Chapter 13 – A Diamond Club (2006 – 2010)

The most significant event in 2006 was the celebration of the Club’s 60th Anniversary (our Diamond Anniversary). A celebration was held in the Tithe Barn at the Harrow Museum on 10th June 2006. Among more than 60 people who attended were ex-Club members from as far away as Glasgow and the Canary Islands as well as Pierre-Louis and Hervé from our twin club F6KRK. Guests of Honour included the Mayor of Harrow and consort, also councillors Janet and John Cowan. The event was hosted by chairman Chris Friel, G4AUF and Martin Lynch from ML&S There was a nice buffet and we had a special guest speaker – Rob Mannion G3XFD editor of Practical Wireless.

We continued to operate GB2DHH at the DeHavilland Aircraft Museum and held operating sessions there every month or so.

Sadly, in 2006, we lost another long-term member Brian Hummerstone, G3HBR, who passed away on 16th February 2006 after a short illness. Brian was a very active Club member and participated in many contests. We also lost another member, Jim Ballard G0AOT who sadly became a "Silent Key" in October 2006

Don G0ACK continued to instruct for the Foundation and Intermediate exams throughout 2006 but then wanted to step down. For many years Don G0ACK ran, single-handed, Foundation and Intermediate courses for the RSH, with guidance for those taking the Advanced Exam, from his home shack. He had decided the previous year to reduce this heavy load and so he stopped doing this. We didn't do any more courses for a couple of years until 2008 when we set up a team consisting of Brian G3YKB , Ray G0BSP and Jim M0UJC to continue the instruction.

New subscription rates came into force in 2007 because of increased costs from the Arts Centre. We encouraged people to pay electronically by offering a small discount. Our Club magazine, QZZ, was by now distributed mainly by email and it was decided from 2007 to distribute QZZ only to paid up members.

We also continued with our French exchange visits throughout this period and many interesting visits took place. For example, in June: 2007, Chris, G4AUF, Keith, M3OJH and David, G0CAG went for a weekend visit to French Club F6KRK just outside Paris. We had a good time that included a street party, attending an amateur radio rally, a visit to an aerodrome and a soirée at the radio club. We also visited Paris and were taken to the Musée des Arts et Métiers. Martin, G4GRS, joined us part way through the weekend. We also entertained our French friends on their visits here.

G3EFX and F6KRK members at our club premises in September 2010
G3EFX and F6KRK members at our club premises in September 2010

At the beginning of 2007, the Arts Centre closed (Arts Culture Harrow, the organisation running the Arts Centre and Harrow Museum, went into liquidation in mid-December 2006). This obviously caused great problems for all the groups that were meeting there including us. We had to rapidly find alternative premises and for a short time we held meetings in the Hatch End library, the Hatch End Scout hut (where we had to meet on Thursdays owing to unavailability of scout hut on Fridays) and the Gayton Road library, Although the Arts Centre opened up again in early 2007, the Council’s arrangements for room bookings offered no advantage over the library or the Scout hut, so we didn't go back there.

We continued to operate at other public events, for example On Saturday 17 March 2007, the Club put GB2HM on the air for Science Week at the Harrow Museum.

At the end of 2007 we started meeting at the St Lawrence Church in Eastcote. This was to become our regular meeting place for a few years while we continued to search for other premises. We were able to set up a station with some wire antennas although we didn't have a permanent installation for our equipment.

Sadly, Geoff Hodges, G3KRT, died in October 2008. Geoff had been made an honorary member at our 60th anniversary in 2006. Geoff will have been a familiar figure to many RSH members over the years, as he was a member for almost 40 years. He was also a Committee member for many years, serving as Treasurer for a period of about 10 years in the 1970s and 80s, and he was twice Club President. Also in 2008, we sadly learned of the death of Bill Biltcliffe, G6NB, one of the longstanding Honorary Members of the Radio Society of Harrow.

In September 2008, we also started doing events at Bentley Priory. This came about following an approach by the RAF Bentley Priory Trust team while we were at the Harrow In Leaf show over the August Bank Holiday 2008. They asked us if we would be willing to run a radio station to demonstrate radio communications and Morse code to the general public at their Heritage Open Day. This was a very important and prestigious event at which to demonstrate our hobby of radio communications. We also did a similar event there in 2009.

We continued to put on demonstration stations at various events and on "field days" to demonstrate our hobby to the public. We held many open air events at Old Redding at which Club members set up temporary radio stations. This location affords a good view to the South and is therefore a good place to operate.

Open air operation showing David G0CAG, Jim M0YGW, and Chris G4AUF
Open air operation showing David G0CAG, Jim M0YGW, and Chris G4AUF

Don, G0ACK operating one of our demonstration stations
Don, G0ACK operating one of our demonstration stations

In 2010 we were invited to take part in the Forties Family Experience Weekend on Sat 24 and Sun 25 April 2010 at the Lincolnsfield Centre, Bushey. We did this again the following year. Also in 2010 we participated in Mayday at the Manor pubic show.

As a final sad note for this period we mention the untimely passing of Stephen William Wiltshire M0GSK. Steve was a Club member and became a Silent Key (SK) on 19th December 2009, his 53rd birthday.

On to Chapter 14 - available soon

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