G3NGD at Fleetwood

Fleetwood in the late Forties - early Fifties

 This photograph shows the Pier before it burned down; the Lifeboat House before it was 
  replaced by a floating mooring; and the open air Swimming Pool before it was rebuilt as an indoor pool.
 Other changes:
      The Railway Station before it was demolished, and the 'Lunevale' Ferry Boat arriving at the slipway at Knott End-on-Sea.
There were three Ferry Boats at Fleetwood: the Wyresdale - a Coal burner; the Lunevale  which burned Diesel Oil; and the Caldervale. The Caldervale was the smallest of the three boats and was only used when very low tides were forecast, as she had a shallow draught.
She was birthed at anchor in the middle of the channel between Fleetwood and Knott End.
The Wyresdale and Lunevale were both birthed at the Ferry slipway. The Wyresdale was used only at the peak of the holiday season, as it was the largest of the three boats.

To look at the Ferry Boat used in the year 2003, click your mouse on this link.

The Ferry Boat 'Wyresdale' was a coal burner.
                                 My thanks to Dale Townend for sending me this photograph.
There was an explosion on the 'Wyresdale' on 12th April 1957. Two men were killed and a third severely burned in an engine room explosion aboard the Fleetwood Ferry Steamer Wyresdale. One of  the men killed was John Wright  -  Dale's father. The third man died shortly after the accident.
The Ferry Boat 'LUNEVALE' approaching Fleetwood from Knott End
                                   The Ferry Boat 'Caldervale' had a shallow draught.
The Isle of Man Boat heading for Fleetwood
 Fleetwood in the Sixties

©Photo taken and processed by G3NGD

This was G3NGD's  home QTH (centre of photograph) where he made his first Amateur Radio contact.   It was made on  Christmas Day 1958  with  Granville  Marshall  G3JT  located  at  Thornton,  near Blackpool.  He was  using a  crystal controlled  "single  valve" home constructed  transmitter, transmitting on the 160 Metre band (1925KHz). His  receiver was  a Marconi  M361  powered by a  2Volt accumulator, a  9V grid-bias battery and  a  67.5V  high tension  dry cell.  (Details elsewhere on this Website). The  Antenna was  a 50  foot  long wire. 
                                         Granville Hammond Marshall  Amateur Radio Callsign G3JT
 The Radio Amateurs in Fleetwood at that time were Jim Woodhouse G4HH,  Albert Cryer G2BXL,  George Lloyd G2BTX  and Jack Meredith G8OY. 
 All these people had the 'Amateur Radio Spirit' - they were all very helpful and only too pleased to help.

Of interest, the FIRST RADIO AMATEUR to operate from Fleetwood was J. W. Archer, Call-sign G8TI (Bill). He eventually moved to Blackpool.
G3NGD first contacted him on 22nd February 1959 using Morse Code. Bill confirmed that he was the First Radio Amateur to live at Fleetwood.
He lived at 138, Hatfield Avenue, Fleetwood, when first licensed.

Other Radio Amateurs at Fleetwood included: G2MJ - R.T.Hunt, living at 36, Mersey Road, Fleetwood;
G4NW - Harold Wilkinson, living at 25, Warren Avenue South, Fleetwood; both of which G3NGD never contacted via the radio or met in person.
All the above held their licences since before WWII., and were knownas Old timer's.

There is an organization called the Radio Amateur Old Timers' Association of which G3NGD is proud to be a member. He is now classed as an 
'Old timer' himself, as he has held his Amateur Radio Licence for over FIFTY Years.

©Photo taken and processed by G3NGD
                A view to the East from the family home  -  the Marine Hall (top centre), and the Mount (top right)
                                                     ©Photo taken and processed by G3NGD
                                                                 The Mount - the highest point and landmark of Fleetwood.
                                           The Hills on the Isle of Man can be seen at sunset in summer from this point.
©Photo taken and processed by G3NGD
                                                The Hills of the Lake District can be seen from "The Esplanade".
©Photo taken and processed by G3NGD
The Marine Hall and Gardens as viewed from the Mount.

©Photo taken and processed by G3NGD
The Lifeboat House and Slipway before it was demolished.
The Fleetwood Lifeboat in 1965
This Watson Class Lifeboat was built in 1939, was 41ft in length, with a top speed of 8 knots.
©All three Photographs taken by G3NGD at the "Fund Raising Event" August 1965



  The 'Lower Lighthouse' is situated
  on the Sea  Front, and lies in-line,
  between the 'Pharos  Lighthouse',
  which is located in Pharos Street, 
  Fleetwood, and 'Wyre Light' which
  is located in  'Lune Deeps'  at the
  entrance to the channel.

(The original 'Wyre Lighthouse' which
was located at the entrance to the 
channel was destroyed by fire many 
years ago).

When the three lights are in-line, a
ship can  be navigated  accurately 
down the channel into the Port  of

The Lower Lighthouse   Pharos Lighthouse
 © Photo taken and processed by G3NGD.      Photo © G3NGD.
                                  The 'Wyre Lighthouse' base can be seen to the right of centre. It is now called 'Wyre Light'. 

G3NGD can remember it being destroyed by fire in 1948. A photograph of the Lighthouse before the fire is shown below.  The Navigation Light is now mounted on top of  the iron structure.
As previously stated above, the three lights are in line with the channel. 
The hills of the Lake District can be seen in the background and include:  Scafell Pike 3,210ft,
Helvellyn 3,118ft  and Skiddaw 3,054ft. The container ship is sailing from Heysham to Ireland.

                                    The Nautical College Training Annex
                                                                              ©  Photo taken and processed by G3NGD 
                              The Nautical College Training Annex is part of the Blackpool and Fylde College of Higher Education.
© Photo taken and processed by G3NGD
Fleetwood Pier in the 'sixties'. People spent their holidays at Fleetwood at this time - travelling to Blackpool via Tram to enjoy the 'Shows' - it was convenient.
                      Today, people tend to go abroad for their enjoyment and Fleetwood is quiet.
In fact, G3NGD visited Fleetwood during the Bank Holiday, 2nd June 2003 and observed that the Pier had been vandalized, all the 'Slot Machines' were in pieces on the floor, windows were broken and a notice on the door stated that someone had applied for a license to use the building for an alternative purpose. Although it was a very sunny and warm day, there were very few people about.   ---  It was far from the Fleetwood that I knew in the 'sixties'!

                            Fleetwood Pier was destroyed by Fire in September 2008.

 This is the second time that the Pier has been damaged by fire. I can remember as a Child, the Pier being on fire. The Cinema was completely destroyed, together with many Slot Machines. Children were seen picking up the pennies that had fallen from the burned out Slot Machines onto the sand beneath the Pier. I am sure that when the Pier eventually
re-opened, the children will have put the money they collected back into the Slot Machines.

                                                                                  © Photo taken and processed by G3NGD
            In the 'sixties' one could enjoy a Cliff Richard Show at Blackpool for only 32½p
                        Did you know that Cliff Richard (Harry Webb) is a Radio Amateur? - His call-sign is W2JOF. 
                                                               'Pharos  Lighthouse' - September 2002.
Photo © G3NGD.
 The 'Overhead Wires' are used to supply Power to the Fleetwood to Blackpool 'TRAM' service. 
This Photograph has been added because recently, 'Lighthouses'  have become part of Amateur Radio activities. On the weekend of 17/08/02, there was an 'International Lighthouse / Light Ship Special Event' in which Radio Amateurs could make contact using Amateur Radio. 
G3NGD  personally made Radio Contact with TEN Lighthouses including a Lightship 'The Orwell'. This  ship used the Amateur Radio Call-sign GX4IRC/MM.
He had an interesting contact with Tony, at  'Loop Head Lighthouse' located on the Mouth of  the Shannon, in Ireland - (Call-sign EI7LHL).
Another contact was made with Marcel at 'Urk Lighthouse' in Holland - (Call-sign PA6URK/P).
©Photo taken and processed by G3NGD
The Marine Boating Lake [1960] viewing to the East
©Photo taken by G3NGD
The Marine Boating Lake in the summer of 1965
                                                    ©Photo taken and processed by G3NGD
                                              HMS Russell F97 visiting Fleetwood in 1965. (Photo taken early morning)
                                                                    ©Photo taken and processed by G3NGD
      The C.E.G.B. Power Station as seen from the Mount.
The Generating equipment was built by The English ElectricCompany at their Willans Works in Rugby Circa 1954.
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Update: May 2014.  (c) John Beaumont G3NGD