Crawley breakers who did not want to break the law

Crawley CB protest 1980 SUS-150306-172806001
Crawley CB protest 1980 SUS-150306-172806001

Hands up who remembers the day when CB Radio became legal in the UK?

All of a sudden, everyone’s big brother was outside in his car bellowing “one-four for a copy” before clamming up when a nice-sounding girl answered and tried to strike up a conversation.

It’s hard to believe talking to other people over the airwaves used to be against the law and was punishable with a £400 fine or six months in prison.

It was a penalty the men and women in this picture were quick to protest.

The photo was published in the Crawley and District Observer in 1980 after a convoy of 70 cars took to the town centre calling for their hobby to be made legal.

Scaremongers had claimed allowing the average man in the street to chat over his CB would lead to interference with hospital paging systems and model aircraft.

But breakers such as Grey Ghost and Sapphire Lady explained all they wanted to do was to talk on one half of one band - hardly clogging up 
the system.

The CBers also pointed out they would be able to warn others of incidents and accidents, a service which was reported to have saved thousands of lives in the USA.

It could be argued that CB Radio was like Twitter and Facebook for the pre-internet generation.

Who says social media is a new concept?

As it turned out, the then Home Secretary, William Whitelaw, was on the side of the breakers and the whole thing became legal one year later.

Were you one of the convoy?

What was your best or most memorable experience of using CB Radio?