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Barmy Barry G0GGV

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 piss.

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 accepted.

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 through.

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 person person 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 about him.

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!

      "Wicked" Willy Bodwen ex Sgt. 3116 (forced to retire & not a laughing policeman!)

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