I set off for my pre-work activation on Monday 26th April 2010 at 6.30am, looking forward to giving 80m a rare outing. As I got to the canal bridge by my turning off the A54, I was dismayed to find that the road was closed. Instead I took the next left with the aim of getting to Cloudside via Key Green. However, the ‘Road Closed’ signs were also up beside Key Green Methodist Chapel. I wondered what was going on.
I now diverted through Timbersbrook and up onto Dial Lane which is the road between Mossley (Congleton) and Rushton Spencer. I turned left onto the road up to Cloudside from the opposite direction to usual, and this time made it to the parking spot.
The ascent was enjoyable in the early morning, and it was a good feeling to have some fitness back after the abandoned activations trials of the winter. After climbing the staircase and passing onto the National Trust land, I spotted the large area of black to my right. It was considerable and rather creepy. A huge area of heather had burned off, from the right-hand edge of the footpath, right the way down the steep slopes and across to a boundary fence of the farm below.
On summit, I set up for 80m, which was a trial in itself with me being somewhat out of practice in erecting these lengthy dipole legs! It worked though, and my repair had been successful. Things were quiet on air with just one CW contact followed by two on SSB. But I enjoyed the activation nonetheless, on a quiet and peaceful morning.
While descending, I met a couple who live on Cloudside walking up. I asked them about the fire and they reported that the whole hill was ablaze with six fire crews in attendance for 48 hours over the weekend. The chap showed me some stunning photos on his phone, before I made my apologies needing to shoot off to work.