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Radio ham Bill Maxson, 82, flies from USA to meet retired Sheppey TV engineer Ted Trowell, 96

For more than 70 years, retired television engineer Ted Trowell and American heart specialist Bill 'Doc' Maxson have been conversing over the airwaves as amateur radio 'hams'.

Now the pair have met up at Ted's care home in Minster on the Isle of Sheppey.

American radio ham Bill 'Doc' Maxson (left) meets Sheppey's Ted Trowell at his Minster care home. Picture: Colin Johnson
American radio ham Bill 'Doc' Maxson (left) meets Sheppey's Ted Trowell at his Minster care home. Picture: Colin Johnson

Bill, from Lexington, Kentucky, flew across the world to see his old pal and present him with the official confirmation of his election as an Honoured Member to the world-wide First Class Radio Operators Club (FOC).

Ted, 96, of Bromfield House in Minster Road, and 82-year-old Bill have been chatting since the late 1950s, first by Morse code and then by voice.

But in all that time they have met only twice. The last was in the 1980s.

Ted has been an FOC member since 1952. He had been interested in radio since he was a boy and held an amateur radio licence before the Second World War.

He moved into his care home some years ago but the management allowed him to install a radio transmitter and receiver in his room.

An aerial wire snakes out of his bedroom window and around the building, allowing him to remain in contact with other radio “hams” all over the world.

Ted said: "It was so good to meet up with Doc Bill again after talking to him for so many years on the radio.And I am very proud tobe named as an Honoured Member of the FOC.”

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