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Denis Pickwell – Who Remembers Him

25 Jul 14
Peter Bull

Hi Peter,

Geof Hipwell sent me your application form. Geof and I worked together at Fiskville and he later became my brother-in-law. Small world.

I would have joined the OTC Veterans many years ago but my work took me to Sydney (initially with OTC) and since I retired I have been living in Brisbane. So the opportunity to join any activities in Melbourne was severely limited.

I have fond memories of my time with OTC. It was probably one of the happiest and most fulfilling times of my working life. We were at the forefront of technological development and yet, in retrospect, we were really pioneers as wireless communication was only beginning in the early 1900’s  and less than 50 years later I was privileged to be working on the premier transmitting station in Australia (Fiskville) and also had a close contact with the Melbourne Operating Room and Rockbank Receiving Station.

In later years I transferred as one of the first Technical Officers to Sydney Head Office. One day after I left OTC I chanced to be driving along a road in Paddington (Sydney) and went past the new OTC building which housed the new international cable terminal. I noticed a sign which said “OTC Museum” (or something similar). I decided to have a look. There – to my “horror” was displayed the high speed morse transmitters, Kleinschmidt tape punches, ink writers etc. which I used to operate. And around the corner were exhibits of the Coastal Radio Service (which was part of my domain in Sydney) and a “new” operating console which I had designed. It made me feel as though I must have been getting old when what had seemed so up to date was consigned to a museum!

Anyway, enough rambling.

My best regards to anyone who still happens to remember me.

– Denis


  1. Peter Bull July 25, 2014 at 11:03 am

    From Kerry Adams:

    Hello Peter,
    Please pass on to Denis Pickwell and Geoff Hipwell my regards.
    I worked with both of them back in the late 1950’s at MOR and Fiskville.
    43 years later I retired after a great career in MOR, Fiskville, Rockbank, Port Morseby, Rabaul, Carnarvon, Moree, Ceduna, Doonside and Bringelly. Doonside and Bringelly became mainly Maritime stations, Bringelly remotely controlled from LaPerouse.
    When they closed I retired. I was the last Manager of Doonside/Bringelly.
    Kerry Adams

  2. Peter Bull July 25, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Denis Chambers remembers Denis Pickwell from his days at Melbourne and Fiskville. I am glad to hear he still alive, John Norris who resides on the Gold Coast after his retirement from the Brisbane Office after many years at Melbourne should also remember him.

  3. Peter Bull July 28, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Please pass on my best regards to Kerry Adams and Denis Chambers.It is pleasing to know that there is still someone who remembers you.

    It is about 60 years since I left OTC and I don’t suppose there are too many left now. I am 82 now and still keeping in good condition (ie. for an old bloke) but my memory of those days sometimes gets a bit thin.

    I can recall faces but the names sometimes elude me; not that remembering names was ever something I was particularly good at.

    – Denis

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