Kempton Park Rally 6 November 2011

The November Kempton Park Rally, for me, marks the end of the ‘season’.  A chance to meet up with old acquaintances, fellow LEFARS members and buy a few bits and pieces. (see RadioFairs website here for more info).

I went with Marc G0TOC and (driver) John G1DJI to share the fuel cost. We left Loughton soon after 9am and arrived at Kempton Park at about 10.10am. The M25 and M3 were clear; a reminder though of last Friday’s terrible M5 accident (a 34 vehicle pile-up) near Taunton, Somerset every mile with the warning of the road closure and advice to use the M3 and Southampton for travelling to the South West to avoid the closed M5/J25 junction.

Entry tickets were £4.50, no queue to get in.  Once inside, the first observation was the new decor and floor covering.  The layout had also changed with the major vendors at one end and other traders in the middle.  My first impression was that of less traders than last year.  [looking at the floor plan and I notice several traders didn’t show up – including Poole Logic (Harvey) and the Czech aerial rigging accessory company Maastrant].  Also RNARS. (floor plan here, hover over the plan to get a list of traders).

However the main dealers were present.  W&S and Moonraker at one end of the hall, ML&S in the middle.  RSGB were also there with plenty of opportunity to buy books for the Christmas stocking.  Kenwood, Yaesu and Icom also had their stands.  The photos below hopefully provide a flavour of the show.  It has to be said that I didn’t really see any bargains – equally I wasn’t looking too closely either at new radios etc.

For those who want to own a 1950s valve table radio, a stand had quite a few for sale.  Look out in the photos for the 1960s furry radio!

I bought quite a few components to replenish my ancient stock (axial/radial low voltage caps, 1A diodes etc.).  It saves the postage on eBay!  A fair selection available but not everything.

By 11am it was time for coffee.  No outside catering this time so a traipse upstairs to the 2nd floor for the panoramic restauarant.  It was my misfortune that the till didn’t work; we were left in a queue for about 5 mins.  My coffee was getting cold, (£1.70, instant and not percolated) and not very enjoyable when I finally got to pay for it and sit down.

After a luke-warm coffee, another look around and see how many LEFARS members could be accounted for.  The list, in no particular order. Steve G6ART, Frank M1CPD, John G0XBJ, Alan 2E0VAV, John G1DJI, Marc G0TOC, Derek M0XDC & family, Ron G6LTT & Ashley, Ricky Esen, Keith G1HEQ.

The Home Counties (ATV) Club provided live demos of ATV with coverage within the hall and also a chance to visit  their TV van parked outside.

By lunchtime, it seemed a good time to return home.  We left about 1.15pm and the return journey took about 80 minutes.  Thanks to John G1DJI for the lift.


John G8DZH (Email:

Update 7th November.  Frank M1CPD has a Youtube video now available here. See also his review at the end (first response).

1950s and 1960s radios for sale

An example from the 60s

The GM0SDV "8 shape" magnetic loop. Special show price was £270.

L to R (standing). John G1DJI, Marc G0TOC, Alan 2E0VAV at the Home Counties ATV display


Back to the cars with the goodies! L to R. John G0XBJ,Frank M1CPD, Marc G0TOC

Home Counties ATV van

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1 Response to Kempton Park Rally 6 November 2011

  1. M1CPD says:


    Overall, I thought the Kempton Park Radio Rally was a good day out. The event has been better previously, even if there were more people and we had to queue for twenty minutes or so before getting in. Certainly there were more traders here last year, so more items of interest were up for grabs. That aside, this year we didn’t have to queue and there was still a fair amount to see.

    On entering the hall, I immediately spotted a stand selling old valve radios, so I made a beeline for it. I must admit, I really enjoyed looking at all of those old 1940s/50s/60s radios, with their lovely old wood and polished veneers gracing the grand designs of yesteryear. One or two of the radios were switched on and working quite happily, which was great to see and a quick peek through some of the slatted vents revealed a few glowing valves too.

    Their yellowish tuning dial displays showed the names of countries and cities that I could only imagine when I was growing up, namely ‘Riga’, ‘Cairo’, ‘Luxembourg’ and ‘Rome’. It also reminds me of the living room in the place I grew up in, as we had a large floor standing radio there. I was forever twiddling the tuning dial and annoying my Grandmother but I was a kid, so it was my job.

    The surreal thing is to hear any of these early radios receiving music such as ‘Thrash Metal’ and ‘Rap’, as it almost seems so out of place. Then again, guitar amplifiers have gone full circle, from valves to transistors and, in hugely expensive amplifiers, back to valves again. There is even a transistorised circuit called ‘Valvestate’, which emulates the ‘old valve sound’, in a non-valve guitar amplifier, so this stand at the rally really evoked lots of memories for me, both old and recent.

    The Yaesu, Icom and Kenwood stands were not large, but they didn’t need to be. There was plenty of interest in all of the stands, and it was not surprising, given the varied equipment on display. My personal favourites were the Yaesu FT-450D and the Kenwood TS-2000X, but I am rather biased in relation to the latter.

    Some of the vintage equipment at the rally was really tempting, especially the Yaesu FT-690RII and the FT-101ZD I noted, while ambling around and bumping into people who didn’t seem to understand the phrase, ‘Excuse me.’ Fair enough, you expect a bit of hustle and bustle at a rally, but it was not that packed in the exhibition hall, so it should have been relatively easy to move around, yet still we had people playing ‘statues‘ in the aisles. ‘Excuse me.’ quickly became ‘Sorry!’ as I ploughed my way through to the various stands of interest.

    This change of tactic soon paid dividends, as I managed to get to a stand, where I spotted the same, older style, Yaesu microphone I use with my trusty Yaesu FT-225RD. A handy spare indeed and, given I had recently seen one sold on ebay for £28, the asking price of £15 seemed very reasonable. Along with that, I also bought a fused power lead, and managed to get £3 off the combined price, so that’s the next LEFARS club sub sorted. (Trying saying that when you are inebriated!)

    Having visited the Kempton Park rally twice before, I wanted to film a few video clips for posterity and this I duly did. Using ’Windows Movie Maker’, I cobbled all the clips together and uploaded them to ‘You-Tube’ (here). I had to edit some of it, thanks to M0XDC, who kept waving his hands in front of the camera lens, but his hand waving exploits will not go to waste, as I intend to use them in a music video with him as Al Jolson, singing ‘Mammy’. Keep waving those hands, Derek!

    The ‘Bring & Buy’ stand was looking a little bare, especially on the shelving where the more expensive items were displayed, but I did notice an ‘Anytone’ radio there and, yes, it was a 4m version, so I took a quick snapshot to use as evidence when discussing the next round of 4m discussions with Selim about the popularity of ‘The Busy Band’!

    Last, but not least, I also bought a 2m / 70cms beam from Sandpiper Aerials, so I can have some fun on 2m SSB in the very near future. That’s it for my quick report on the day!

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