Barmy Barry (G0GGV) was a colourful character
that always used to identify his station by the term G Zero Double
Gin & Vodka from sundrenched Droitwich Spa.
He was the centre of some ridicule as he did
sound absolutely mental, but he could give as good as he got, and
seemed to be grateful for any contact, even if we were usually taking the
Barry was one of the most regular users on GB3MH in the 1990s
due to being housebound, and
one of us used to talk to him almost every day. It turned out that
Barry had been in a motorcycle accident that left him severely
disabled and partially blind.
We had to respect him as despite the
so-called "sensible" radio amateurs warning him off from
communicating with us, he took no notice and engaged in convoluted
conversations where we would accuse him of waiting for his home help
woman to come round and give him a "Hand Shandy" or the like. This
would result in Barry calling us despicable men etc. much to our
amusement and the disgust of others listening in.
Barry was one of those people who could
never pass the Morse test, but for inexplicable reasons, an examiner
went round to his sheltered living bungalow and issued a pass!
Once, we noticed a complete lack of Barmy Barry
for a week or so, and made enquiries to see if he was still OK, it
turned out that he was still on HF, and had asked for some help to
solder his mike lead back on his 2 metre radio, but no one had
offered - we even heard a discussion on GB3MH where his absence was
welcomed and the general opinion was that he was bringing the hobby
into disrepute, and they were better off without him. We regarded
this as an extremely callous attitude, and after finding Barmy Barry's
phone number, we called him, in character, silly voices etc., and
offered to come and fix his radio for him, which he readily
The next morning we were off with tools
etc. and Barry welcomed us in, and in a few minutes he was back on 2
metres again. We told him how the so called "sensible" hams had
deliberately ignored his plea for help, but told him that whatever
he did, he was not to make it known we had been round to help.
This was the start of a very interesting
phase, as we drove away, Barmy Barry came on the repeater "This is Golf
Zero double gin & vodka from sun drenched Droitwich Spa" to which we
answered something to the effect of "Get off the air Barmy Barry you
silly old twat, it's been nice and quiet on here without you" to
which he responded with a tirade of abuse, yes the message had got
Later that day, listening to 70 Cms, we
heard a discussion about the fact that Barry was back on the air
again, and how his presence was detrimental to the hobby, and one
said "Well at least he's not on 70 Cms".
There was a radio rally that weekend, and
we found an old PMR with a tone burst fitted and crystalled for the
local 70 CMs repeater, at £35.00 it was a bargain, about
£6.00 for a dipole, we all chipped in and we were round the next to set Barry
up with his new toy.
Great fun ensued as he set about his usual
bizarre radio activity on a brand new frequency and the locals, who
regarded 70 CMs as their private domain, were apoplectic.
Now Barry could annoy them on 2 Metres, 70 Cms, as well as HF!, no
getting away from him.
We adopted Barry as our unofficial mascot
and took him the odd bottle of wine etc. As he was partially blind, George G1MTT bought him a clock
that spoke the time when it was touched, and we continued to
maintain his equipment on the understanding that no matter
what, he was not to tell anyone who was helping him.
One memorable incident was when an outraged
"sensible" radio amateur had a go at us for "making fun of a
disabled man" to which we replied that we were unaware he was
disabled as we were using a radio at our end, and not a television!
Poor old Barry got into the local paper
when Social Services provided him with an electric wheel chair with
which he promptly ran through a supermarket window with whilst
out of control. This gave us endless fun, and everyone thought we
were being diabolically unkind, but Barry took it all in good nature
and kept up the pretence of being diabolically outraged at everything we said
A few years later, Barry passed away, but
he is sadly missed as he was our proxy on the air, I personally miss
being called a despicable little man who gets his fun from abusing a
disabled man in a wheel chair. Everyone but Barry and ourselves
thought it was real - What Fun! RIP Barry you legend!