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The Glendinnings - Part 1

How an inventive electronics wizard became an inspirational Offshore Radio Engineer

Identity Card - rear Identity Card - front

1 & 2. William Glendinnings (front)
Identity Card (rear)

Let me share a story of strange coincidences with you. When I was courting my first wife, her father Bill (Seymore) was 'best mates' with Lawrence Bean. They'd met as Radar Engineers in the war. Returning to 'Civi' Street' Bill ran a business called S.E.R.E.D. The very grandly named South Eastern Radio Electronic Distributors were originally at St Georges Place in a marvelous old building called 'Salem House' on the White Friars site opposite what is now Canterbury Bus Station & the 'Fenwicks' departmental store. An enthusiastic musician Bill set-up 'Sovereign Records' not only to record and press records of himself and friends but solo musicians, groups, and bands which continued up until the 1960's

Identity Card - translation

3. Original English translation attached to the Identity Card

By 1966 in Bill's words Lawrence had become 'head honcho' at Radio 390. After the 60's offshore radio scene had been 'nipped in the bud', Radio City and 390 were no more. Lawrence Bean stayed in the Hythe, Folkestone area, which had always been base of Invicta, K.I.N.G and Radio 390, pursuing his own interests and buying property in Spain. Bill moved S.E.R.E.D to Stour Street in Canterbury and by the 70's my then father-in-law asked me to join his business. Amongst the electronic work, I'd be sent off in a van crammed full of equipment, making several trips to Canterbury Cathedral to set-up a massive valve mixing desk, big old Phillips & Grundig tape machines, dozens of huge home built speaker columns made with drivers from old TV sets (they sounded amazing) having free access to 'Bell Harry' to install these speakers over the Nave; all this work was to record the Diocesan Conferences. In amongst the reels I discovered loads of Radio 390 tapes most of which were criminally bulk erased for re-used at the conferences! You can see a picture of some of the S.E.R.E.D kit used for illicit broadcasting in the City of Canterbury in Sutch & City – Part 9

MV Fredericia off Isle of Man

4. The MV Caroline 'Fredericia' off Ramsey Bay (Irish sea) Isle-of-Man in 1965 with the magnificent Snaefell Mountain 2036' A.S.L. in the background

Bare with me, now let's introduce William Glendinning (Bill), born in Leyton, Essex in 1898, he lived all of his life in and around London. Bill was a scientist with an electronics discipline at the War Office, working secretly on the design and development of amongst other things as the wartime miniature portable (suitcase) transmitters. He'd left his first wife in 1960 but his decree absolute didn't become law until 1972. In the meantime he met 'Paula' and taken a job at Radio Caroline North on the MV Caroline (Fredericia) as a radio technician. He was a very popular guy; senior in years to many aboard the ship and something of a father figure

William Glendinning Legend rear of photograph

5 & 6. William Glendinning left
Legend or rear of photograph

Above in William's own hand reads Armistice Day 1946 - French Club Shanghai - United Services Division - Banham of Sassoons - Lots of tempting food

Ernest Lawrence, William Glendinning, ?

7. The Physicist Ernest Lawrence with William Glendinning center, unknown right - Undated

During active service William made Major and as an radio/electronics 'buff' was attached to the Army

William in Fredericia Mess Room

8. William known to all as Bill on Caroline North shares a yarn with Don Allen & looks like Ray Teret in the Fredericia Mess Room

Bill & Paula spent holidays in Ireland, she fondly told of meeting Bill coming ashore from the Caroline in filthy oilskins. Asked where his decent clothes were his reply "Oh they're on the boat"

Tony Prince Keith Hampshire

9 & 10. Personal messages from Tony Prince & Keith Hampshire to Bill's sweetheart Paula

Pictures on Martin's site of Keefers

Mary & Stuart's site have a piece on Tony Prince

With thanks to the Glendinning's for sharing their family photographs

This feature continues in The Glendinnings - Part 2

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