Bardon me

The Leicester show moved from Donnington to Loughborough University. It was a better venue, but there was Leicester see and Leicester do. Numbers through the door were disappointing on Sunday 13th September 2009, although I understand it was pretty busy on the Saturday. The lack of bodies through the door and absence of manufacturers like Yaesu and Icom, and traders like MLS made this event seem a bit of a damp squib when I arrived with Jimmy M3EYP and his mate Ed.

However, we were not there to buy, rag chew at the club stands, sift through junk or meet & greet. We were on “SOTA duty”, having been booked by Bob Titterington G3ORY to present a one hour presentation about SOTA as part of the event’s “convention” programme.

But would we have anyone to present to? The first item on the convention programme was an enjoyable talk about WAB, but with an audience of about six! Oh dear, should I have bothered? I got ready for my own presentation, looked up, and saw that the room was full! Wow, they’d all come to see Jimmy and I talk about SOTA!

The presentation was received well by the audience, and many questions were taken at the end. We stayed another hour to watch Bob’s excellent talk about SDR and the skimmer, but then other priorities took over.

We were getting hungry again after our fry-up breakfast as Derby with Burton services that morning, and so set off down the M1 and into Coalville looking for grub. This was found at Dominos Pizza, who were offering an individual four-piece pizza with any two toppings and £1.99 each. Deal.

We now left the town and Jimmy directed me a couple of turnings to Vercor Close, where we parked to begin our ascent of Bardon Hill G/CE-004. This hill seems to get easier and flatter every year, but yet the quarry immediately below it seems to be sinking deeper and deeper!

Jimmy set up the 2m SOTA Beam and worked on FM making 6 QSOs. I set up the 20m Magic Moggy and made just 8 on CW, despite being QRV for around an hour. I had been looking forward to a big pile-up and some DX at that late afternoon time, but it turned out to be as much of a damp squib as the rally! It was a really weird activation - I didn’t even work Reg G3WPF!

The drive back up to Macc was swift and simple, mainly courtesy of the excellent A50 road from the M1 to Stoke. The day ended in style at the Weston Balti Raj - where else?