Graham Mercer [GM4BES] STRANRAER, Dumfries & Galloway, SW Scotland

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4..Historical Data, Portpatrick & Stranraer.
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11..Grandchildren and Irish Setters
12..Last Month's Site Visitors
13..Solar Generation

Our Last Florida Family Holiday
[all 13 of us!]

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Morgan, Bailey & Harvey almost adults!

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Part of GM4BES Shack! [Right hand side]

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This site was last updated on October 1st 2014 @ 2230 UTC ....
 
 
Well 2014 has produced some Meteorological surprises!
 
The early months provided record levels of rainfall, then we had another 'better than average' summer, followed by a 'Cracking' and record breaking 'Indian Summer', that was September 2014!
 
September was EXCEPTIONAL, with the lowest EVER recorded rainfall levels on record. [Here in Seabank Road, Stranraer that was a mere 0.17 inches [or 4.318 millimetres!] 

 
Latest updates include:-
Page   4.. This has been updated to provide 'previous month' details as well as 'current month to date' details.
Page 13.. This page has been altered to show Monthly totals of Electricity generated  in kW hours each month since Jun 21st. 2013, when we installed 16 Solar PV panels on our South facing roof. [Check this out, and you may wish to 'Join the Club'!]
 
Page 12.. Re-introduced monthly Site Visitor Statistics for the Stranraer location.{Opens in separate window, click to maximise.} Current statistics August 2014.
 
The station moved from Portpatrick to Stranraer on March 1st 2013, and became operational from the new site on  April 13th at Midnight UTC.


I particularly wish to thank
The Harbour House Hotel,
 Lesley Collins & Robert McQueen,Tommy McCutcheon {GM0HPL}, Ian & Carol Maxwell, Joe & Margo Farrell,  Graeme Young [Electrical Services], Portpatrick [Dunskey] Golf Club & The late Gavin Morrison {GM3MOU} and Angie Morrison{2M0TZA}, George Hardill {MØHAJ} and Coastworks 
for their very generous donations to help with the running costs of the site, when it was located in PORTPATRICK.

The system is a Davis Instruments Wireless 'Vantage Pro2' weather station, with all sensors wirelessly connected to the main console. This in turn transfers data to a dedicated Dell laptop 'Inspiron' PC, which archives all data at 1 minute intervals, then uploads the data to several sites via the Internet.
These include:-NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] in the USA,
Weather Underground, also based in the USA, but is where the data from this station {and countless others!} can be accessed & downloaded.
Detailed Historical data for this station is available on this site from June 2005, when this station started uploading via a 'dial up' connection!

Things improved somewhat in October 2005, when a reliable 'broadband' connection was established in this area! Data is uploaded to the Weatherunderground site in the USA along with,
MADIS [Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System] ... also based in the USA!
CWOP [The Citizen's Weather Observers Programme] and....
APRS [Automatic Packet Reporting System], used by the World's Radio Amateurs are also updated
with data from this site.

Interests are:-

THE RNLI, and in particular the Portpatrick Branch, where for 12 years I served as Honorary Secretary and Lifeboat Operations Manager(LOM).[1999 -2011.]

I retired from the RNLI 'LOM' post in Portpatrick in February 2011.

I'm proud to have been associated with such a wonderful group of people, Crew, Committee, their families and friends who contribute so much, to make our Branch one of the most successful fundraising branches in the UK!

I think that I am correct in saying that Portpatrick is in the 'Top 4' in Scotland as far as our Fund Raising efforts are concerned, just behind Edinburgh and Glasgow and one other... which is not bad, considering Portpatrick's static population is just a little over 1000 souls!
I estimate that our annual contribution to the RNLI's coffers in the last 5 years has averaged around £35-40,000. That equates to a 'per capita' average of £35-40 for this wee village!

Apply this ratio to the likes of Greater Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen & Dundee ... and just 4 Scottish cities could fund the RNLI around £80m each year! [Food for thought!] 

According to the RNLI website, their Annual running costs are currently £123.5m, so what are London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and all the rest doing?
Not to mention Belfast & Dublin, as the RNLI have the coast of Ireland covered too! ... so you can see that Portpatrick is doing
'Its bit for the Cause!'

My other main interest outside our family is AMATEUR RADIO, with a preference for CW [Morse Code operation.]

Unfortunately, I have not had time to persue this interest recently, and although I have a fully equipped radio station, I have not been 'on the air' since May 2003, when I  VERY nearly expired, following an attack of Necrotising Fasciitis!

My personal history is somewhat varied!
When I left school, I got involved in hotel work during the summer holidays before I started at Radio College.
After qualifying as a Ships' Radio Officer, I continued  with my work in Hotel Management, becoming Assistant Manager initially of the Beach Hotel in Trearddur Bay, Anglesey.

Then after a break involving yacht deliveries in Europe  & the Caribbean,  I  became Assistant Manager of the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen, and later, 'Relief Manager' for Usher/Vaux hotels in the NE of Scotland, including the Palace Hotel in Peterhead, the Station Hotel in Fraserburgh, The Staging Post in Bucksburn, and others in the City centre of Aberdeen that I'd rather forget!

In 1967, shortly after meeting Patricia, [now my wife for the last 45 years!] I moved from Aberdeen to London [and Bournemouth], to train in Air Traffic Control.

After several courses in the ATC College at Bournemouth Hurn Airport, I worked at both London's Heathrow Airport and the London Air Traffic Control Centre [which in those days was located at West Drayton in Middlesex]
I married PAT in October 1968 up in Aberdeen, and later in 1969 moved from ATC to a career in the British Coast Radio Station Service, when after induction training at Portishead Radio/GKA, I was posted to Portpatrick/GPK, where I served initially as a Radio Officer.
 
I am privileged to have visited [and worked] at several of the other UK Coast Radio Stations during my time with BT’s ‘Aeronautical & Maritime Services', including GNF/North Foreland in Kent, GNI/Niton on the Isle of Wight, GLV/ Anglesey, N. Wales, GND / Stonehaven and GCC/ Cullercoats, near Newcastle on Tyne, Humber Radio/GKZ, and the Long Range Station GKA/Portishead Radio in Highbridge, Somerset.

In 1972 I attended College in Southampton, for a 'Crash Course' to upgrade my Maritime Radio Qualifications
Then from 1980 I was the Acting Station Manager, at Portpatrick/GPK, until the closure of this station on 31st March 1999, and for the last 18 months until closure, I was the only person left.

After  a brief spell between April 1999 and September '99 when I worked voluntarily, [another phrase for ;unemployed!']  at the Citizen's Advice Bureau in Stranraer, and then I managed to secure paid employment in P&O's busy Freight Department in Cairnryan. Initially, this was just part time, but in early 2002 I secured a full  time position... and despite all odds [Senility, deafness, near-death etc.] .... I'm still there! 

In 1970, my wife Pat gave birth to our first born ~ 'DEBBIE' in a Snow Storm!
Debbie, who is now 43, subsequently married a GREAT guy [DUNCAN] and have since produced two WONDERFUL grand children for Pat and myself ERIN & EUAN! [See the link to the left!]

In October 1972, 'BEVERLEY' arrived!
Beverley doesn't have any children, but she has a POSSÉ of Irish Setters instead! Maddie produced a litter of puppies in 2005, 2 remained with Beverley {Morgan & Bailey} another {Harvey} moved to Debbie & Duncan's house, and yet another {Fergie} moved to live with my Niece in Aberdeen!
 
Beverley added yet another to her brood of setters in October 2006, when she collected {Redley} from the North of Scotland.
These have recently been joined by River, Ellie & Lexie! [Irish Setters] ...

Add to this, two super-cool felines who [sometimes] answer to ‘Murphy & MacKenzie', and who quite naturally think that they are dogs!

CHECK OUT THE OTHER PAGES OF THE SITE, WHICH I HOPE YOU WILL FIND INFORMATIVE! 
CLICK on the links on the left hand side of the page.SO THERE IT IS! ......AND AS THEY SAID WHEN WE LIVED IN PORTPATRICK...... (Well, they used to!)

HASTE YE BACK!