Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Breaker Crank Your Handle

When I was younger we had no internet. In fact, during my last couple of years at school there were computer studies, but only the boys were allowed to do the lessons. Us girls had to make do with typing classes or domestic studies, or, and believe it or not as I'm a mum of five, my worst ever lesson, childcare!

When I was a teenager we had no mobile phones! I had to go to the red phonebox at the end of the street and pop in my spare cash to speak to my boyfriend. I had my first mobile in 1998 and it was brick like. You couldn't even text on it, let alone surf the internet!

There was, however, a social media that I was totally addicted to  and that was my CB radio. They were made for cars and at fifteen I didn't drive, obviously, so I had to have it in my bedroom fixed up to a car battery, with the ariel slotted into a metal biscuit tin. That was until my brother gave me his Sirio Starduster which was tied to the garden fence. I used to broadband all my CB neighbours with it. Ah, broadband, there's another term that's changed, back then it meant I blocked all the other's signals.


I loved my radio so much. I would talk to friends every day after school and we'd arrange eyeballs (meet-ups) all the time. I would take a friend with me and never meet a stranger alone. But very soon nearly everyone 'online' was a friend anyway.  I could chat away with anyone else with a radio in the surrounding area, I think my signal took me around three to five miles from home. I could get further but it was harder to get a copy (hear them) and the further you got the more lingo you had to learn, including DX codes.

I feel lucky to have been part of the CB radio boom in the early 80s. I made so many friends over my Midland CB radio and Sirio Starduster or DV27 when I didn't want to upset the neighbours. If there was a party going on the news spread really quickly over the radio and you'd never be short of guests. Clubs were set up where Breakers would meet up each week, Events would take place like the great breaker BBQ which was held on Brecon Point at the Lickey Hills. Or we would simply gather and watch CB movies like Convoy or Smokie and the Bandit.


I even took part in my first ever protest walk across town when legalisation for CBs was brought in but on a different channel to what we were all using. (Oh, yes, I may have forgot to say, CB radio usage was illegal. It was perfectly legal to buy them, but not to use them!)


My handle, or codename was Sweetpea and some of my best friends were, Little One, Sleeping Beauty, Galaxian, Guiness, Alcoholic, Thumper and Bashful. I also had a lot of family members who used CBs too.

Then, one day I met a guy with the handle Honey Boy and he became my boyfriend. We grew out of CB radios, but I ended up being with Honey Boy for a further 14 years. We are not together any more, but I can say I met him through the old fashioned internet.

10-10 til we do it again.
Over and out





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