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Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

International Marconi Day - 2019

IMD Weekend
Sat 27-Apr-2019
BAE Systems Great Baddow, CM2 8HN
"CARS Operating G0MWT"
CARS Members

International Marconi Day commemorates Marconi's Birthday on 25th April 1874, and is held on the nearest Saturday.

Following protracted uncertainty regarding Sandford Mill, CARS were kindly hosted by the BAE Systems Great Baddow ARC (aka GBARC) for IMD 2019 on Saturday 27th April, arranged by Paul G4PVM. The station was set up on the former Marconi Research Centre site at Great Baddow near the Chain Home radar tower.

The improvised setup comprised the CARS Icom IC756 Pro-III running 100W into a doublet antenna supported by a 50 foot Clarke's SCAM mast supplied by Dean G4WQI. The weather was poor with high winds and rain from Storm Hannah

CARS was registered as one of the ~70 Award Stations and operated on CW and SSB. An IMD award can be claimed if you work 15 award stations.

Undaunted, the team made 66 QSOs (11 CW and 55 SSB) on 80, 40, 20 and 17m. We worked eight other Marconi Day stations:-

  • GB4IMD in Cornwall,
  • GB4MBP at Bass Point on the Lizard, Cornwall,
  • DA0IMD at the lighthouse on Borkum Island,
  • IY5ARS Circolo ARS in Prato, PA6IMD in Gouda,
  • GB0IMD in Weston-super-Mare,
  • EI0MAR in the Howth Martello Tower near Dublin, and best DX...
  • KM1CC at the Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club

    CARS members attending:

  • Andy G0IBN
  • Colin G0TRM
  • John G8DET
  • Kevin 2E0FEQ
  • Oliver M0WAG
  • Paul G4PVM
  • - plus Dean G4WQI and Steve M7ECF

    The highlight of the day was a visit by 91 year old Ron Quested and his daughter Helen. Having been to Sandford Mill and found nothing they tracked us down via the CARS web page. Ron is an ex-merchant navy radio officer and regaled us with stories of his training and tricks he played on people with his identical twin Len who lives in Australia. He was delighted to send some Morse with a straight key and he recorded a message to send to his brother Len.

    Radio Officer Ron Quested

    91 year old Ron Quested, with his daughter, from Blackmore, had arrived at Sandford Mill for Marconi Day and there was no-one there! In 1943 Ron had been a Radio Officer on a merchant navy ship assisting in the Sicily landings. Ron had visited Sandford Mill in 2012 and had enjoyed himself so much he wanted to re-visit. Somehow he managed to find out where we were.

    We explained to Ron what we were doing, he was very impressed with our radio skills and the speed of the Morse code. He enlightened us with stories too numerous to be written here.

    One story was of his ship arriving in port. The skipper could see "Sparks" already on the jetty. How can that be ? The ship was still trying to secure to the jetty?! "I want to see Sparks when he comes aboard, I want to know how he managed to get ashore?" At the age of 17 Ron and his twin brother (now in Australia) had both become Radio Officers and joined the Merchant Navy......It was his twin brother in full uniform awaiting a reunion!!

    Andy G0IBN Operating at IMD - on a rather cool day

    IMD Photos/text: courtesy of Paul, John, Colin, Andy & Helen

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