Technological advancements are often the emperor’s new clothes.

There is a groundswell of tech opinion at present that saving everything remotely in a 'cloud' is an improvement.

Folk like me, dinosaurs, are seen as archaic as we believe that saving work onto flash drives is a better system as inevitably when the internet goes down, with the new system work cannot be accessed.

It's ok being told it ‘won't happen often’, but in certain jobs, say university lecturer, being faced with a room full of 170 eager students each paying a king’s ransom for the privilege of your utterances, treading water and wasting an hour of their lives will not be well received.

It is with that in mind I would like to start a campaign, which will inevitably fail, to bring back the citizens band (CB) radio. Originally used by truckers and immortalised in American redneck style films such as Convoy, they were really ‘a thing’ in my youth and I would spend many a happy hour sitting with my grandfather in his workshop chatting to random people around the world.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Nostalgia is making Brett Ellis get back into CB radioNostalgia is making Brett Ellis get back into CB radio

My grandfather was really into it, and was president no less of the Hastings CB association. He built his own aerials which loomed high in the sky next to his Anderson shelter cum shed in the back garden, as he sat with his set and me resplendent in my ‘you have just eyeballed Dalglish’ badge as we spoke to strangers, formed relationships and laughed and sympathised, as we waited for nana to cook up our tea.

You never knew what, or who, you were going to find and true friendships were formed. My grandfather made a very good friend on there, a man by the name of Brian, who was blind. Now arguably, in those days as today, there was very little in terms of social support for the blind but when on the CB his affliction not evident, he could be himself and meet people he would never have met had he not had the walkie talkie and Uniace 100 rig to hand.

The innocence of it was unique. Yes, there would be few idiots on there, however you would just change channel or ignore them and they’d soon go away.

So, bring it back! I plan to purchase a CRT 2000 and get back into ‘hamming’ for the sake of nostalgia and to connect with those who are otherwise voiceless. No doubt I will be sitting alone for a few months searching out others who have refused to succumb to new, unworkable technology advancements, but I just hope you read this and agree it’s a 10-4, you copy?

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher.