The Weston-super-Mare Radio Society was founded at the inaugural meeting on Wednesday, 3rd January, 1923.
Weston-super-Mare has a history of association with long distance communication. In 1985 the Commercial Cable Company was granted permission to bring ashore the first of their four telegraph cable "for the purpose of transmitting messages exchanged with America". This was the year when sixpenny telegrams were introduced, which resulted in good business in the Weston cabe office (originally in two cottages near the seafront.
Although Cable & Wireless closed their transatlantic operations at Weston in 1962, this was not the end of Weston's association with cable communications. On Wednesday June 22nd 1988, the Weston-super-Mare Radio Society operated a special station GB0TAC at the nearby village of Brean when the last section of the transatlantic fibre optic cable was brought ashore for Mercury Communications. This cable was about to allow 1000s of simultaneous telephone calls. The 24-hour radio operation made 100s of contacts world wide as well as arranging for greeting messages to be passed between Mrs. Judy Allen, Chairman of the Brean Parish Council, Mayor MacInnes of Sea Girt, New Jersey, and Mayor Winterstella of Manasquan, also in New Jersey, as well as Mayor Dismont of Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda. At the american 'end' in New Jersey, the cable comes ashore as Sea Girt and terminates at Manasquan with a spur to Bermuda.
Marconi at Weston
In 1897 Guglielmo Marconi demonstrated wireless communication between Lavernock Point in South Wales and Flatholm Island int he Bristol Channel ad then Brean Down near Weston. This was the longest distance ever covered until then - 13km (8 miles). Marconi became known in Weston during his visits, being referred to as "than foreign looking gentleman" and it was recorded that he stayed in the Coastguard Cottages when in Weston. He and his team obtained ironmongery from Leaver's hardware store that's still in the town, although now at a different and larger premises. They also used the services of an electrical engineer in the town for charging batteries.
Marconi's achievement was celebrated by the Weston-super-Mare Radio Society a hundred years later when members operated a special event station GB100BD on Brean Down in 1997 and contacts were made with some 2000 other stations in 60 countries around the world. Permission from the National Trust was necessary to operate on Brean Down, as well as from local landowners to permit access for vehicles. For the same centenary as station was also operated at 'The Time Machine' Weston's museum, using the clubs callsign G4WSM.