Wanganui Branch History
Messrs Withers, Whelan and Mellars were able to converse quite easily, and when they got tired of talking to one another they decided to play a tune or two.
A music box was used for the experiment, and the notes of A Carnival of Venice were wafted from a two-storey house in Wicksteed Street (later owned by the Murchie Family) where Mr Mellars (later 2AL) had a room to Mr Whelan's Niblett Street home; much to the delight of all!
About this time the club was forced to seek new rooms. Through the generosity of the Y.M.C.A. authorities, permission was obtained to use a room in their building at a purely nominal rental, and the Club settled down in these quarters. The first aerial put up at the YMCA consisted of a steel stay of an aeroplane that Stan Freeman was building, but never flew!
Prior to this, however, an exhibition of apparatus was held by the Club, in the old clubroom. So far as is known this was the first exhibition of apparatus ever held in New Zealand. The attendance at this exhibition was very small. In July, 1922, the Club held its second exhibition, and a very respectable show of apparatus was got together. A small advertisement was inserted in the local papers, stating that an exhibition would be held - admission free. Unfortunately the committee rather under estimated the probable attendance, for in less than half-an-hour from this opening, it was quite impossible to move in the room. During this exhibition time signals were received from VLW, and heard by those present, as also was the weather report. As a result of this exhibition the membership of the Club increased considerably and the finances were augmented accordingly.
Transmitting Station Proposal
About the beginning of 1923, a proposal was put forward that the Club should install a transmitting station, and several of the members there and then made donations totalling nearly £20 towards the cost of the necessary apparatus None of the members had any knowledge of transmitting telephony, but difficulties were there only to be overcome, and enquiries were made in to what was necessary. An application was also made for a permit but this was immediately turned down. However, a set of parts, alleged to be sufficient, was purchased and a transmitting set made up. As soon as the new regulations came out one of the club members (Ken Lambert) sat for an operator’s license, and a permit to transmit was obtained.