NWARG during Lockdown 2020

 The North Wales Amateur Radio Group’s motto of Radio / Friendship certainly proved the case during the Wales Lockdown crisis when it originally occurred in March 2020.  On many an occasion, Committee and club members frequently came to the aid of their fellow members helping them with deliveries of food & household good’s besides keeping in frequent contact with its membership and their safety under these new difficult restrictions that lay ahead..

 Despite restrictions on the NWARG’s weekly meetings, events were carefully planned enabling our love of Amateur Radio to continue safely but efficiently besides participating and organising our own SES events. such as during the weekend of March 7th /8th when NWARG participated in exercise Blue Ham.

In June the NWARG decided to organise an event to help and support our local Zoo in Colwyn Bay and provide, collect and even deliver vital food & supplies to the Zoo Keepers and staff at the Welsh Mountain Zoo. The event station with its unique callsign  ( GBOWMZ) was transmitted on the airwaves for a month and along with the QRZ page it certainly proved a success in highlighting the problems and concerns facing this local Zoo during the lockdown period.  Armed Forces Day ( GBOAFD) was also celebrated by the club in the same month besides having various interactive meetings to continue and help keep our members active.  

JULY witnessed a new chapter to the NWARG with the establishment of a professional live on air internet radio station managed by John Pritchard (MWOJWP). Between himself and Tony Mottram (MW6TMQ) requests are played on the live shows that are broadcast every week. Club news bulletins complete with loads of fun and laughter is now a regular slot in the clubs weekly entertainment programme.

The NWARG Live Radio station is on 24 hrs a day playing a wide variety of music for all tastes.

The NWARG also participated in celebrating the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day complete with call sign GB1VJD on August 15th/16th and only a few weeks later club members were required to Marshall and use radio communications and provide first aid cover for the Spitfire 10k event from Colwyn Bay Pier to Llandudno Pier. The event was organised by committee member John Pritchard (MWOJWP) who is disabled and complete in his wheelchair but accompanied by family & friends including NWARG member Kevin Jones MWOIBT (currently appearing in series Three of S4C ‘s popular lifestyle show (FFIT Cymru) managed to complete this fun but difficult challenge. Radio communication and marshalling proved successful ensuring the competitors safety from start to finish. The Spitfire 10K run was in aid of the RAF Museum Trust in order to honour those who defended our skies during the Battle of Britain.

 An ideal opportunity for NWARG arose for the CHOTA special event on Sept 12th as the Club is based in Rhos on Sea (near Colwyn Bay). The acclaimed smallest 16th Century chapel in the UK, is only a few minutes’ walk away, and complete with the club caravan and various members using portable VHF & HF transceivers and Antenna Systems, a very successful day on the air was achieved using call sign GBOSTC .  The final Special Event Station was conducted adjacent to the Great Orme Tramway on Llandudno’s Great Orme summit to coincide with ROTA, this was a two day event that also was carefully planned and organised to adhere to the current  Wales corona virus guidelines. The NWARG achieved this very successfully and mobile HF Antennas and transmitters were set up by Vice President Tony Mottram (MW6TMQ) whilst VHF Communications were operated by NWARG President David Morgan (GW6MLI) in his converted van.

The event station also was attended by our recent new members Chris Weaver (MW7BJW) Gregg Howard (2WOTWD) & Steve Liversage (MW7BXY) who all enjoyed their introduction to HF Communications high up on the slopes of the Great Orme National Park.

Other successful achievements that have been taken place are the ever increasing membership which now stands at over 50 and more recently due to the on line internet examinations The NWARG tutor/s has had 6 foundations & 1 intermediate pass, which is great news for the club and especially Amateur Radio.

Article and photos by NWARG Vice Chair & Club  PRO Tony Mottram (MW6TMQ)

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