Pirate FM News

Cornwall Wins Independence (For Radio Amateurs)

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:17am 21st October 2015

Radio amateurs in Cornwall have been given permission to change their call sign to show they are in the Duchy.

At the moment just two letters - G and M - are used to denote England as a general location. But these letters do not indicate which county the amateurs come from.

Now, thanks to a campaign led by the Poldhu Amateur Radio Club, regulator Ofcom has given permission for radio enthusiasts to add 'K' for Kernow to their call signs during 2016.

This means that the extra letter will now form part of the prefix to the call sign - distinctly identifying those in the duchy from their counterparts across England .

The campaign led by the club, which is based at Poldhu's Marconi Centre, was launched last year following the announcement that the Cornish people had been granted ninority status.  

The campaign had the firm support of Cornwall Councillor Carolyn Rule, herself a keen radio amateur, who took a motion calling on other members to formally back the proposal at a meeting of the full Council in September 2014.  

"There is a very large family of radio amateurs throughout the duchy " she said. "The call-signs are hard won and, therefore, extremely important to the holders. While there were other designations to show where in the UK amateurs are, for example in Wales my call would change to MW0ADA, or if in Scotland where it would be MM0ADA,  up until now I have not able to have a call sign which showed that I am in Cornwall.

"This fantastic decision means that I can now add "K" for Kernow to my call sign which means that my sign will now be MK0ADA."

Welcoming the decision Council Leader John Pollard said "Cornwall has been at the forefront of communication history for over 100 years.  Guiglielmo Marconi did a lot of his experimental work at Poldhu, with the first trans-atlantic radio signal sent from here. Both Poldhu and Cornwall hold an important place in the history of radio communication and this decision means that we can  maintain this proud tradition by becoming the first county in the UK with a unique sign.

"We are proud of the new status of the Cornish people as a regional minority under the EU Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on an equal standing with the Welsh and this decision by Ofcom is another step in establishing Cornish identity. I would like to congratulate Keith Matthew and other members of the Amateur Radio Club for all their hard work in achieving this." 

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