems a reasonable time to introduce the subject of QSL cards.

As Wikipedia tells us, a QSL card is sent from one amateur radio operator to another to confirm their communication. At one time these had a standard format, but over the years – as printing methods improved and materials became cheaper – they became more personalised. Alec must have sent out thousands – via the RSGB and/or his local club – over the years, and in due course received thousands in return. After his death a large box of QSL cards – roughly divided by geographical region – remained in the family’s possession until it was eventually passed on, together with his log books, to his only grandson Robin. (Robin is occasionally to be found on fora at sourceforge.net, and elsewhere online, using the screen name g3rrk.)

The original – standard – design. 73s are ‘best wishes’ and OM is ‘old man’.
After moving to Yorkshire in 1967, Alec joined the Scarborough Radio Club and clearly ordered his QSL cards through them.
And when you move to Budleigh Salterton and have a daughter with a vaguely entrepreneurial nature, you go 100% home-made.

There were probably other variants, too, but these are the only known examples to have survived.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s