Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

G/SC-004 Staple Hill , 20th July, easy activation


#1

Here is a story that might serve as a warning to others to take extra care when leaving their vehicles.
Last week I was staying at my mother-in-laws house in Somerton, Somerset so that my xyl could more easily visit her mother in Yeovil hospital.
Sunday looked like it would be a fine day so decided to spend the morning activating Staple Hill just south of Taunton and be back for lunch.
I arrived at about 9am at the turn off which runs along the hill not far from the summit and pulled off the road where there is a forestry track entry with room for several cars to park. I decided to turn the car round so as the face the road . As I was doing this another car arrived . The owner was obviously a local going to walk his dog on the hill.
I locked the front doors of the car and got my rucksack out of the back.
At that moment the dog walker was passing and I said hello and asked him about the footpath up to the top of the hill.
He told me that there was a large off road car park a mile further down the lane and the path from there was much better defined.
So I decided to go there.
I put my racksack back in the car and shut the boot.
My heart sunk as I realised that I had put down my car keys in the back of the car whilst I got all my bits out and they were now locked inside.
I realised that I had not come prepared for this as I had no phone or money but I did have my senior citizen bus pass in my pocket .From April this year it had become valid anywhere not just in Hampshire where I live.
Decided that the only thing to do was to return to Somerton some 20 miles away and get my wife’s set of car keys (Its her car anyway as I only have a scooter since I retired)
So 6 miles walk off the hill to Taunton.
1 1/4 hrs wait for a bus.
Yes amazing that they actually have buses here that run on a Sunday , what a life saver.
3/4 hr bus ride to Somerton.
Had to run to the house for the keys and back to the bus stop for the return journey as the bus which normally goes on to Yeovil only goes as far as Somerton and returns to Taunton straight away. (The next bus was 2 hours later)
Did have time to grab a bottle of water and a couple of bananas.
3/4 hr bus ride back to Taunton followed by a further 6 mile walk back up the hill.
1/2 mile walk up to the top of the hill and set up for what turned out to be an enjoyable if somewhat delayed activation.
Worked 34 on 7mhz cw including 2 S2S contacts.
Worked 2 on 21mhz cw.
Many thanks to all who called and for the spotlite.
So please take extra care when leaving your vehicle as hilltops are not the most convenient places to lock in the keys .

David G3RDQ/P


#2

In reply to G3RDQ:
Hi David - many thanks for this - it does make one think. I’ll be sure my XYL also has the spare keys with her when we next do an activation.

73, Grant G4ILI


#3

In reply to G3RDQ:
Hi David
very easily done ! - I remember doing the same thing a few years ago and my spare keys were with the XYL 150 miles away !!
A nice person drove me to a BMW Dealer who after checking their database to check I was who I said I was, cut me (at great expense - £99.95!) a new key.
Lesson learned, I now always keep a spare key in my wallet in my pocket !

73 Graham G3OHC