Adrian Dening


My interest in electronics began at school, back in the late 1970s.  Wednesday afternoons at Sherborne School were devoted to extra-curricular activities and I was faced with a choice of archery, fives, rugby practice, squash, swimming and numerous similar activities.........oh, and something called Amateur Radio.

Not being the sportiest young man on the Planet, guess which one I chose!

I imagined that the sessions would probably teach me how to mend record players or transistor radios.  How wrong could I have been!  It turned out that one of the chemistry teachers was a licensed Radio Ham and he was starting a club at the school.  I went home that evening full of exciting news to tell my parents and they informed me that there was a very enthusiastic Amateur called Don McLean (sadly now a silent-key) who lived just up the road.  That weekend I visited Don and there began my association with the Yeovil Amateur Radio Club (YARC) and a lifelong hobby.

After studying for the City & Guilds Radio Amateurs Exam, I became licensed as G8TCQ in September 1979 and my callsign was subsequently upgraded to G4JBH after I passed the Post Office morse code test later that same year.



A young G4JBH operating in the early 1980s

Taking part in the 2005 national VHF radio contest


The hobby of Amateur Radio encompasses a wide variety of activities, some based around technical issues and others directed towards operating and communication skills.  Over the past twenty five years, I have been fortunate enough to sample many of them through links with fellow Amateurs and have the opportunity to build-up friendships across different continents.  My particular interests are research into VHF propagation (the way very high frequencies can travel long distances, when they are normally limited to line-of-sight only) and using the Short Wave bands to talk to fellow enthusiasts all over the World.


We have all gazed sky-wards at some point and marveled at the millions of stars suspended overhead.  Several members of the YARC were keen amateur astronomers and it wasn't long before they encouraged me to develop my knowledge of celestial matters!  Experiments with radio astronomy and the use of digital CCD cameras to capture images that could not be seen with the naked eye were a natural follow-on.



Antennas pointing at the Moon during an

experiment  to reflect signals from it in the 1980s



My current telescope, computer-controlled and

A CCD image of Neptune (bottom right) captured

fitted with a CCD camera for imaging

completely by accident in July 2005!


With all these exciting activities going on, you may be asking yourself whether I actually did any work!  When I left Yeovil College in 1981, I chose a career with Lloyds Bank and remained there for thirteen years, latterly as the Principal of Foreign Services in Yeovil Branch (guess I just couldn't get away from talking to people in other countries).

The YARC used to assist with delivering the "radio" part of a large Space Science week, held annually at Kilve Court Residential Education Centre in Somerset.  I was invited to go along by John Brookes (the County Science Advisor at the time) and ended-up becoming one of the regular instructors there on a part-time basis.

By 1995 I was faced with a decision, either to continue my career in banking or undertake a complete change of direction to follow my passion for radio and teaching.  I accepted a position with GCHQ as a radio officer and in 1998 became a satellite communications instructor at one of their out-stations.  This afforded me the opportunity to study for a formal teaching qualification and thus become an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).  Having attained this, I was promoted to the position of a training manager at the Training Centre.

 In 2005, presented with an increase in demand for enrichment courses at Kilve Court  and having been approached by Leeson House in Dorset with a request for similar sessions, I made the decision to become a freelance instructor so that I could concentrate full-time on the delivery of courses for able, gifted and talented children.


In addition to my work with schools and enrichment centres, I am also a voluntary instructor for the new Amateur Radio licensing scheme.

I run sessions on behalf of the Radio Society of Great Britain to assist students work towards their Foundation, Intermediate and Full licences.



Students on one of my first residential Foundation courses

(large dish for radio astronomy experiments in the background)


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