GB2JAM ... the Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club
JOTA Weekend 14th - 16th
Erecting the Club Mast:- Vic G4UDR, Harry G1UHO, Simon G6XHF, Colin G3RLA, Phil G0JSB and Gordon G8MMM
Operating from the cricket pavilion - HF beam on the tower for 20/15/10 and the Club Mast with dipoles 80/40/17
Vic has been actively involved for many years with Scouting in Birkenhead, whilst to a much lesser degree I have joined both Vic and other groups with JOTA on occasions. The problem is you rarely find a Scout Group HQ with a good radio site. More often than not, you can just make a ½ size G5RV wrap round a building downspout over to a 12ft flagpole. A JOTA station we visited last year also had security problems from youngsters after dark, which took off some of the enjoyment.
Vic is keeper of the prestigious callsign GB2JAM which was first taken out by Tom G4BKF for a special event station on the 5th & 6th of May 1979. The occasion was a celebratory event in Royden Park to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first World Jamboree in nearby Arrowe Park back in 1929 - hence the "JAM" suffix. So, after much discussion, Vic & I came up with the idea of approaching JOTA from the other way round .. searching for somewhere primarily to play radio for the Friday night and Saturday and then inviting groups of Scouts, Cubs & Beavers on the Sunday to complete their communicator badges. After making up a list of venues, we slowly crossed each one off, for one reason or another. My final suggestion was Irby Cricket Club .. our Radio Club HQ. It had ALL the facilities plus loads of space for antennas & reasonable security .. but from memory a very sensitive alarm system which had caused us major problems with RF before. It also enjoys a central Wirral location, and that proved an important consideration for club members and Scouts alike.
I guess the rest is history, I talked to ICC
and received a very enthusiastic agreement and so the planning
began. We received a very kind offer from Wirral Raynet to
supply their 40' mobile tower
which would support the Club's 3 element HF
beam, and Richard G8NDD offered his time and services to deliver and erect
it for us. As we had space, we decided to use
the Club's 40' mast to support dipoles for 80/40 and 17m. At
this point no one knew how to erect the club mast .. but thankfully Phil G0JSB,
with domestic renovations,
offered to come down on the Friday afternoon and lead a party and show us how.
Scout leader was then invited to join in the organisation. He was keen to
be involved and contributed both his HF station and many years active JOTA experience. Eric G6HWD,
leader also joined
the group, so very quickly we had a wealth of radio and scouting experience, all
enthusiastic in planning a
Wirral JOTA 2005 with a difference. Steve G7BBF promised a number of webcams with internet access through our website and
also broadband facilities for callsign look-up and other dx support .. so
the weekend quickly took shape at a level well beyond our wildest dreams.
Last, but not least, WADARC club members were eager to join in, and offered
their help and support towards a successful weekend.
In conclusion, none of this could have gone ahead without the agreement, support and enthusiasm of Irby Cricket Club to our proposals for which we are most grateful. Equally, a request for assistance to Club members on both the Friday afternoon, for setting up the antennas, and Sunday afternoon to take them all down again received an excellent response which enabled the weekend to run like clockwork. Those who didn't make it for whatever reason missed an excellent weekend. Our Thanks to everyone who did, we thank you for your support.
I've included a selection of photographs which hopefully reflect the extent of the weekend's activities, certainly one of the best JOTA's Vic and I have enjoyed for many years. As you can see, the weather bestowed high pressure and a most beautiful 'mini-summer' on us during the weekend which was superb. If anyone would like a high definition print of any of the above, please send me details in an email to email@example.com
73, Neil G4OAR
Useful JOTA Links
Chester Oldfield Scouts
Return to the GB2JAM menu