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Norbreck Castle Rally - NEW DATE

I’ve just found out that the date I had for Norbreck Castle of Sunday 22nd March has been changed to Sunday 5th April. I don’t know when or why this date has been changed.


I had made plans to call in en-route to the Lake District so it is unlikely that I can now attend this event.

73 Phil G4OBK

In reply to G4OBK:
Hi Phil. Sorry you can1t make it to the rally i was looking forward to meeting up with you again.There has been a post on this reflector telling of the change of date unfortunatly it must have skipped your notice.Hopfully your knee is on the mend ATB Geoff

In reply to G6MZX:
Hi Geoff

Yes - I missed that posting about the date change. I may still get there on April 5th depending on other factors. I’ll drop you an e-mail later.


In reply to G4OBK:
From the RSGB News 11th January:
Because mandatory work being carried out at the Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool will not be completed in time …
73 jim

I have five exhibitor stickers for the SOTA stand at Norbreck. The first four of these are taken - Rob, Audrey, Jimmy and myself (Liam is still young enough to be free anyway) who are setting up and running the stand. The fifth one is up for grabs, and will be in the post to whoever requests it and wants to do a good stint on the stand.

I know that there are more than one of you that have already promised to put some time in, and this will still be appreciated, but the quota is 5 and I only have one left. Please email me via my address on QRZ.com if you would like the remaining exhibitor pass.

In the interests of fairness, Jimmy’s decision is final…:wink:


Oops, forgot about Andy MM0FMF. Please disregard above… :wink:

Andy, let me know your address.


It turns out I do indeed have another spare exhibitor pass to give out. Who is coming to “do a bit” on the stand that could use the pass? I can pop it in the post any day now.


In reply to M1EYP:

It might be worth passing on to anybody attending the Blackpool rally that there is a marathon taking place in Blackpool on the same day as the Norbreck rally.

This will mean that some streets will be closed to traffic & parking may well be difficult. I only heard about this clash of events locally on a regular 2m net so it may not be known to others further afield.

Knowing how awkward it can be to find convenient parking at this rally I thought it only right to pass on the information.

I have found a website for the above mentioned marathon, which may have more information about street closures / routes etc.


In any case I doubt I will be at Norbreck this year, although I have had many an enjoyable day out at what is usually a well attended & fun rally.

Note to reflector moderator: If any of the information I have posted turns out to be incorrect, please delete / edit as appropriate



Mark G0VOF

In reply to G0VOF:

Sadly the people running the marathon don’t have a map on their website. To get a map you had to apply for a runners pack. Come on, ubiquitous mass access to “teh intarwebs” has been commonplace for the last 9 years so to not have a map on the website definitely shows zero understanding of today’s “I want it now” culture.

However, there is a map available here:


A quick call to Lancashire’s boys in blue resulted in the response “Oh road closures and traffic control are nothing to do with the Police, try Blackpool Council”. I guess arresting criminals and upholding the law has been outsourced as well :frowning:

Do I see a traffic mayhem ensuing here? Yes. Typical as I have a number of big heavy items to bring this year. Pah!

You’d think I’d had a hard Monday at work wouldn’t you :wink:


In reply to MM0FMF:

The road closure information is here:


Basically you need to avoid the sea front and you should be OK.

Caroline and I are planning on going to the rally. I was born in Blackpool and learned to swim at the Norbreck Hotel!

See you all later folks. I’ll be on the SOTA stand for most if not all of the day - there’s nothing on my radio shopping list this year - so please come and say hello to me - and M3EYP, G4RQJ, Audrey, G4SSH, G4YSS, MM0FMF, G4ZRP, 2E0OYG et al.

We are having a raffle for a major prize (worth £280), so have a pound coin spare with you if you want to buy a ticket. Proceeds going to a worthy cause - details at the SOTA stand later.

73, Tom M1EYP

That was a great rally today, probably the best I have ever been to. This is both from the perspective of a punter, and an exhibitor.

The SOTA stand was bustling from one end of the two tables to the other from 10.30am right through to 4pm, often as much as four people deep. Jimmy M3EYP, me, Audrey and Rob G4RQJ were all shattered by the end of the day - but we saw that as a very positive thing indeed!

I am most grateful to Andy MM0FMF, Brian G4ZRP, Brian 2E0OYG and Jen M6MIJ who all put in a considerable amount of time staffing the SOTA stand. Being so busy for over five hours, this input was both necessary - and appreciated.

It was fantastic to meet up with SOTA friends like John G4YSS, Jack GM4COX, Jim G0CQK, Dave G3VUS, Gary G0HJQ, Kevin M0XLT, Chris 2E0XLG, Phil M0GIE, Phil G1OPV, Roy G0HDX, Roy G4SSH, Rick GW0VMW, Mike G4BLH, Keith G0OXV, Stuart G0MJG, Martin M0ZIF, Simon M1AVV and meet several leading activators for the first time - Iain M3WJZ, Phil G4OBK, Carolyn G6WRW, Helen M0YHB, Martyn M1MAJ, Caroline M3ZCB, Andrew M0LKB, Dave G6LKB. There were loads of others as well, and probably Jimmy will remember more than me, and Audrey who collected no less than 38 entries in the stand guestbook. It was great to meet young Clifford ahead of his big expeditions on G/LD-013 and G/LD-001 to raise money for the MS Society.

However, there must have been even more than that, for I sold nearly 90 raffle tickets in my fundraising for my Year 7 Enrichment students’ Foundation Licence examination fees. One lucky person will win the £280 Dyson Ball vacuum cleaner - I’ll announce the result after the winning ticket is drawn in house assembly in about three weeks time. Thank you for your generous support folks.

A lovely framed photo of Shirley MW0YLS was displayed at the raffle end of the stall, as it is of course Shirley’s shack equipment that is now used by the children on the radio enrichment course.

I finally succeeded (well, it was Keith G0OXV who did it really) in getting connected to the Wi-Fi facility at Norbreck, which meant that my laptop was displaying the live SOTA spots all day. This was used to go looking for Ian 2E0EDX on Red Screes G/LD-017, and later Richard G3CWI on Blencathra G/LD-008. The latter was great fun, as the stand was very busy at the time, and Richard was called by no less than 12 SOTA chasers using M1EYP’s rig and SOTA Beam on the SOTA stand.

He worked more rally-goers that were in and around Norbreck at the time, but the pile-up was surely inevitable - Richard is rare DX on 2m FM! Not as rare as Roy G4SSH though, and you could almost sense Richard’s state of shock when he was called by Roy on fone!

Rob and Audrey, as ever, supplied a fantastic array of activation photos and SOTA summit quizzes. Audrey brought two enormous boxes full of her legendary home-backed SOTA cakes, enjoyed by all through the day. It wouldn’t be SOTA without the EYPs’ flask of soup of course, and today Jimmy and I were sipping Spinnakers Lobster Thermadore soup for our lunch!

Thank you to everyone who came to visit the stand, and those who gave up time to staff it. But the greatest thanks must be reserved for Rob and Audrey were there by 9am setting everything up with Jimmy and I, and still there at 5pm taking everything down. Any SOTA stand would be a considerably lesser event without the much valued input and hard work of Audrey and Rob. And the cakes!

Jimmy and I got on the road just after 5pm, and chatted to various people on 2m FM as we made our way out of Blackpool. By the time we had hit the M6, I was in QSO with Jordan M3TMX, and discussing the intended activation of Billinge Hill G/SP-017 on the way home.

Jimmy directed me to the usual parking spot at the end of Beacon Road, on a bright and sunny Sunday evening. We walked up the path between the hedge and the wire fence, and around past the landfill site. Another tarmac path led to the steeper bank up to the summit.

There was a number of people enjoying the fine weather on the summit, as Jimmy and I touched the trig point. This was a very simple “no frills” activation on our 2m handheld and rubber ducks. Despite this, we each made plenty of contacts into Lancashire, Cheshire and North Wales. A nice one was Reg G3WPF, who like Roy G4SSH earlier in the day, is rarely worked on fone. It was difficult not to give into the habit of giving Reg a 599 report, despite speaking into a microphone!

Another pleasing contact was with Shane G6WBS/P on Fair Snape Fell G/SP-007, as it is rare to get a summit-to-summit after 6pm in the evening.

It was a very good day. My thanks to all who made it so.


In reply to M1EYP:

It was great to be able to put faces to many of the voices and calls who have called me over the years along with catching up with those I’ve met before. Also, I managed to activate both Cold Fell G/NP-020 and Cyrn-Y-Brain GW/NW-043 over the weekend. Coupling all together made for a very enjoyable weekend. I’ll write up the Cold Fell and Cyrn-Y-Brain activations later but there are some pics from Cold Fell on Flickr already.


In reply to M1EYP:

Agreed ! It was thoroughly enjoyed by the Scarborough contingent. There were more people to talk to and photograph than ever before and the SOTA stand was ‘thrang’ all day long without a break but I did miss out on some things. I regret missing Mike G4BLH who must have had to leave early and I forgot to get photos of Keith G0OXV, Stuart M0MJG and many other SOTA people. Similarly at the WAB stand, Graham G4JZF, Dave G4IAR & Judith G4IAQ and Brian G0BFJ escaped the camera. Despite an ‘addiction’ and early offers of cake from Audrey, I didn’t remember to go back for some in the afternoon. Wonder if you can get it mail order?

It was great to meet 9-year old Clifford (son of Andy M0LKB) and to see how many sponsors he was getting for his forthcoming climb for the benefit of the MS Society. The framed photo of Shirley MW0YLS was a poignant reminder of a gentler age of SOTA, one that we should surely strive to reproduce.

The SOTA Stand was colourful and well ‘decorated.’ The evidence for this was a constant crowd of people around it. It came as no surprise to see a stainless steel flask never further than arm’s length from Tom. Other stands sported SOTA photos too. The Furness District Radio Club and the Southport ARS were both using them to decorate their stands.

Scarborough had the best representation ever. Counting myself, there were 3 members of Scarborough Special Events Group (GX0OOO) and no less that 14 from Scarborough Amateur Radio Society (G4BP). It was great to see G4ZGP looking in good health after his bypass op, aged 84 of a few weeks ago. Geoff moved from Scarborough to Cheshire last year. Other ‘SOTA involved’ clubs represented were Eden Valley (GX0ANT) and CRAG (MX0BCQ).

After looking for him all morning, the mystery surrounding the whereabouts of G3CWI was solved in the afternoon, when the FT817 provided on the stand, sparked into life. Though I could hear little of what was said due to throngs of people, it was good to make one of many live linkups with Richard on Blencathra in the afternoon.

After returning home and emptying out my bag, I realised that conversation had far outweighed the planned activity of shopping for radio bits. This was the lowest cost rally ever for me. Seven WAB pens costing just £3.50 were the sole acquisitions to roll out of the rucksack and that must be a measure of just how much I had enjoyed the social side. Though by the end, my feet hurt more than after an activation, talking to like-minded people and finding something out about each one was just great.

The return had its comic moments, notably in trying to exit Blackpool. Despite 3 people with three separate navigational devices all working, we still managed to take a wrong turning resulting in a severe haranguing complete with choice language, from a young ‘lady’ driver but even she couldn’t spoil a day like this!

Thanks must go to the ones who looked after the stand all day. We never did come and help you out did we? The day seemed to fly by and was gone in a flash. This is now surely the undisputed ‘SOTA meet’ of the year.
Well done to Rob G4RQJ & Audrey, Jimmy M3EYP, Tom M1EYP, Andy MM0FMF, Brian G4ZRP, Brian 2E0OYG and Jenny M6MIJ for their hard work.

73, John G4YSS.

In reply to M1EYP: Nice to meet you again Tom, and Jimmie, glad to hear you had a good day, I don’t think I could have managed to climb any summit, we’d been on our feet first aiding since first thing in the morning, and we’ve been invited back next year. I couldn’t walk this morning which was quite interesting. I did co-incidentally buy a 4m battery pack for my FM1000, so 4m activations are going to be on the list for International Sota Weekend also :smiley:

Martin (M0ZIF)

Hi Martin,

When you mentioned my name you spelt it wrong. Hope to work on the international SOTA weekend.

Jimmy (correct spelling) M3EYP

A late decision to go to Blackpool, but it was well worth it, putting faces to call signs I had not seen before and seeing others again. I see from the list above that there were a few I missed. Perhaps see you next time.

73 Graham G4JZF

In reply to M1EYP:

Yes it was great to meet so many people and put a name to a face, especially Tom, Jimmy, Brian Andy. And a big thank you to Rob & Audrey for the info on the 2 mell fells. I look forward working you all again at some point throughout the year.

I think everybody agrees it was a day enjoyed by all

Thank you

Dennis G6YBC

The draw took place in Jupiter House Assembly at Brownhills school this morning. The lucky winner of the £279 Dyson Ball vacuum is:

Bob 2E0RHM (Stockport)

Ticket sales were split roughly 50-50 between teaching staff at work, and radio amateurs who went to Norbreck and visited the SOTA stand.

Many thanks to all that bought a ticket and supported this fundraising venture. SOTA folks were particularly generous. The Foundation exams are now being booked in for June, and my eight Year 7 pupils are very excited.