Saturday 20 January 2024

Rally - Phone home

Whilst working on the second book in the series ‘The Scottish Rally Championship’ this wee wallet sized leaflet was discovered buried deep in the files.

Way back in the late 1980s into the 1990s Scotphone Communications were awfy good to the Scottish Rally Championship. They provided the Championship Co-ordinator with a mobile telephone with which to conduct his weekly business of ‘Motoring News’ rally and race reporting duties as well as Rally Championship duties around Scotland. It was also useful for a wee bit of press and PR work on behalf of Scotphone as well.

The first phone they supplied was so big it had a built-in handle. It was the size of a large shoebox and should have come with wheels not just a carry handle. It was about as heavy as a car battery with the handset on top. Coverage was pretty limited back then and it would only work in the larger centres of population.

But the following year they supplied a Nokia Talkman, not quite pocket-sized with its full size handset, but altogether a more practical and portable alternative to the small coffin which was hefted about the previous year. It still weighed fully 2 kgs but that was half the weight of the previous monster and it came in its own wee shoulder bag with a zipped flap to enable ‘quick’ access to the handset. Just the business, eh?

It was so advanced Nokia had to provide a Guide to its use and functions and that included the wee ‘Quick Guide’ pictured here.

Another recollection. In the early days of mobile phones, radio and TV stations would not accept interviews or reports over a mobile phone because the quality of the sound and the reliability of the signal were suspect. That meant that journalists and reporters were still reliant on a landline or BT’s big red roadside boxes. Naturally some of the more unscrupulous reporters would ignore such instruction if they felt they had a good signal! Surely not?

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