Te Atatu ham radio mate raises alarm
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.’’
Police undertook a scene examination the Thames house where a long-time resident was found dead on August 30.