A great reception for radio starlet Kayleigh
A FEW months short of her sixth birthday, Kayleigh Huntley became the country's youngest radio ham.
Kayleigh, a member of the Humber Fortress DX Amateur Radio Club (ARC), was five years and ten months old when she secured the licence to broadcast.
At the weekend, Kayleigh was at Fort Paull with the team, sending messages all over the world, plugging Fort Paull museum.
Kayleigh said: "It's great to be the youngest in the UK to be qualified because I can now talk on the radio with grandad. And at my school I have been telling my friends what amateur radio is.
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"I enjoy the fun we have at the radio club, meeting other young people that come to the club, and I like to go camping on events and listening to the radio.
"I have spoken to the US once already."
Kayleigh, of Bransholme, first became interested in radio through her grandfather Andy Nielson, who is vice chairman of the Humber Fortress DX ARC.
She said: "I got involved because my grandad has a radio at home and I wanted to talk to people on the radio. I had to get a licence first.
"When grandad went to his radio club, I used to go with him on weekends. I am also the club mascot and I like that job.
"The exam was scary and I thought I hadn't passed. It was hard and I didn't know I had passed for ages. Grandad and mummy told me. I was so happy.
"I got a certificate from the Radio Society of Great Britain and also from the club."
Kayleigh has been involved in radio for more than three years, having been allowed to say hello on her grandad's radio to friends all over the world.
Although she is believed to be the youngest amateur radio in the UK, in the United States, Samuel Lewis and Sarah Bruno were just 4 when they got their licences in 1998.
Mr Nielson said: "Kayleigh is a very bright and enthusiastic for her age.
"She has always shown a keen interest in the workings of the equipment and wanting to talk to the voices coming from the radio speakers.
"As a baby, she was been fascinated by the voices coming from my radios.
"She has spent many hours in my radio shack at home listening to me talking to radio amateurs worldwide.
"She has a memory like a sponge and is very quick to correct you if you are wrong about things she has been shown in the hobby.
"Kayleigh had stated on many occasions she wished to talk on the radio as I do, but has always been told she needs to sit an examination to obtain a licence to do so.
"To my amazement, at the age of 5, she was already reading books of an advanced level for her age and playing with electronic kits.
"After seeing other members passing their foundation course, Kayleigh asked why she could not sit the examination or have her own call sign.
"After a discussion, we saw no reason for her not to try, as we thought the experience would be good for her.
"To our amazement, she passed the examination first time."
The Humber Fortress DX ARC was created two years ago. The group meets twice a week on a Tuesday and a Friday. One of the club's main events is operating the radio station from Spurn lifeboat station, which aims to raise awareness of the facility.
There are also the technical sides of the hobby, with members experimenting with different antenna designs, or constructing new electronic projects, such as the interface used to link a computer to the radio.
Visit www.hfdxarc.co.uk for more details.