Discovery Films


QRT 500 kc/s wireless telegraphy 1901-1997: The final WT transmissions from UK Coast Stations DVD

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Aspect ratio: 4:3 (full screen)

Classification: Exempt (E)

Colour: Yes

DVD region: 0 (all regions)

EAN: 5060104390013

Format: PAL

Genre: Documentary

Language: English

Narrated: Yes

Number of discs: 1

Product code: 1009

Release year: 1998 (remastered in 2010)

Running time: 56 minutes


This DVD records the final Morse Code (WT) transmissions from UK coast radio stations on 500 kc/s on 31st December 1997 at 23:48 GMT.


On New Year's Eve 1997, the final Morse Code transmissions from UK radio stations were made after almost a century of continuous service to those in distress at sea. This DVD features the final messages from Portpatrick Radio, Wick Radio, and Cullercoats Radio. Also, it records the last transmission from Lands End Radio together with responses from home and abroad. It was a poignant event for the dedicated radio officers, many of whom have served for most of their lives to provide cover for mariners.


The digitally remastered DVD starts with a history of 500 kc/s radio operations in the UK from Marconi's early experiments, through the use of the SOS distress signal by RMS Titanic, to the present day (copies of the actual RMS Titanic SOS messages are shown in the DVD).


The introduction is narrated by John Chappell (G3XRJ), former Radio Operator in the Merchant Navy. However, the remaining soundtrack for the rest of the DVD is in Morse Code only.


The DVD includes a transcript of the last Morse signals on 500 kc/s from UK coast stations.


This DVD has been ordered from 23 countries across the world and has been featured in such publications as Morsum Magnificat: The Morse Magazine. Since we released this DVD it has rapidly became a collector's item.


The DVD has been reviewed in the Surrey Radio Contact Club newsletter and the FISTS CW Club Key Note magazine.


"On the 31st December 1997 the last of the UK coastal radio stations closed down. A recording was made of the actual event and a video tape has been issued by Discovery Films. It comprises a one hour recording of the final Morse transmissions on 500 kc/s with about 10 minutes of film with descriptive sound track about the service ; the remainder shows the operators pounding straight keys and records the actual exchange of the final messages between, amongst others, Portpatrick, Wick, Cullercoates and Lands End radio stations. I found it fascinating to watch the operators in action and to listen to the transmissions. For those of us whose Morse is getting a little rusty, a crib sheet is provided! It was worth buying the tape just to listen to the quality of the signal from Lands End – GLD." (A review by Ted in the Surrey Radio Contact Club newsletter (October 2000, number 697)).


"A nice inexpensive DVD is "QRT 500 kc/s wireless telegraphy 1901-1997 the final transmissions from UK coast stations”. The DVD consists of a spoken introduction and brief history of the development of the marine distress and communication service on 500kc/s with the final soundtrack entirely in Morse code. It comes complete with a live recording of the final messages from Portpatrick, Wick, Cullercoats and Lands’ End with a transcript included a running time of approximately an hour. It’s priced at around £9 at Amazon UK." (A review by Billy in the FISTS CW Club Key Note magazine (Summer 2011, Issue 16, Series 2)).


On 9th January 2014 members of the Swindon & District Amateur Radio Club (SDARC) watched the DVD.


This is an archive DVD that we continue to sell because of its popularity.


This is a brand new shrink-wrapped DVD which we, as the copyright holder and producer of the DVD, duplicated and which we sell on our site.


Customer comments


"As a radio operator for 33 years I was emotional when I saw the video. It is beautifully put together and captures the historic and poignant moment of Morse distress signalling. I commend it to radio and Morse operators around the world." (Mr Prins, Rotterdam, the Netherlands).


"Sending me your video film so quickly was a pleasant surprise! I put it on our video player the same night and I spent a nice sentimental hour. Thank you so much for recording these sad events." (Mr Spaans, Saint Brice de Cognac, France).


"May I congratulate Discovery Films on an excellent and historic record of the last moments of 500 kc/s service in the UK. Also my thanks to John Chappell for his contribution to a record that I shall cherish. To hear that distinctive note of the coast station signals brought back memories of my days as Radio Officer in the Merchant Navy. Also greatly appreciated was the swift servicing of my order. I sent it in by e-mail on the 4th November, received an acknowledgement the same day and the postman dropped off the video itself yesterday morning. Great stuff!" (Mr Gunning, Prestatyn, UK).


"Received the 500 khz video QRT 500. Great!! We have several former marine and military ship operators here who are going to enjoy seeing this!!! It is a great video." (Mr Doherty, Massachusetts, USA).


"Very happy in every respect" (V. Werrett, Weymouth, UK)


"I am an ex Radio Officer in the Merchant Navy now 81 years old & this DVD was very sad and moving BUT it was still enjoyable to hear all the coast stations closing down. All but 10 minutes of this DVD in the Morse code." (Mr Pilkinton)


"Bit specialised but for an ex telegraphist it's magic. Bit specialised but for an ex telegraphist it's magic. Great stuff." (Old Cyclist with a bus pass)


"Delighted with the DVD. Takes me back (R/O 1966-86) Many thanks!" (p***w)


"arrived and it's perfect, exactly what I wanted" (s***e)


"Great DVD. Fast delivery. Recommended" (i***t)


"Excellent. Speedy delivery. Recommended seller A+. Thanks." (o***u)


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