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Fond memories of sota

Looking back through some old paper log books (NHM’s fault this) I came across several entries that triggered some fond memories of SOTA, some totally crazy and some not so crazy.

A few spring to mind. The first one being an outing onto Hailstorm Hill (SP-009) where one Winters Day a group of us decided to have Cream Tea. I seem to remember that the participants were M0LMP / G4BLH / 2E0NHM and others. The weather was a little bit on the chilly side and I seem to recall seeing Lee with cream all over his face (blown there by the gale force wind).

Another oouting, well several I suppose, was to YH in the Lake District; North Wales and the Yorkshire Dales. Were many of had great social evenings as well as super days on the hill. Perhaps the fondest memory of these was with Shirley, MW0YLS (sadly missed) one cold day on Gt Knoutberry with Tom (EYP) and the two lads.

Just wondering what other fond and pleasant memories others have of the early days of SOTA.

In reply to G6DDQ:
I certainly remember the ‘Cream Tea’ trip Myke 13/02/2005. I was on Black Hill in freezing fog about 10m visibility. Was glad of the four contacts from your party and John GW4BVE on my 70cms handheld.
April 2004 the NP trip I see I worked Shirley on Great Shunner Fell from Kisdon - the first activation of that hill and the only unactivated NP at that time.

Happy days
Roger G4OWG

Still being new as a SOTA activator, just a year now, I have had many good times on the hills with M0JDK and 2E0KPO. I was looking forward to many more with plans of hills to do ect. But as my main walking partner is now band from this site will it mean I will not be spotted or will it just be Steve. I wish I had found SOTA when it first started as by now I would have my 1000 points and could walk away from all the bickering and have good memorys like yourselfs to reflect apon.
73 Dave

In reply to G0AOD:
People excluded from the site are not excluded from being posted on spots or alerts, they will just have to depend on third parties to post for them. I will post alerts for them myself if asked.

Keep the good memories coming, and keep having good times.


Brian G8ADD

What an interesting idea for a thread!

I remember driving to Stainforth to put some faces to names during the Dales weekend. I remember meeting up with a lot of people who I’d had QSO’s with during the first part of my activation career. My memory tends to be a bit lacking, but I seem to remember meeting Tom M1EYP and Jimmy M3EYP, Rod M3HLD, Steve G1INK, Myke G6DDQ and Riley (can’t remember what his callsign was).

Sadly of course, Riley is no longer with us, neither of course is Shirley, MW0YLS. I remember meeting Shirley for the first time at The Norbreck Rally, Blackpool. I had activated Snowdon before I went, and bought a T-shirt which proclaimed ‘I climbed Snowdon the hard way’ (-as opposed to catching the train!). I wore my T-shirt proudly for the rally and when I went to have a look at the SOTA stand, Shirley was manning it and said to me straight away “next time you go up Snowdon - take a radio with you!”. I then introduced myself and explained that I bought the T-shirt after a SOTA expedition.

Those were the days! I lived at home with my parents and petrol money was not an issue, I could drive up to the Lakes every weekend and spend ridiculous amounts of cash on walking gear! At least the walking boots I bought are still in service!



In reply to M0CGH:

Riley (can’t remember what his callsign was).

G7GOD, if I recall. I think he had a US callsign as well. Very much a gentleman.


In reply to M0EIQ:
“Best wishes from Riley G7GOD / KB8PPG — * Nothing as pretty as a smile, nothing as ugly as a frown.”

From the last E-mail I got from him.

Roger G4OWG

In reply to G4OWG:

Yes, Riley’s callsigns came into my head as soon as I’d finished my post! My mind is strange - it seems to catalogue names with callsigns really well- I often take chasers by surprise when I go back with their name, but ask me about a TV show I’d seen the night before -I haven’t a clue!

I remember Riley was using his American callsign for the Dales weekend, I was active from Great Whernside and Horsehead Moor and I had a S2S QSO with him.


In reply to M0CGH:

The first time I met Riley (G7GOD) was when Tom arranged the first activation of White Hill. Coming out of the mist carrying his kit in a supermarket plastic bag and wearing a pair of brown brogues. Met him on several occasions after that and one in particlular where he drove from his home near Preston to have tea and buns with Chris, G3XWB and myself after a winter activation of Pendle Hill.

Riley was one of those characters whose memory will stay with you forever.

Fond memories and sadly missed.

In reply to G6DDQ:
Hi Myke i remember that day very well, It was a tad cold my cup of tea was a lolly my the time i got it to my mouth. there was some go off road driving on the way as well.
Cant wight to be fit enough again to do some more nutty things like that.
Regards Nigel

In reply to 2E0NHM:

there was some go off road driving on the way as well.

That was up and down with the old mw52ota wagon I just sold it, I remember those days well, I also remember when up on the summits you where guarenteed a s2s, but not these days, well here is another callsign I spoke to this weekend Kevin g7oze, I remember seeing Kevin and James and his son m3oze walking away from Dent youth hostel to activate Great Knoutberry NP-015. They where once into sota but now sadly taken a back seat, well it was nice to meet up with Kevin & Carolyn over thiw weekend, Since the stations named have been barred from the site they can’t spot anymore, would this stop their activations, if you look at Mick 2e0hjd nothing on sota since he’s no longer on this forum, I see some of the spots today well done to all, but how many did not get spotted, as Mr SPOT is not able to keep up with his name would he still chase, ??? No one knows only him,
is this the end of sota in the uk.
Steve m0sgb

In reply to All :

I too have great fond memories of the “OLD DAYS” thats when it wasnt as “stuffy” as it is now, no disrespect to anyone of course. Yes Myke, I remember the cream tea clearly, at first I thought you had put the cream on the scones, but it was snow !!! the cream came later.

There was also a cracker that Nigel(NHM) Bill(WCM) Graham (GJD) Mick(HJD) and I did, it was a midnight activation of Longridge Fell, wow !! another of those great memories.

Also remember the mass activation of Kirby Moor, that was another great day.
The same comaraderie and spirit is not there these days, but I enjoy my memories of those great days.

I know things progress, and times move on, but it would be great to see the old SOTA again…

Regards to All


In reply to M0LMP:

I see no good reason for the elegiac quality of some of these posts. It is good to remember the fun and games from the days when SOTA was young and innocent, although these shenanigins were shared by only a small in-group and most of us were on the outside having a good chuckle! My chief memory of my first year in SOTA as a chaser is of long fruitless vigils listening to white noise! Today the activity is much more intense and spread over many bands, I can work more activations on a good day than I used to work in a month, and despite earlier comments I get at least one S2S every time I go out, I have even found myself sharing a summit with two other activators making a division of modes and bands an unexpected necessity!

The old SOTA was people, having fun in new ways and learning new tricks. They say you can never cross the same river twice, but the potential for fun is still there, is the taste for it?

Don’t wait for it to happen, go out and MAKE it happen, thats my advice FWIW!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
Hi Brian,
Firstly, with great respect to all on the board, your use of the quite rare word “elegiac” may baffle a few who are not yet comfortable with your use of the less used words in the english dictionary, but I can assure you my comments above are not in any way recalled with sadness or sorrow, quite the contrary, those were the GOOD old days and I cherish my memories of the special times we all shared. I also think you may have used the wrong word to describe our activities, shenanigins are perceived to be slighlty naughty activities, and I saw them as adventures enjoyed by a small group of people interested in the outdoors and a bit of radio thrown in, no politics, no ruling force, no misbehaviour, and no policing. aaaahhhh The Good Old Days !!!

Quote “They say you can never cross the same river twice” whoever said this was obviously either a complete loon, or only 2 years old, as I cross many rivers more than once in a week, let alone a lifetime.

I too shared the long hours listening to the hisss of the radio waiting for that eleusive activator to call CQ SOTA, now I just watch a PC monitor and wait for someone to spot it, :frowning: as it seems thats the way these days.


M0LMP - www.sotaforum.co.uk

In reply to M0LMP:


You said "Also remember the mass activation of Kirby Moor, that was another great day. "

Hate to pick on this but that never happened… it was a mass activation of “Lowick High Common”

I wonder how many people have been on the summit of Kirkby Moor (where ever that might be) and activated the wrong place, I know of at least 1 that innocently activated from the wrong place due to misleading data being held in the SOTA database.

And before I get replies of the Maralyns list being used so SOTA is not responsible for this error save your time, I am not interested in hearing someone blame someone else in an effort to absolve themselves of their responsibility to provide factually accurate data. Its all been heard before.

In reply to G8ADD:
Hi Brian

I wish the nastiness, moaning, seperation into factions and bickering on this reflector would stop.

We should all be looking forward to the future with what we see happening in SOTA with more country associations, more HF, more CW and many more people involved, is not what people want then in my opinion they should either pack SOTA and this reflector in, or get stuck in and get involved in whatever way they choose.

Looking through rose tinted spectacles has never been my favourite pastime - life is too short. I’ve been interested in SOTA since March 2005 when I started my gap year, so let’s have fun now, not when we thought we had fun in the past.

Phil G4OBK

In reply to M0LMP:

Hi, Lee, I have occasionally been accused of being a man who calls a spade a horticultural implement, but I hope that doesn’t bother anyone, its not a put-on, I write how I think and close to how I speak! I do think that even the happiest memories of times past have an elegiac quality, for indeed they won’t come again - which brings me to the river - every time you cross the “same” river the water is different. The name is the same, the course changes little, but a batch of water flows down it only once. A metaphor for the way life goes…

Actually I treasure those memories of listening to white noise, SOTA was new to me and the sense of keen anticipation is hard to recapture, but while the monitor has made it easier to locate activations, it has also ushered in a new competitive sport, the race to be the first to locate an activation and spot it!

In reply to M0LKB: the Marilyns list is the final arbiter. It isn’t graven in stone, hills are surveyed and changes made occasionally, but whatever the Marilyns list says is what we work by, which is why WB-001 now sits uncomfortably at the bottom of the SW list!

In reply to G4OBK: Phil, my philosophy in a nutshell!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to M0LMP:

Lee, Now you have stirred up memories. Yes it was damn cold, but at the same time it was a beautiful clear day. Was there someones dog that tried to nick the scones, cream and jam ? Something in the closets of the mind seem to recollect that this was the case. It was so cold and windy that we could not use the trig point as a table and trying to butter scones and keep the cream in place was nigh on impossible. I think we must have ended up sharing most of the cream that was blown around in the wind.

I think we should have another one of these mad days and I suggest something simple like Ilkley Moor. What do people think. It is appreciated that we will be unable to recreate the past but we can have some fun outside of the normal SOTA thing.

In reply to G6DDQ:

Myke, only you could inject that eccentric element into an activation, I do feel we should do another, but I also feel it should be a SOTA activation, lets see if we can bring it back to life as we knew it.

No disrespect to the current scheme, but hell yeah if we can recreate a little of the essence of the old school, then why not. I’m in.

Oh and I am fairly sure there was a good chance the dog was mine, called Buzz, or it could have been Mike’s (BLH)

Cheers All
M0LMP - www.sotaforum.co.uk

In reply to M0LMP:
I’m up for a good walk up a summit, How about Pen-y-ghent NP-010, or Helvelyn LD-003 sounds good to me as these are my favourite summits, Or what about Snowdon NW-001 before the trains starts, any one got an idea about a date ??? Time would be best 13-00utc on the summit,

Steve m0sgb
This thread is now closed.