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