We are still living on the memories of the places we visited and especially the people we met on our travels.
Completely unexpected in Los Angeles, I was presented with a small parcel and some cards and envelopes. I thought what is this? I opened it carefully and inside the parcel was a Lefax Radio Handbook. WOW!!! I was very touched by the messages in the card and the individually written letters from everyone who had contributed to this marvellous present.
I suppose I better quickly explain my connection with radio engineering, as it is a theme that seems to pop up quite often.
When I left school a long time ago when I was 16, I got a job as a trainee radio technician working for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office(FCO). I went through my training with them and went on to do various radio engineering jobs looking after radio communications equipment linking UK Embassies overseas with the FCO in Whitehall, London.
I worked for them for about 10 years including a 2 year stint in Cyprus. After I got married I changed jobs, still doing radio but more frequency assignment type work for VHF broadcasting in UK. I then worked at a radio laboratory for about 18 years before I finished off being the Radio Spectrum Manager for a branch of the Ministry of Defence in Kent.
So for about 35 years I've known nothing but radio. In parallel to my salaried job I've been a volunteer spectrum manager for the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), I've done that role for over 21 years and this is still on-going, it is the only radio work I do these days having resigned/retired from paid employment in 2010.
Over the years I have collected a few radio reference books of historical interest, so the Lefax Radio Handbook was an excellent choice of gift for me, it connects my past with the present beautifully really.
As you can see I already have a Lefax Radio Log and a Lefax Radio Engineering set of inserts, click through to read about those.
So looking at the Lefax Radio Handbook. All the inserts and pages are dated 1922 or 1923, all in remarkably good condition considering their age and the way they have been stored.
The handbook is split up in to various sections, clearly labelled on the section dividers as shown below.
The binder has 13mm rings... and yes that is 16mm worth of inserts. Crammed full it certainly is.
But on removing all of the inserts, the rings are in like new condition, I've not done anything to them. Like the Radio Log the two sets of rings are independent of each other, the top tab only opens the top set of rings. The bottom tab the lower set of rings.
As you can see on the back cover it is a No. 655 Lefax binder. Looking in to various catalogues it is Moroccan leather, on a board backing with some form of backing material on the interior. There are no pockets or clasp or pen loop, just a simple 6 ring binder in the same size as a Filofax Personal size organiser. It is in very good condition. Much better than the similar Radio Log which is now very fragile by comparison.
I've only had a brief look through the inserts, but they will give me hours of reading during the dark winter nights. They are shown here in the different sections.
There are some fold out inserts too. Lefax also sold monthly updates, these all date from 1923 as well.
There appear to be a few sample pages from the normal Lefax planner range shown in the photograph below in the lower row.
The stamp you can see with the name Max G. Jensen appears in a couple of places, on one of them there is an Radio Amateur callsign W6SFC which when I checked is still an active licence. So it has an interesting history.
Lefax also did other handbooks, Alan Marshall showed me his Mathematics Handbook whilst I was in Toronto.
I am very grateful to my North American friends for giving this wonderful gift, thank you.