Louis Varney G5RV, founder member in 1936 of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS), received a little-known honour in 1945
During World War II Louis was stationed at a radio monitoring station in the hamlet of Steart near Bridgwater in Somerset. The local newspaper records he received an honour from the residents of the hamlet:
The Western Daily Press, December 10, 1945, reports:
One of the loneliest places in England, the hamlet of Steart, near Bridgwater, put itself on the map this week when, as part of the proceedings at a British Legion dinner in the neighbouring village of Combwich. “The Freedom of Steart” was conferred on Capt. R. L. Varney [G5RV] (Royal Signals), who during the war has been in charge of a wireless station there.
A local farmer, Mr Victor Biffin, wearing appropriate “robes of office,” performed the ceremony, during which Capt. Varney was presented with a huge key.
Steart has a population of 26, no public-house, no shops, no main services, and the residents have to walk over 2 miles to catch a bus to the nearest town, Bridgwater, which is nine miles off.
Three times recently Steart has been cut off by heavy seas which have swept across the only road and inundated the fields.
The hamlet is proud of its only serving man, Sgt Pitman who is with the Army in C.M.F. [Central Mediterranean Force]
During World War II Louis was involved in Plan ‘Flypaper’
After the war Louis returned to Chelmsford, Essex where he developed the famous G5RV antenna and Elizabethan transmitter.
(As seen in Southgate ARN)