Saturday 17th March 2018, and the Longthorne tour rolled into the West Midlands for a show at Pelsall Community Centre, Walsall.
No alarm was necessary; my next door neighbour began drilling at 0857 - and an incredibly loud drill it was too. He was taking out a chimney breast, so the drilling and hammering was then continuous all day. What a shame I had to go to work halfway though it all!
I popped up The Cloud G/SP-015 to begin with, but couldn’t get any takers on 2m Fusion. On analogue FM, six quick contacts.
I wasn’t hanging around - I wanted to get to The Wrekin G/WB-010 before getting to soundcheck at my gig - plus it was incredibly windy. I could barely hear the audio on my Yaesu FT-70D even at full volume - plus when as a 20-stone bloke you’re getting blown about, you know it’s time to leave!
It was very picturesque though! I took some photos of the footpath restoration walks that have started, for anyone that is interested. It seems to be a very long process, and already beyond the initially stated timeframe - but work is continuing.
For some reason, my SatNav really wanted me to avoid the M6, but I gambled on ignoring it. Sometimes these gambles pay off, and other times they don’t. On this occasion, I made the right decision and had no problem driving down the M6 and M54 to the usual parking spot for The Wrekin G/WB-010.
This was probably a relatively long walk - for one that I’d do on the way to a gig. Still trivial nonetheless, although I did “spice it up” a little by cutting up the steep rougher path directly to the back of the snack bar, rather than the more graded meandering vehicle track.
Once on the ridge, there are still a couple of long banks to climb, but the surfaces are good and wide, being access roads for maintenance vehicles. The summit was nowhere near as windy as The Cloud G/SP-015 earlier.
I tuned to 144.6125MHz C4FM (Fusion) and before I could call, I heard G6UYG calling me! I then made a rapid six QSOs on analogue FM before trying Fusion again. G3CWI could be heard calling me from his campervan, but couldn’t hear me when I replied. I later learned that 2W0JYN and 2E0MDJ were calling me, but I didn’t RX them. Very strange.
For the descent, I stuck to the main track; my ascent route would have been too slippery to go back down. My car journey into Pelsall (part of Walsall) was briefly impeded by slow moving traffic past the scene of a very nasty looking caravan fire on the M54.
We had another good show, but the drive home was pretty much 30mph all the way in very heavy snow, much of it sticking and accumulating, even on the motorway.