Monday, 4 January 2010

CB or not CB?

I must admit that the CB Radio craze completely passed me by. The closest I came to it was an Action Man Walkie Talkie I was once given for  Christmas (at least I could stake out the bad garden for baddies - until the batteries ran out, that is). 

Blog reader 'Skycruiser' has been reminiscing over CB radio in Worcester Park in the 1980s:

"CB radio in Worcester Park circa 1982! Anybody got their ears on?

Was it really 28 years ago that the Citizen Band 
radio craze swept Worcester Park? It started illegally a year or two before that but by 1982 it was legal (so long as you paid your licence) and 'Breakers' were queuing up outside Croakie Poky's shop in Central Road to buy their 'rigs' (radio sets) plus an 'Oscar' - the Rolls Royce of aerials costing all of twenty quid.

For the benefit of those who were 'ankle biters' at the time and too young to know, 
CB radio had a range from 2 to 5 miles (depending on the lie of the land) so in WP you could reach West Ewell in the south, the Cambridge Estate (but not Kingston) in the west, Mitcham in the north and Sutton (on a good day) in the east. The addition of a 'burner' gave you an extra mile or two range.

You either fitted it in your car or ran it from home with your 'twig' in the loft. It attracted all age ranges from OAPs, schoolnkids, disabled people, school kids, lorry drivers (who started it all), more school kids, twenty-somethings and over.

It was great for chatting up the opposite sex though 'eyeballs' could sometimes prove a disappointment. Regular 'eyeballs' where all breakers could meet up were held every Sunday in the Sainsbury car park in North Cheam (no Sunday opening then but sometimes a 'smokey jam sandwich' aka police car would turn up just to keep an eye on things) whilst other breakers would head for The Plough on Thursday evenings.

So 'Is there anybody there?' as we used to say on the call-up channel number 9? Are you out there Captain Midnight, Stick Man where are you, come back Pussy Cat and Lady Jane? Have you got your ears on?

This is Sky Cruiser calling in the Worcester Park 'twenty'."