Clive Hollins: Silent key.

Is it on Clive

It seems like only yesterday I was accosted by an avuncular gent on the common who wanted to know what I was up to with a kite and a camera.  We struck up a conversation that lit upon the topic of radio and it became instantly clear to me this man was a kindred spirit: he had no fear of the soldering iron and circuit board and was more than happy with the idea of the kite as a means for aerial photography. In no time Clive had solved the problems I had with video down-link and had made a beautiful miniature voltage regulator in the process.

Building tools for camera handing, custom antennae and servo control revealed an instinctive approach to problem solving that marked Clive out as a uniquely practical technologist.

Pole DancingHollins antennae are in use from Canada to the London Underground and beyond: he was a kingpin of telecommunications projects where ever he went.

As a kite flyer Clive was unbeatable, the wind was his element and he was able to use his sailing and Met Office  knowhow to get the best out of our growing kite collection.

Is it onClive and lifter

Clive was never so happy as when he had a kite in the sky, a boat in the water, a radio to tune, a dog to pet or a problem to solve.

His last days were a rollercoaster of cancer treatment, an ordeal he faced with great humour and dignity, all the while taking a detailed technical intrest in the treatment, the medical team and his fellow patients. We made plans for KAP flights, rig building and a microcopter.

I miss him.


About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
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9 Responses to Clive Hollins: Silent key.

  1. Ramon says:

    How much I would have loved to talk to you guys through the airwaves somewhere this spring or summer. But it will not happen that way as OM Clive is no more. That comes as a real shock to me, Bill. So sorry to hear about his demise. It’s hard to lose a soulmate like that.

    Recently we started to prepare the aerial and the cables to have it ready for the 40 meter session. So unfortunate that that will not take place.

    M5CHH SK. 73s, Clive.

    • Sad indeed. I will see if I can get the radio link going: I will be in touch with the Cambridge radio group over the coming weeks and I know they are keen to work the Royston Kite festival this year. I’m not a radio op but I know Clive would have wanted this and I think it would be a great memorial to him…he lives on in the airwaves!
      Clive would always be there for me out of nothing more than friendship, there are not so many folks around like that.

      Raise a glass ( or a kite, antenna, pole….) and think of him often!


  2. Charlotte Daniel says:

    Hi Bill,
    Not sure if we’ve met before but your blog has bought me to tears.
    I’m Clive’s oldest granddaughter you see.
    This makes me happy and sad, as he was always asked to steal my slr for your exciting ventures out!
    I’m so glad being with you, he got the chance to do some of it first hand as he had expressed a big passion for it, so thank you for helping him – you’d clearly made a great impact on him.
    I miss him too, thank you for showing me a part of him I’d thought I would miss out.

    • Your grandfather was a remarkable man; he and I shared a love of kites that took us all over East Anglia in search of the perfect aerial photograph. He would always make time to fly and we achieved some truly great images together… and occasionally earned a little money! Solving the technical problems of kite aerial photography was a joy to Clive, it was a challenge he really warmed to. We learned a great deal and much of Clive’s knowledge will continue in use as long as I’m flying a kite, he may not be with us now but his spirit definitely lives on!

  3. TeamBreeze says:

    Lovely blog Bill, I knew Clive only too briefly and he was a lovely man, maybe we’ll meet at his funeral on the 26th

  4. Roy Fogg says:

    I miss my friend Clive already, I had the pleasure of knowing for some 40 odd years, he is a loss to me. 73,s and 88,s kn G3ZCD

    • Roy,
      Clive walked in to my life in September 2009, I had no idea at the time we would get so involved in the simple pleasure of flying kites together- it’s not an easy thing to think of the world without him..I still half expect him to turn up and show me the proper way to solder..or tie a bowline!

      You couldn’t wish for a better companion whatever the enterprise, Clive was always optimistic with a ready answer to any problem.

      We are privileged to have known him.

  5. Ramon says:

    Hi Bill, I’m back here,

    If you still would like to continue the project with the Cambridge Radio Group and have aerials up during the Royston Kite Festival, I’m in! Not sure when the festival will take place (please let me know), but probably there’s still enough time to prepare.

    Is Roy a CRG member?

    Hang in there,


  6. RocKiteman says:

    “KAP In Peace”, Mr. Hollins….

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