Stanhope to Sputnik

February 16, 2017

George Downing late of 15 Brand Street Stanhope received from Sir John McEwan a local Member of Federal Parliament.

Congratulations on being the first to pick up signals from the second Sputnik. It gave my wife and me quite a thrill to her the national news reporting your achievement”- Sir John McEwan.

This photo not only shines a light on George Downing’s achievements, it also gives a glimpse into his workplace at Hepples Emporium, later known as Bonlac Stores, where he worked as a television and radio repair man.

Beside the letter is the home built 'Ham' Radio that George Downing used, which he received the signal from the 'Sputnik', with his Morse key attached to the table, the microphone is not seen. He had many international 'Conversations' with other 'Hams.' Marion said she can still remember the night that this happened very well.

This is an amazing piece of history and we are lucky to have this as part of the mosaic mural at the new Stanhope cheese factory. 

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