I was fortunate enough to live in a good DX location at Kapuka, 25km east of Invercargill, during the 1940s and 1950s. I started off with my parents’ Philips Radio player, which was a good DX set. I heard VPD2 Suva, Fiji on 6040 kHZ; I had seen the old Lamphouse Magazine, which contained notes by Arthur Cushen. I contacted him and he put me on the right track to send reports. This was in late 1943. By this time I was attending Southland Boys’ High, where I met John Miller and Lyndsay Springford from Winton, which also DXed. I used to bike in to DX meetings over 25km of gravel roads.
I started work at the Southland Times newspaper in 1944 and used to knock off work at 1.30-2.00am. There was a radio in the sub-editors’ room and I heard quite a few Yanks on it, including 250 watters KRPL Moscow Idaho on 1400 and KWOR Worland Wyoming on 1490. I got a job on the now defunct Auckland Star in 1948. I boarded in Cheltenham Road, Devonport which was quite a good location. The best station I verified there was KLAS a 250 watter in Las Vegas on 1230. Some of the DXers I remember from then were Noel Barrett, Hank Barr, Des Gate and Jim Forrest.
I returned to the farm in Southland in 1951 and DXed mainly with wonky old battery sets in a hut away from the power lines. In 1962 reception from the US packed up. The last decent Yank I heard was WIWD a 250 watter in New Jersey on 1340 kHZ.
PS: Ask Barry Williams if he remembers a trip to Lloyd Clayden’s farm mid 1950s. He drove rapidly in an old Jaguar. The door was held shut with a piece of twine tied to the dashboard.