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Barmy Barry G0GGV
RSGB Limited (The
Radio Society Of Great Britain Limited)
Now humorously know as the [RSGB]
Royal Society of Good Buddies Ltd.
We are not totally against the
idea of a representative body, but this company
derives its entire income from within the hobby, you can't help but think that "arm's
length transactions" are likely to be few and far
When you add to this the
fact that registered with the same office address
is/was another company called RSGB Licences Ltd. It
seems that these vultures have designs on even more
money of our!
RSGB Limited describe
themselves as "Book and Magazine Publishers". As a
limited company they try and deceive gullible radio
amateurs by adopting the guise of a pseudo charity,
and to help them they have special dispensation to
drop the usual requirement of giving the status of
the company in all documents. Their true status is
only seen printed on their headed
notepaper, the only place where you will see the
It is still the case that
even when presented with incontrovertible evidence,
your average radio amateur is still too thick, and will not believe
that this company has nothing officially to do with
the hobby, in fact, even OFCOM were compelled to
comment on their status recently:-
In past years, a number of variations were issued to
individual Amateur Radio licensees via the Radio
Society of Great Britain (“RSGB”). The letters that
the RSGB sent suggested that it was the RSGB who was
authorising the use of radio apparatus.
The principal legislation under which we regulate
the use of radio is the Wireless Telegraphy Act
2006. This says that only Ofcom may grant or vary
Amateur Radio licences. The 2006 Act replaced the
Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949, which said that only
the Secretary of State (including the RA) could
grant or vary Amateur Radio licences. To place it
beyond question, therefore, any authorisation not
clearly issued by the spectrum regulator (for
example letters of authority issued by the RSGB)
must now be replaced with a formal variation, issued
Even when faced with the
statement above, some of the denser radio amateurs
still find it hard to accept!
In 2013, some clown replied
to one of my transmissions (without first
establishing his station) telling me he was going to
"report me to the RSGB", which would have the same
effect as telling the AA or RAC about someone
parking on double yellow lines!
use RSGB Limited to relieve themselves of some of
the work they would otherwise be obligated to carry
out, licensing of repeaters is a good example, but
now that the Radio Amateurs Exam is no more, just
about the only way into the hobby is via an RSGB
good analogy would be to have all driving licences
controlled by either the RAC or the AA. We call this
a conflict of interest as RSGB Limited rely on
amateur radio for the entire company income, and
giving them a captive audience, or a "customer base"
in this way is completely unacceptable. If RSGB
Limited was a volunteer body run as a charity on a
non-profit basis, this arrangement of farming out
the licensing examination might be acceptable, but
to give a commercial organisation this income
stream, leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
Admittedly, in the past, City & Guilds of London
Institute must have made money from setting the
examinations, but they were a completely independent
body with no vested interest in an income stream
from the candidates, unlike RSGB Limited.
at the LPWS. call this a very bad situation, a
conflict of interest, possibly verging upon nothing
less than corruption.
The UK's Information
Commissioner has this morning issued the outcome of
a complaint made against the Radio Society of Great
Britain (RSGB) concerning data protection issues.
In its three-page report, it concludes that 'on the
basis of all the information available, we have
decided that it is unlikely that the Society have
complied with the requirements of the Data
The conclusion goes on to say "This is because on
this occasion, it appears the Society were unable to
satisfy a condition in schedule 2 of the DPA for
disclosing [the complainant's] personal data to
third parties and, furthermore, doing so was
unlikely to be within [the complainant's] reasonable
The incident arose when correspondence sent to the
RSGB was allegedly sent by e-mail to eleven members
of an external organisation.
The RSGB has been asked to consider the information
provided to it by the Information Commissioner's
Office and steps have been taken by the RSGB to
prevent the situation from happening again.
The Board of the RSGB has today released the
Peter Kirby, RSGB General Manager, has left the
Society’s employment after the discovery of
financial irregularities on his part.
For the time being, RSGB Director Don Beattie, G3BJ,
will act as General Manager.
reports of any police action in this regard! We suggest that
too many people's fingers were in the till to involve Mr Plod.)
RSGB Limited may have started out as a useful club,
but now they only seem interested in making money from the hobby. Until 1999 they
were committed to holding it back in the days of Morse keys and DS19/87B radio
valves! When you consider their vast turn-over, it seems that their cosy
relationship with The Radiocommunications Agency is not such an “arms length”
arrangement as it should be. Registered limited company number 00216431.
The R.S.G.B. Ltd. undertake a
significant part of licensing administration work for Ofcom, especially in
the field of Packet Radio and the approval and granting of licences for
repeaters. Is it right to let a company that generates it’s entire income
from within the hobby, be so closely involved with the granting of licences for
specialist tasks? We think not. How many repeater keepers and packet radio
bulletin board system operators have received approval from R.S.G.B.Ltd. while
not being “members”? We have not been able to locate a single one!
With the declining numbers of
radio amateurs now dropping well below the 60,000 mark, RSGB Ltd. have decided
that new measures need to be adopted to secure more income, and more subscribers
to their magazines. They have successfully lobbied the RA for a reduction in the
Morse requirement for HF use, to a mere 5 Words Per Minute, with the abolition
of the Morse requirement entirely by 2002. Furthermore, it seems that the
company is actively trying to ensnare current CB operators as well.
It has always seemed rather strange that the representative body
for a hobby that is so closely associated with technology, should have actively
campaigned for it to be held back in the dark ages. Sadly, it seems that loss of
income has been the only deciding factor in their dramatic change of policy.
Being a “member” of R.S.G.B.Ltd. has always seemed to us as a little ambiguous, basically, you
subscribe to a magazine rather than pay fees to a club, but this passes over the
heads of most people.
The R.S.G.B. Ltd. also enjoys other dubious privileges, the
greatest of these being the ability to broadcast propaganda on our allocated
amateur frequencies and to promote their money making ventures such as the sale of books,
and for events for which they charge admission fees.
It may well have been the case
in years gone by that the company was a non-profit organisation, but with
the purchase of Ham Radio Today (A British amateur magazine - about
amateur radio) we suggest that is
no longer the case. With their close ties with the licensing authority, we feel
that their advertising and propaganda broadcasts on amateur radio are now
totally inappropriate. The constant use
of the code QTHR in their "news/advertising/propaganda" broadcasts
on amateur frequencies, is merely another way of suggesting
that you buy their call-sign listing book.
For reasons best known to
the UK Government, The Secretary of State for Trade &
Industry (or whatever he is called this week), allows R.S.G.B. Ltd. to drop the
usual legal requirement for the term Limited
to appear after the company name on all company literature.
Normally a legal
requirement for Limited companies, these special terms only seem to perpetuate the myth that the company is some sort of club
or official body.
Limited, an interesting new
company that has yet to trade, we wonder where the income
will be derived from - any guesses?
Registered Office :
RSGB LICENCES LIMITED
HERTFORDSHIRE. EN6 3JE
Company No. :02603325
Date of Incorporation : 19/04/1991
Country of Origin : United Kingdom
Company Type: Private Limited Company
Nature Of Business (SIC(92)):
9272 - other recreational activities
9305 - other service activities
7499 - non-trading company
Accounting Reference Date : 30/06
Last Members List : 11/12/2000
Date of Change : Previous Name :
02/10/1991 BAYLAKE LIMITED
Registered office now moved.
Unlike the RSGB Ltd., we at the LPWS do NOT want your money!
Defamation of Character
Following the conviction of George, G1MTT, The Radio Society of
Great Britain Limited gleefully broadcasted their views on the subject.
Unfortunately they didn't bother to find out what he was charged with, which
repeater was used, which Court the case was conducted in, or the length of the
case, - let alone
what he was found guilty of!
The Defamatory Article
01-07-1993 at 16:37 gmt.
NEWS @ GBR
GB2RS @ GB3KP
MAIN NEWS 7TH JULY 1/13
morning. It's Sunday the 4th of July and here is the GB2RS
news broadcast, prepared by the Radio Society of Great
we start by saying a special "good morning" to all
those listening from VHF National Field day sites.
main story involves a repeater abuser who is this week
nearly ten thousand pounds poorer. On Friday the 25th of
June, at Worcester Crown Court, Robert George Hitchcock,
GIMTT, was successfully prosecuted for offences connected
with the transmitting of music, abuse and obscenities on a
number of repeaters, particularly in the West Midlands. It
was the activities of Hitchcock and others which resulted in
GB3BM being time and sensitivity limited over the last few
months. At the end of the week-long trial, Hitchcock was
fined three-thousand-five hundred pounds, and was ordered to
pay six-thousand pounds costs. The case, which was brought
by the Radio Investigation Service of the
Radiocommunications Agency, stemmed from considerable work
by the RSGB's Amateur Radio Observation Service working in
conjunction with local repeater groups. Close cooperation
between radio amateurs and the RIS over a long period has
resulted in this conviction which, it is hoped. will clean
up several repeaters. It is expected that the substantial
fine and costs imposed on Hitchcock will act as deterrent to
would-be abusers of their amateur radio licences.
expedition by the Bridgend and District Amateur Radio Club
to Tusker Rock scheduled for late June had to be postponed
due to foes. If weather conditions allow this time. the
station will be operating from approx 2pm today using the
callsign GB2TR. Activity will be limited to 2, 20 and 40
metres SSB only and for a maximum of four hours. The RNLI,
Coastguard and Sea Cadets will all be standing by to
evacuate the island if weather conditions deteriorate during
the expedition. Tusker Rock is situated in the Bristol
Channel, some five kilometres south east of Porthcawl. This
WAB square (SS87) has never before been activated. For the
IOTA award it is EU-124.
Thursday evening, the 8th of July. the callsign GB2BS will
be aired by Brookfield School. near Portsmouth. The
operators will be licenced students and school staff
together with members of the Fareham Radio Club. HF
operation will on 40 and 80 metres SSB only. and on 2 metres
and 70 centimetres FM from 6DM to 10pm. This is a sponsored
event and all monies raised will be donated to the Colour
Scanner appeal for Kidney research.
had the opportunity of speaking to George
(October 2013) about
this, apparently he approached his solicitor to
get a simple apology over the malicious
falsehoods in the packet message above. However,
when it was explained to the solicitor how the
Packet radio system worked, and that the message
was saved on people's computers all over the
country for any radio amateur to download, he
said that he would need RSGB Limited to provide
all the names and addresses of Bulletin Board
keepers, AND get each and every one to publish
an apology as well as making the original
message unavailable for download.
told the solicitor that not only was the message
published on Bulletin Boards, but also was read
out on the air as part of the RSGB Limited News.
The solicitor then said that he would also need
RSGB Limited to supply all the names and
addresses of the newsreaders, AND get them to
transmit a verbal retraction and apology.
transpired that the original request to RSGB
Limited was just for a retraction and apology,
which the company refused. George's solicitor
then shot the killer blow by demanding all the
names and addresses of both Packet radio BBS
SYSOPS and all the RSGB Limited newsreaders, the
purpose was to charge each and every one with
galvanised the company into action, and they
started talking money, after around 2 weeks, an
agreement was reached which George will still
not reveal as RSGB Limited made a
confidentiality clause regarding the actual
amount of the settlement.
previously unknown, and I have been able to get
George to agree to a more in depth "interview"
which will hopefully have further revelations.
In our bulletin
for Sunday the 4th of July, we ran a story concerning George Hitchcock
G1MTT, who had been fined for a number of radio-related
offences. We stated incorrectly that the offences were related to
the transmission of abuse and obscenities. We unreservedly apologise to
Mr. Hitchcock for this and regret any embarrassment this may have caused
him. Mr. Hitchcock has asked us to point out that the charges were
as follows: eight counts of using apparatus for wireless telegraphy
without a licence and two counts of unlawful broadcasting. Four
charges were withdrawn, one was returned not guilty by direction of the
Judge and of the five counts on which he was found guilty, four charges
related to the playing of music and one related to not using a callsign
at the commencement of transmission. In all cases it was alleged
the same frequency was used, namely 145.025MHz, the input frequency of
the Malvern Hills repeater GB3MH. No charges were brought
concerning abuse or obscenities or the use of any other repeater or
frequency. The Society has
agreed to pay Mr. Hitchcock his legal costs and damages.
Also to be
But it didn't end there!
Many packet Radio BBS SYSOPs decided to delete the apology, so
George made a substantial list (Packet Radio was quite popular
back then), and returned to the solicitors who sent a letter off
to RSGB Limited telling them that the terms of the "out of
court" settlement had not been met and requesting the names and
address of the SYSOPS who didn't make the apology available, so
they could be taken to court for defamation.
The RSGB were very quick to react, and assured George's legal
representatives that they would ensure the apology would be
available on EVERY BBS that very weekend. Every BBS that
deleted it the previous week now carried the apology, and the
ones that hadn't, now had it on their system twice.
At least the "members" of The Radio
Society Of Great Britain Limited were able to track down where, at
least some, of their money went in that financial year!
Unlike most publically listed companies,
RSGB Limited lists, after "Operating Costs" another item "Other
Operating Costs". After searching, we couldn't find an example of
another company doing this - it seems RSGB Limited mystically have
expenses every year that are almost exactly equal to the operating
profit - no explanation of these expenses is given in any of the
sets of accounts we have inspected
In 2011 it was very sparsely reported
that RSGB Limited employees were being "dismissed" for involvement in financial irregularities!
This was all handled in house, reportedly without Police