Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club
An initial meeting of 8 persons gathered on Thursday 15th December 1977 at 8.30pm in the Green Lodge Public House in Hoylake, as they felt the time was then right to formalise the formation of a new Amateur Radio Club on Wirral. These 8, together with others not present, had been congregating on 2 metres (A.M.!) for a couple of years and organising informal get-togethers in various pubs around the Wirral. These were the original 'Drink and Waffle's' or D&W's for short. Once the proposition was accepted, it was decided that a formal inaugural meeting should be held on Wednesday 11th January at a suitable local venue where anyone interested would be most welcome to attend. Malcolm G8NMG agreed to find suitable premises. A mission statement of five fundamental attributes for the new club were discussed and recorded in readiness of the January meeting. At this juncture, Neville G8MGY was appointed as acting Chairman and Malcolm G8NMG as acting Secretary for the meeting in January. Suitable names for the new club, together with subscriptions were given consideration and noted, and the meeting closed at 10.30pm.
The inaugural meeting on the 11th January 1978 was held at West Kirby Concourse with 19 persons present. Acting Chairman Neville G8MGY welcomed the large turnout. He emphasised the need for all prospective members to take an active interest in the new club, if it was to be a successful venture. He wished the Club success, and hoped that it's members would find the meetings interesting and rewarding. He further announced the intention to start a Morse class in the near future, for those interested. Both Neville and Malcolm were confirmed as Chairman and Secretary respectively, with Dave G4GGB elected Treasurer. A ballot for the remaining committee was taken with Tom G4BKF, Graham G8NNS, Allan G8NPG and Richard G8NDD being appointed, with Paul G4DLY as Contest Manager. A further vote, by a show of hands, agreed the name of the club to be The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club, and the West Kirby Concourse as the ongoing club venue. Similarly, Wednesday evening was popular with everyone and so the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month were chosen to be Club Nights so as not to clash with the Wirral Amateur Radio Society, who held their meetings on the 1st and 3rd. A short AOB followed and the meeting closed at 22.00hrs.
And so WADARC was born. Led by a group of keen young radio amateurs, eager to further self-training in all things electronic, while ensuring the maximum amount of enjoyment along the way. We are pleased to say that those ideals are still central to our mission today. It's interesting to read from documents of the day that the Club very soon had a membership of over 60 people spanning the ages of 14 - 72. It was also not solely a male domain either, with a few young ladies and no less than six husband and wife teams. Eight of the ladies held amateur radio licences.
The D&W's were quickly integrated into the new Club Calendar, and even today, they play an important part of our social life as a forum for members to meet and discuss a wide and varied range of topics. At closing time people can regularly be heard muttering "Do you know, I didn't know that before tonight" !
Unfortunately, the Concourse did not provide the club-house atmosphere that was really sought by the membership, so in 1982 after an extensive search, the club headquarters moved to Irby Cricket Club where, after some thirty years, we still meet today. The move provided us with a fine large club-house with easy and safe car parking, and almost central access to the membership. It also has space to erect antennas when needed .. in all a very attractive location that we could call home. This also allowed us to expand our range of talks and activities for Club nights.
The Club aims to provide a variety of talks each year to cover our members varied interests in amateur radio. In addition to our regular meetings and D&W's, the Club is also involved in Direction Finding Evenings, Visits, Treasure Hunts, Lighthouses on the Air and JOTA Special Event Station weekends, and on occasions Contests. To further these activities the Club has seven Cups and Trophies which are awarded annually, and these are shown below. Click on each thumbnail to see a larger picture with details of the person or event in who's memory the cup or trophy is named, and the discipline for which it is awarded.
In the 1990's the internet was fast becoming "the new toy", and the Club was indeed fortunate that Jan, XYL of Phil G6IIM, had the foresight, time and expertise to write a website for us, and in June 1997 put us on www.merseyworld.com where we have lived ever since. We then purchased the "wadarc.com" domain name to reflect users to our merseyworld site. Since Aug 2004, the website has been extensively updated by Neil G4OAR to benefit from the instant flexibility of colour digital photography, increased local and international news and many other features associated with amateur radio operating including regular updates of DXNews and weather. We also now have a complete library of all the Clubs earlier Newsletters. But, thanks to Jan, the club enjoyed a presence on the internet when many did not. One of Jan's special features was the gif image of the masts on the top of this page emitting the radio waves which she designed and produced, and has been copied by many sites all over the world (without permission) !!
If you have an interest in radio from short-wave to microwaves, slow-scan or fast-scan television, satellites, data at all types of speeds and modes .. then we invite you to seriously consider coming along to one of our meetings and finding out more. We promise you a warm welcome.
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