Site Records

SiteName: Rugby Radio Station

OS Grid Ref: ('C' Building) SP553747


Received from Godfrey Dykes e-mail:

I was in submarines for many years and throughout the 60's [literally - every day [almost] and every year in that decade] BUT ONLY WHEN IN AND AROUND THE NORTHWEST OF THE WORLD - as the senior radio man onboard I would listening in to GBR [16 kHz] to get our traffic [signals] which were sent to us by high speed morse code [40-odd wpm], recorded on a tape recorder, slowed to half speed when deep, and then transcribed by pencil onto paper ready for father [the captain] to read.

Normally we did this every four hours but occasionally missed a schedule for operational reasons. Those old fashioned days can now be talked about, but the nuclear age operations are still sensitive. Rugby signals did NOT of course go around the world at VLF and quite often in the Atlantic we could read Rugby loud and clear at 60-70 feet [just below periscope depth for a diesel-electric boat] whereas when in the Indian Ocean, especially around the Maldives we couldnt hear it even when on the surface.

When operating world wide therefore, when out of range of Rugby we had to get our traffic from the local station [Singapore, Hong Kong etc] LF frequencies which was always very difficult because unlike VLF, LF signals do not penetrate the earths surface. Anyway, excellent though your site is, it lacks an input from the submariners perspective because for that decade in particular, when we had more diesel-electrics than nuclears and Rugby was virtually run [existed] for the R.N., submarine force. Additionally, as radio men we kept the chronometre and assisted with the navigation of the boat, so the time checks you mention were also part of our daily life. Many thanks for a good read.

Sincerely Godfrey Dykes RN 1953-1983.

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