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A Right Royal Knees Up - Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

queenieAs previously mentioned this past weekend saw the celebrations of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth 2nd Accession to the throne here in the UK. This entailed a weekend of activities around the world including a weekend of events in the capital city of England - London.



This started with a family fun day on Saturday 2nd June in Hyde Park. A two-day family festival for Mum in Hyde parkthe Queen's Diamond Jubilee, featuring live music and entertainment on the main stage and in zones - including the Kids Zone, the Disney Zone, the Parade Ground (featuring the White Helmet Motorcycle Display Team) and The Commonwealth Zone  with Harambee African drummers, Maori Haka dancers and more. A wealth of Great British food was available from various outlets which included the great British pie, roasts, fish and chips, jellied eels and cream teas. All around the festival were traditional entertainers which included Pearly Kings and Queens, marching bands, men on stilts and singing tea ladies. The day culminated in a live show titled 'The Magic of Disney in Concert', with music, songs and characters from films including 'Beauty and the Beast', 'The Jungle Book', 'The Lion King' and 'Sleeping Beauty' - along with all ten Disney Princesses. The main stage also featured performances from the popular BBC television programme Strictly Come Dancing, hosted by Craig Revel Horwood, along with excerpts from the musical 'War Horse'.

diamond-jubilee-thames-river-pageant-20120603-090049-166The Sunday saw the Pageant on the Thames. Over 1,000 boats took part in the pageant, including those used by the armed forces and emergency services, as well as historic boats, narrow boats and man-powered craft.

Her Majesty The Queen was aboard The Spirit of Chartwell, a traditional Royal Barge decorated in the style of a grand Pullman railway carriage. The Royal barge was directly behind all the small manfamily on barge powered, rowing boats, where it sailed down the reiver to moor up at the Royal Navys HMS President where the royal party watched the rest of the pageant go past.

Each craft was decorated with streamers and flags from many nations. The passenger boats carried up to 20,000 members of the public. The flotilla was led by a floating belfry, carrying 12 tonnes of bells, which will be chiming for the length of the route. flotillaThere were also Ten musical barges which accompanied the different sections of the flotilla, carrying a range of performers such as the Herald Fanfare Trumpeters and the London Philharmonic Orchestra - who performed "Pomp and Circumstance" as it passed the Royal party at HMS President. 

On the eastern side of Tower Bridge, ships too large to pass underneath assembled to form the Avenue of Sail. More than 60 historic and stunning boats lined the banks. One of our team, Chris (G1VDP), was in London for this great event, but sadly was unable to get close DSC 3453enough to the River to see the pageant. But this did not deter him and he was among the crowd on the approach to Tower Bridge watching the events on one of the big screens that had been erected around London for this reason. He is quoted as saying "The atmosphere was awesome, I just wish I had been able to get into London earlier to get a spot down on the Embankment. Some DSC 3432fantastic sights also and some people really had gone to town with their costumes and getting dressed up."

Monday was a little quieter during the day which allowed Chris to explore the area around Tower Bridge and the river, which included a visit to HMS Belfast which is moored up in the Pool of London and is now a museum. It also houses the GB2RN special event station, which for the weekend was on the air as GB60QE. The station manager kindly allowed Chris to operate the station DSC 3579where he made contact with GB60PH in Pontefract, operator name of Nigel. He is sure that if he had been able to get on the air for longer he could have enjoyed some nice contacts around the UK and Europe on 40M that day, and he has promised himself and the GB2RN station manager to go and have a full day operating the station for them.


DSC 3455He also visited Trinity House, sadly the building was closed for the public holiday, which was across the road from his hotel he stayed in. Trinity House operate and manage most of the light houses around the UK's coast, and as the group started life from one of these we feel a great affection and affiliation to this organisation.

The evening saw a special concert arranged by the BBC outside Buckingham Palace, the home of the Queen, which was screened live on TV. This was a ticket only affair in the immediate area, but it could also be seen on Big screens around the major parks in London including Hyde Park and St James' Park. Some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry performed including Elton John, Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, and from the roof of the Palace the group Madness.

Following the concert there were beacons lit across the country, ending with the last, the National Beacon, being lit by the Queen outside Buckingham Palace.

Below are a selection of photos from the events.

Thames-Diamond-Jubilee-PageantDSC 3574








DSC 3497

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  concert finale





 concert lights



Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

This weekend sees the celebrations of the Queens Diamond Jubilee - 60 years since Elizabeth 2nd was crowned Queen of United Kingdom and the Commonwealth - with events happening all over the world.

The main events are taking place in London, England. Below are a list of functions that will be televised, and where tickets could be purchased for the concerts and other events, although some of them are free and will be seen on big screens around the capital.

Saturday 2nd June 2012 - Jubilee family Festival, Hyde Park

Sunday 3rd June 2012 - Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, River Thames

Sunday 3rd June 2012 - Jubilee Big Lunch - Street Parties around the UK and the Commonwealth.

Monday 4th June 2012 - Diamond Jubilee Concert, Buckingham Palace,

Tuesday 5th June 2012 - Service of Thanksgiving, St Pauls Cathedral - The Royal family will travel from Westminster Palace to Buckingham Palace with a procession of the Guards and Armed forces. They will then be on the balcony for the RAF Fly Past.

All details of these events can be found here, or on the Direct Gov site.

New Look Website

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Hello all and welcome to our new look website.

We hope you like the changes and the new layout. We have done this so we can be sure that the software we use is the latest version and as up to date as is possible.

As a group we like the new look and are hopefully going to be able to use it more for news and what is happening in our lives - and we are trying to persuade Rob to do a monthly update on what is happening on the farm.

DSC 3240We also have some projects on the go for next year with maybe another lighthouse activation - but not the Strumblehead one sadly. Another IOTA trip later this year involving a couple of the lads, and a plan is hatching for a trip to a Scottish Island which will include a stop off at the GMDX Convention as we pass through. We are still looking at getting on the air from the farm also at various times through out the year.

Charles is currently activating his special call MQ0OXO on all the bands all modes, and Chris is doing the same but only using GQ1VDP on RTTY. Don't forget these are special calls for the Queen's Diamond Jubillee celebrations and will only be on until the 10th of June. Both are having special QSL cards printed, so please call them if you hear them on the air.

73 for now.

Queens Diamond Jubilee Special Calls

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

During the period 5th May 2012 through to 10th June 2012 radio amateurs in the UK are allowed to use a special prefix to mark the accession of her majesty the Queen to the throne, and becoming the head of the commonwealth. There is a special NoV (Notice of Variation) that has to be applied for through the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) and Ofcom.

When the application has been processed the prefix will change to include the letter 'Q', as shown below;Queen_Silver_Jubilee

G0/1/3/4XXX will become GQ0XXX
2E/M/W0XXX will become 2Q0XXX
M3XXX or M6XXX will become MQ6XXX
M0XXX will become MQ0XXX

Where club calls are concerned, for example MC0SHL, these will become MQ0SHL - again replacing the clubs country designator with the 'Q'.

Quite a number of UK stations have taken this up and are now on the air. Most are having special QSL cards printed to celebrate this occasion.

Website changes

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Over the next couple of weeks we are updating the software for the website. This could mean some short downtime as the move is being carried out.

Hopefully this will not disrupt the site too much and we would like to thank James (M0YOM) for all his hard work he is putting in on our behalf in making this happen, and for all he has done for us recently with all the other websites he looks after for the group members.

We are also changing the photos on the banner and hope that you will like the new layout and look of the site when complete.

MC0SHL - On the air this weekend

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Please listen for the StrumbleHead Contest & DX Group this coming weekend as they will be active once more from their Club Station in the Pembrokeshire National Park. The team are wfflogogathering to help celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary of Charles (M0OXO) and his wife Debbie. So please do call in and say hi.

This area is good for WFF as reference GFF-015 and the DXCC is Wales.

The group will be active 'holiday style' from Thursday 19th April to Monday 23rd April 2012.

Qsl request are via Tim (M0URX) where we have a on line QSL request service.

More info about GFF-015 can be seen on Charles website where full details of awards are available.

Thanks and hope to hear you all over the coming weekend,

GMDX Convention - Excellent weekend

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
This past weekend (April 13th to 15th 2012) saw the GMDX Convention take place at the King Robert Hotel outside Stirling, Scotland. Ant (MW0JZE), Tim (M0URX) and Chris (G1VDP) attended the event, with Tim giving a presentation on the trip to 4W6A by the guys in 2011.DSC_2992

Ant drove from his home in West Wales on Thursday evening and stayed over night with Tim at his home in Coventry. On Friday the pair made the short journey to collect Chris from his home and then drove the 300 miles to Stirling. This journey took them 4 1/2 hours arriving to a warm welcome at the hotel around 16:30 local time. This meant a quick refreshing drink and then get ready for the evening meal and having some fun with the other attendees who had arrived on the Friday evening.

Robbie (GM3YTS) had booked a table at a local pub/restaurant for 14 people, but this had expanded to 20DSC_2998 by the time everyone was ready to sit down. Fine cuisine and local hospitality was certainly welcome, and the company we were in was superb. The conversation (and beer) flowed well and new friendships were made over a glass or two. Returning to the hotel the conversation and beer carried on for another couple of hours, but the lads were all tired and decided to have an early night - by their standards - and retired to bed around midnight (local).

Saturday again was an informal morning with the convention kicking off with the presentations at 13:00, so this allowed the guys time to go and visit the Bannockburn Heritage centre nextDSC_3027 door to the hotel. The hotel, and indeed the local area, ar all on the edge of the historic battlefield of Bannockburn, where Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeated the English army of King Edward 1st in 1314, and thus securing their independence from English rule. The centre has a short film depicting the battle as seen through the eyes of a small boy who then becomes a scribe and writes down his memoirs, and with the static displays and the chance to try on the armour worn back in the day which the guys found most interesting. One thing they did find out is that the chain DSC_3042mail armour that was worn weighed in at some heavy kilos, and the helmets would do more harm than good when struck. A  fascinating part of our past and worth the visit (see website here).

A return to the hotel and meet up in the bar for a quick lunch and chat with friends old and new before the proceedings started in earnest. Robbie (GM3YTS) kicked off the proceedings with his DSC_3047introduction and welcome speech before Chris (GM3WOJ) gave the first talk on his trip to ZK2V (Niue) and his experiences out there. Tim followed Chris with the presentation on 4W6A and once again we established a link with Stuie (VK8NSB) in Darwin, Australia over SKYPE. This was well received by all in attendance and a number of people were surprised at how well the link lasted and the quality of the video and audio from our DSC_3051friend in Oz. At this point a short break was taken for coffee, and we thank all who came up to Tim, Ant & Chris to comment on the presentation and the link with Stuie.

It was then the turn of John (G3WGV) and Clive (GM3POI) to give the presentation on the T32C trip to Kiritimati Island (Christmas Island) in the Pacific ocean. This trip was by the DSC_3059FSDXA who had spent thousands of dollars and many months planning for it to go wrong and then be rescued at the 11th hour. They broke some of the DXpedition world records and have once more moved the bar for this type of expedition to these remote islands and wanted DXCC entities.

Again a 5 minute break for the T32C guys to take out their laptop and for the Belgians boys in attendance to set up their laptop and get ready for their talk on the trip to Rockall (IOTA EU-189). Patrick (ON4HIL) and Marc (ON6CC) had been trying for over 2 years to make this happen - Rockall is basically a lump of RockDSC_3065 300 miles from the nearest coast line of any Scottish Island or mainland and is in the North Atlantic ocean, a inhospitable place at the best of times! It is one of the most wanted island groups in the RSGB IOTA award programme and probably one of the most dangerous to get on and off to activate. They also showed a video of about 45 minutes of the journey out and on the rock. The team had to undergo a lot of training for their safety
and just to get the permission to get out to the island. We would like to thank the 2 guys for travelling from their homes and for the presentation. we also had some fun and drinks with them both in the bar on Friday and Saturday evening so thanks guys for attending.

Robbie then brought this part of the day to a close at 18:00, DSC_3074allowing all attendees to have a quick drink and chat in the bar before getting ready for the evening meal and socialising. This also gave everyone time to discuss where all the presenters are next planning to activate, and for some secrets to be gleaned from them. Don't worry we will keep it quiet on where you are going Patrick!!!

The time came for the everyone to sit down at their tables for the dinner and presentations. Tim, Ant and Chris were joined by Col (MM0NDX of DX World.net), Dave (MM0EAX), Clive (GM3POI), Cris (GM4FAM), Chris (GM3WOJ) and Colin (GM0RLZ). The DSC_3083conversation was naturally about DXing, contests and Antennas with Ant and Clive discussing the best antennas for inter UK working on 80M. There was also 3 quizzes running through out the meal. The first being one of flag recognition, where we had to name the countries flag and capitol city. A DX quiz and a general knowledge quiz. The table, table 3, came 2nd in the flag quiz - winning a bottle of white wine - and 1st in the DX quiz - winning a bottle of red wine. The General knowledge was not DSC_3088our best result. Fabulous fun and excellent company.

The presentations took place following the meal. These were in the guise of a GMDX Mug for all the presenters and 2 special presentations of a Quaich, a pewter dish with Celtic handles.

These werepresented to Col (MM0NDX) for his work on DX World, and to Marc (ON6CC) and Patrick (ON4HIL) for their work in activating Rockall. Well done to all who received a mug. ChrisDSC_3090 (GM3WOJ) donated his to the SHDXCG boys to send over to Stuie (VK8NSB) in Australia and we would like to thank Chris for this generous offer. I am sure Stuie will have it in his shack as a souvenir.


When all was done it was time to retire to the bar for more chat and drinks. There was a wide choice of Whisky to choose from behind the bar, and a few of the boys decided to sample a few of them. But before too long it was time to retire and sleep ready for the journey home the following morning.DSC_3094

Following a hearty breakfast the boys all checked out of their rooms and said their farewells, with a promise to be back again next year where they are thinking of extending the trip with their wives and girlfriends for a few days up in Orkney. On the return they decided to call in on Charles (M0OXO) and his wife Debbie to have a refreshing cuppa and a break from the journey. Charles and Debbie extended their usual superb hospitality and we thank them for the refresher. A quick drive through Barnsley and down the M1 to deposit Chris at his home, and Tim at his in Coventry. Ant eventually arrived home in Llanelli as the time approached 20:00 local - a total journey time of almost 11 hours.

We would like to thank the GMDX group for their hospitality and welcome, and to all who attended and spent time chatting with us. We hope to see you all again soon, and we will definitely be back for the next GMDX Convention!

Ramsey Island is a go!

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough


We now have the dates confirmed by Greg, the RSPB warden, for this years trip to Ramsey Island (EU-124). Due to this year being a special anniversary for the island and the RSPB, it is 20 years since the RSPB aquired the island, and there are numerous activities happening throughout the year and we have had to slip in on a weekend when there will be no QSL-MC0SHL-2bird counts, no big visits, and when Greg & LIsa will be able to assist us with moving our equipment. There will also be a number of events in St Davids to help commemorate this anniversary so do look for them if you are in the area.

We will be using our regular call of MC0SHL throughout the weekend and if you require a QSL card then please use the OQRS service on Tim's website to receive your card.

This year we will only be having 2, possible 3, stations on the air, and there will only be a small team going over to the island. This will consist of Rob (MW0RLJ) and his wife Jane (our sanity and the best cook on a 2 ring stove I have ever met), Charles (M0OXO), Ant (MW0JZE) and Chris (G1VDP). Charles and Chris hope to do some RTTY using a Kenwood TS480 @ 200W output.

QSL-MC0SHL-2-BACKSadly Tim (M0URX) cannot make it (at the moment but we all hope he does and have our fingers crossed), and Tony (G4LDL) is also unsure at the moment.

So do listen out for the guys on all bands from 80M through to 6M between July 12th 2012 and July 16th 2012. A full report and photos will be on here and we will also be uploading some videos to You Tube, and if you search for MC0SHL (or click on this link) there is a selection of our current videos from previous activations.

GMDX Convention and The Farm

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
A couple of us will be attending the GMDX convention this year, with Tim (M0URX) giving a presentation on the trip in 2011 to Atauro Island - 4W6A. He will be aided by Ant (MW0JZE), who was also on the trip, and Chris (G1VDP). Hopefully they will also be able to get a live Skype link to Stuie (VK8NSB) in Darwin, Australia who was also on the trip. Tim, Ant and Stuie will be relaying annecdotes and also showing some of the many photos of Timor Leste and it's inhabitants.

Then following the trip to Scotland most of the team along with wives and girlfriends will be down at the club HQ to help Charles and Debbie celebrate 25 years of marriage. This will be mostly a none radio weekend, but you may hear some of the lads crop up on the bands now and then for a little fun.

CDXC Dinner 2012 - A great success...

Charles Wilmott
Charles Wilmott


K800_DSC_2928Well as mentioned in the previous blog entry by Chris, last weekend, 17th March 2012, saw the annual CDXC (Chiltern DX Club) dinner. This is where members of the CDXC get together at Wyboston Lakes hotel in the Cambridgeshire countryside for a few beers, a meal and a good exchange of 'war stories' lol. This years social event went down very well and the boys from SHDXCG had a good attendance..

It was a great catch up and despite speaking daily, it's always good to get together and have a good old rag chew with many of the faces that you don't really see too often and may only speak to Island to Island hi.......and didn't our blue shirts cause a stir!

Next event for us is Debbie and my Silver Wedding in April, next stop Pembrokeshire chez MW0RLJ!

CDXC Dinner

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

This coming weekend, 17th March 2012, sees the annual CDXC (Chiltern DX Club) dinner. This is where members of the CDXC get together at Wyboston Lakes hotel in the Cambridgeshire countryside for a few beers, a meal and a good social event. This year the boys from SHDXCG are attending en mass.

Rob (MW0RLJ), and Ant (MW0JZE) are travelling up from West Wales, Charles (M0OXO) is travelling from his home in Yorkshire, Tim (M0URX) and Chris (G1VDP) are coming from the Midlands, and Tony (G4LDL) along with his wife Glenys will be there from their home in Swindon. Tony has to be there as he is the secretary of the CDXC and has organised this prestigious event.

Photos will be on the gallery pages next week showing some of the UK's top DXers and contesters enjoying this fantastic event.

BERU - Fun un the RSGB Commonwealth Contest

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

This contest is the oldest contest for radio amateurs and is specifically aimed at the countries of the Commonwealth, headed by our Queen, Queen Elizabeth II.

Contact is made between countries of the Commonwealth, or the British Empire Radio Union as it was known, with points being scored for each contact. All this takes place on the short wave amateur radio bands of 80M, 40M, 20M 15M and 10Meters using Morse Code, also known as CW. Each contact consists of the callsign, a short report of readability, signal strength & tone along with a serial number starting from number one.

Tony (G4LDL), Charles (M0OXO) and Chris (G1VDP) all had a go making contact with others from the commonwealth.

And this year it is also special as the contest is 75 years old, and so is also commemorating the diamond jubilee. All details can be found on the BERU website.

Ramsey Island mutterings

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details As we are now approaching the spring and summer months here in the Northern Hemisphere, we have started to plan our 76_Whichever_direction_we_view_them_fromannual trip to our special place Ramsey Island (EU-124). Each year we have to discuss dates available to go over and use the accommodation facilities on the island with Greg and Lisa (the wardens) and the boat company Thousand Islands. And this year is no exception.

Rob (MW0RLJ) has been in contact with Greg to get the dates when the island will be free, and when we will be able to go over and have our fun. We were hoping to get there during the period of our Queen's Diamond Jubilee so we could celebrate this with a special call, but we have been advised by Greg that they could be doing a bird count on the island at this time with many volunteers and biologists from the RSPB. Have a look at the RSPB website for Ramsey island and follow the links to the Ramsey Blog to keep up to date with what is happening on the island.

Outer space

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough
Details As most of our followers know we not only enjoy talking on our radios and making contact with you all, but we also spend time as amateur astronomers sky watching, especially any info on our own star - The Sun.

It is The Sun that determines how good or bad the propagation will be on the radio, and we daily check various websites for any info on geomagnetic and solar activity. Charles has this information with photos on his website from time to time and it is certainly worth a visit.

We also use the UK Space Agency website to gather the latest info from out there in space, and again this site holds excellent information for any young (or old) budding amateur astronomer.