On Friday the 19th October, Marc G0TOC and I went to a meeting at the Royal Gunpowder Mills (RGM) at Waltham Abbey with the General Manager of the site.
Much of the preparatory work had been done by Cliff 2E0RCW, a volunteer at the RGM. LEFARS has been offered a room (and brew up facilities) to be turned into a shack near the visitors centre and backing onto the river. The RGM is primarily a science and technology exhibition and those who have operated from there in recent years will have seen the “LAB” and the mad professor demonstrating chemicals and explosives.
This does fit in with the clubs ethos of science and radio technology exhibition for the public. The general manager was very enthusiastic to have LEFARS as part of the RGM display. He also indicated he would like us to take part in the science and technology days on the 20th & 21st June with our exhibition and show amateur radio in operation. Many schools and students come to this event. I am sure we can find enough old and bold to cover this event.
As far as LEFARS is concerned there are two operating weekends that we would wish to do from the RGM, the mills weekend and the railways weekend. There is a narrow gauge industrial railway being refurbished and extended around the site.
The amount of operating will depend on other commitments during the year, but it is hoped that members will be able to operate from there under their own or the clubs callsign (take your own kit).
There is a proviso in that if the event is a LEFARS one then members are covered by our own insurance and don’t need to be registered, if however, the event is a RGM event then club members will need to be registered as ‘ radio section volunteers’ to be covered by the RGM’s insurance. This will not be a problem as far as LEFARS is concerned.
The next step is to go to the RGM with a view to a full recce of the area of the shack and to start to organise and plan aerials, feeders and exhibition materials. Club members will be asked to assist and the usual suspects will no doubt be there to do the work. There is a good deal of work to be done before we will be operational and I consider this will be a good wintertime project for the club.
Briefings and reports are to follow.
John GØVEH, Chairman