What a great weekend undertaking a special event station at Kew Steam Museum http://www.kbsm.org/ . We would like to say within our web page a ‘big thank you’ to the Kew Steam Museum for allowing us to take part (August Bank Holiday Weekend, (26th and 27th August) while Kew Bridge Steam Museum stepped back to the 1940’s and inviting us along for the journey. Throughout the weekend there was many different activities for all the visitors to take part in. We was able to explore all aspects of life on the home front, from make do and mend to how to make nutritious meals from the rations.
The Kew Steam Museum Café served a special menu which includes dishes from ration recipes and once you’ve tasted them, the man from the Ministry (of Food) will be there to show you how to make the rations stretch further, using vegetables from our Dig for Victory garden. As well as a food collection dustbin for pigs! (not Greyhounds)
Outside they had the Auxiliary Fire Service on standby in case incendiary bombs fall on the site and also explained how bomb disposal takes place.
The make do and mend ladies were on hand to show you how to make the clothes ration stretch by reusing old clothes, darning and patching, as well as how to support our soldiers by knitting for the forces. Having been to a number of radio rallies over the year’s maybe we should ask these ladies to attend Kempton!
For children visiting the open day there was the opportunities to dress up in 1940’s costume, to help the war effort may making your own recycled envelopes and to hunt the spy that has left a clue somewhere in the museum. You can also ‘dig for victory’ and be evacuated on our waterworks railway. The pumping station itself demonstrated the measures taken to ensure that water supplies get through despite the effects of air raids and shortages.
And for a special something extra on the Monday we was able to see the wartime dancing team the GI Jitterbugs will be doing demonstrations and have a go sessions. This I will not expand on but to report that quite a few of our club members who wish to remain nameless had a go!
We was also given a special Metropolitan Water board wartime pass and a limited edition Kew News giving you information about the timetable for the weekend and tips for the blackout as well as other wartime stories.
Our HF Station was located at the foot of the main water Tower next to the air raid balloon with our antennas supported by a rope. To attach the antennas it was necessary to climb 273 steps! up the tower. Our station consisted of an Icom and a Yaesu amp supplying 400w to mono band dipoles.
GB0KEW success was due to of the number of stations calling us therefore, helping to demonstrate our great hobby. However, for those who we did not manage to make contact with us we apologise but the demand for the call sign together with the considerable frequency background noise combined with a steam train whistle, air raids siren and the public asking questions it was a great effort for our operators to hear stations calling in. You will see from the photograhs that we did not want the station isolated from the public by headphones or barriers but wanted the public to be looking over our shoulders to see the the radio station in action.
So how many contacts did we manage between 10am and 5pm each day?
20M 16 – 40M 118 – 80M 15
CW 17 – SSB 131 – SSTV 1
CZECH REP. 1
NORTHERN IRELAND 6
We have over the years taken a number of photographs from our Church Tower and from the top of Kempton Race Course and placed on our web page but please do make a point of reviewing our photographs taken from the top of the Kew Steam Museum water Tower as they show West London on a sunny clear day. What a great view!
* Hubert HB9TXJ (QTH is Thoerishaus, near Berne) thank you for your email received while the station was ‘on the air’ and the recording of GB0KEW it was most appreciated.
This special event HF station at Kew Steam Museum was a huge success for the club and allowed amateur radio to be showed to the public at its best. It could be said that this event has been one of the finest we have undertaken for some considerable time because of Kew Steam Museum welcoming us and allowing the club the opportunity to demonstrate our hobby to the public.
Well done to Mike G1WIA in arranging the station facility and to all of those who participated with GB0KEW.
QSL cards will be produced for GB0KEW and sent via the RSGB.
M3ESQ:- Why can’t we invest in a 30 amp PSU???