CB airwaves kept alive by group of real good buddies
WHEN it comes to social networking in the Cleethorpes area, using a CB radio is neither over or out!
And the 30 or more enthusiasts in the area, who still regularly take to the airwaves, say you can keep Facebook and Twitter – they prefer the more personal touch.
Citizens Band radio, or CB radio, was originally introduced in the 1970s and – despite being illegal until 1996, millions of people tuned in to communicate with each over the airwaves.
Even as late as 2006, those wishing to use the service had to pay a special licence fee.
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But, as mobile phones – which were introduced in the late 80s – became more popular, many turned off their transceiver in favour of the new technology.
However, Simon "The Crow Man" Tasker, the owner of Cleethorpes Computer Centre, in St Peter's Avenue, said the trend was still alive and well in the resort.
The store is one of the few remaining shops in the area to stock and take an active interest in CB radios.
He said: "In the late 70s there were millions of people using the equipment illegally.
"Everyone had radios in cars, on bikes and in houses.
"Those using the equipment had their own CB handle so they couldn't be identified by the police.
"My handle is The Crow Man and each area of town has its own code name also.
"Taylor's Avenue is called murder mile because of all the accidents that used to happen on the road and Grimsby is called fish town.
"We sometimes get long distance stations coming through from other countries.
"Using a CB radio is really good because you can speak to people you have never met.
"It was the original social network.
"CB radio didn't take off on its own, films like Convoy and Smokey And The Bandit helped."
David "Red Bear" Gray, 45, of Thornton Cresent, Cleethorpes, added: "I have been on for roughly 30 years.
"I think that it is really interesting and it is nice to talk to people on there.
"You can make new friends really easily.
"I have a radio in my car and I always have it on in the background.
"You often hear people from all over the country if the weather is right and sometimes even the world.
"It is different than a mobile phone because you are basically broadcasting your own radio station.
"It is really amazing how many people have had a CB radio and are still using it today, especially in this area."
Cleethorpes even has its very own CB radio group, called The Dead Badgers CB Club, which meets once a month at Cleethorpes Bowling Alley to get together and socialise.
And it's not just people living in the resort that can be heard regularly on the airwaves.
Enthusiast Wendy "Rottweiler" Vause, from Covenham, added: "Both me and my husband Martin use the CB radio.
"It is really great, because we have found new friends and we get a lot of pleasure from it.
"We are on the airwaves everyday. We used to be on in the 70s but we packed it in, but returned because there are a lot of people out there to talk to again.
"We were on it when it was illegal but everyone was doing it, so you didn't worry. Now the licence fee has gone we have come back to it.
"My handle name is Rottweiler because someone called me it once and my husband is Fatboy Slim."
Find out more
For more information about the club, or anything CB radio related, call Cleethorpes Computer Centre on 01472 601896.