Te Atatu ham ra­dio mate raises alarm

Western Leader - - LOCALJOBS - JILL CLEAVE

Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­tin­u­ing into the death of a man at his Thames home.

Po­lice found Arthur Earle Plim­ley, 76, dead in his Parawai Rd house on Au­gust 30 after a CB ra­dio friend, Peter Hansen of Te Atatu, raised the alarm.

Hansen said he be­came wor­ried when his friend failed to keep ap­point­ments with friends on the air­waves.

‘‘Earle was a well-known voice on the air­ways,’’ he said.

‘‘His call sign was Thames104, and we spoke ev­ery morn­ing re­li­giously from 6am.’’

On Au­gust 29, Plim­ley told Hansen he was not feel­ing well and had gone on air from his bed, where he was keep­ing warm with a small elec­tric heater.

‘‘Us­ing a heater was un­usual for Earle, as he had a wood stove for heat­ing his wa­ter and for heat, so I knew he must’ve been feel­ing quite off.

‘‘The head of his bed was near the win­dow and he said he had pulled back the cur­tain, looked out at the mis­er­able weather and de­cided to stay in bed.’’

Hansen be­came a lit­tle wor­ried when Plim­ley missed a call to an­other friend at 4pm.

‘‘When he was off air again on

‘‘When he was off air again on

Wed­nes­day morn­ing, and I kept get­ting a busy sig­nal from his land line, which I had asked Telecom to check and they said noone was us­ing the phone, I rang the po­lice.’’

Wed­nes­day morn­ing, and I kept get­ting a busy sig­nal from his land line, which I had asked Telecom to check and they said no-one was us­ing the phone, I rang the po­lice,’’ he said.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions into the cir­cum­stances of Plim­ley’s death are on­go­ing.

But po­lice said the death is in no way sus­pi­cious.

There had been a fire in the house and the Fire Ser­vice at­tended the prop­erty after po­lice vis­ited to make sure it was safe.

The fire had burned it­self out be­fore the po­lice ar­rived to look for Plim­ley.

Hansen said Plim­ley was a clever man who had been is­sued his ham ra­dio li­cence when he was only 15 or 16 – and not just any­one could get one.

The li­cence tests are quite hard, as peo­ple have to know the Morse Code.

‘‘I have known Earle for around 15 years, meet­ing first over the air­ways and then in per­son.

‘‘I have been to his home and am amazed if there was a fire, it did not raze the house to the ground. I look for­ward to hear­ing the answers.

‘‘He was ex­tremely care­ful with electrics, even his work bench in the garage was earthed and the stool he used was on a heavy rub­ber mat. It is very sad to think an elec­tri­cal fault could have been his un­do­ing,’’ he said.

Plim­ley had worked for the Post Of­fice for 20 years as a ra­dio tech­ni­cian.

He then worked at Toy­ota in Thames for an­other 20 years do­ing electrics on cars be­fore re­tir­ing.

Hansen said he had a house full of col­lectibles, some of which he had fos­sicked out him­self, in­clud­ing a spoke from a wheel of a cart pulled by horses which was buried in the Mt Tarawera erup­tion.

‘‘No one will know what it is. They have the wheel in a mu­seum and it is miss­ing a spoke. He said he was go­ing to give a lot of his things to the Thames mu­seum a few years back when he got sick,’’ he said.

‘‘He lived alone and was a very pri­vate per­son.’’

JILL CLEAVE/STUFF

Po­lice un­der­took a scene ex­am­i­na­tion the Thames house where a long-time res­i­dent was found dead on Au­gust 30.

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