Friday, March 3, 1966

EARLY news of a coup in Ghana last week flashed up 3,400 miles round the globe and was picked up by a Radcliffe amateur radio enthusiast.

Test engineer Donald Bradshaw, of Grindsbrook Road, was having breakfast at 6.45am when a dramatic message crackled on his £230 receiver set.

The caller, who gave his name as Alex, of Accra, declared: "I have an important message. Will you see that it gets through to the proper authorities?

"The message is as follows - at 0600 hours this morning Accra Radio announced that the police and army have taken over the government."

Mr Bradshaw, aged 39, said: "I told him I would see what I could do and he signed off. At first I had the impression that he was a hoaxer but then I dialled 999 and told the police about the message."

The news was relayed to County Police Headquarters at Preston and then to the Commonwealth Relations Office in London, who had already heard of the revolt.

A radio "ham" for 18 months, Mr Bradshaw is employed at Hawker Siddeley Dynamics Ltd, in Farnworth.

It was only recently that he altered his receiving radials for better reception and he said that it would be doubtful that he could have picked up the message without the alterations.

He added: "The voice came over extremely clear. The caller could speak English but I could tell that it was not his normal language."

Mr Bradshaw - whose call sign is G3TKI - said he always switches on his receiving set in the morning for "early bird" conversations with other operations.

His wife Jo, an industrial nurse, added: "I don't think that Donald was excited when he received the message, he was just anxious to get it through to the authorities."

Mr Bradshaw, a member of the Bury and Rossendale Radio Society and the Radio Society of Great Britain, has received a thank you message from the Chief Constable of Lancashire, Colonel T St Johnston, praising him for his prompt action.