Friday 14th June 2019 - High Vinnalls G/WB-012, Callow Hill G/WB-014, View Edge G/WB-018 & Burrow G/WB-014
No gig - day off
So with a day off based in the West Midlands, I decided to head out and bag a few Shropshire (ish) activations while the other band members and crew were having a lie-in and a lazy day.
I headed first for Ludlow, and the very pleasant High Vinnalls G/WB-012. This is actually just over the border into Herefordshire. En route I worked Andrew G4VFL/P who was activating Hergest Ridge G/WB-008.
I parked in the usual car park and followed the Vinnalls Loop trail to the summit.
My first QSO on the 2m FM handheld was Andrew again, but not S2S as he was traversing across to Bradnor Hill G/WB-011. Three more QSOs followed to achieve the qualification, including Rod M0JLA and Viki M6BWA.
Next it was a much shorter drive up to Craven Arms, and Callow Hill G/WB-015. I took the longer but much more graded path up onto the ridge - not the stupidly steep direct PROW I used on my first visit back in 2003! As I was walking the final section across to Flounders Folly at the summit, there was a very loud noise from the adjacent field which sounded like a helicopter, but I couldn’t see due to the trees and high bushes.
The weather had brightened right up and I was being treated to some rare warm sunshine. Just four contacts made on 2m FM, including S2S with Andrew G4VFL/P on Bradnor Hill G/WB-011.
An even shorter drive next over to View Edge G/WB-018 on the other side of Craven Arms. I parked beside the quarry and walked up to the highest point attainable within that enclosure. This was still a couple of metres lower than the actual summit, which is in dense woodland on the other side of the fence, and not reachable.
The contacts came very slowly on this one, but I was only using a handheld with rubber duck of course. Eventually, after just under an hour of operating, I had five QSOs logged.
Another short drive now took my to the small village of Hopesay for Burrow G/WB-014. I parked opposite the church and set off along the path between two hedges and out onto the fields. I worked my way across to the track beside the wooded area, and then into the Iron Age hillfort.
By the time I’d reached the highest point, atop one of the earthwork ramparts, I was very tired, and dispensed with the idea of moving on to Heath Mynd G/WB-007 for a fifth summit of the day. The appeal of a few pints, games of pool and a curry, not to mention a shorter and easier return drive to West Bromwich was winning the day.
Four contacts on the 2m FM handie meant that I did not need to unpack the HF gear from the rucksack. The first QSO was with 2E1ICK/P doing a weekend of operating from Mow Cop, coincidentally on the same site that Richard G3CWI was staying in his motorhome. The qualifying contact came from Andrew G4VFL/P, S2S from Wapley Hill G/WB-016.
After descent, I drove back to the Coal Shed pub in Oldbury, West Bromwich where I had been staying. I met Andy, the bandleader, plus Steve and Tracey, two fans of Joe who owned the pub. We all went out for a very good curry later on.