As the winter months roll on, January was a chance for members of the SNBCG to activate Upminster Windmill using the special call GB2UW. Upminster windmill has an ongoing restoration project, that will see the mill completely restored with the project coming to its conclusion in 2018.
The new visitor’s centre provided a cosy, warm and dry location for us to set up our station using HF and VHF equipment.
Despite the bitterly cold weather, and snow showers we managed to erect our antennas to cover HF, 145 Mhz VHF and 70 MHz.
HF provided worldwide communication, allowing us to contact stations from far and wide with stations often keen to hear about the historic mill. VHF provided contact with more local stations typically up to 60 miles, with many local amateurs already aware of the project but keen to understand its progress.
We operated a variety of modes, CW, Data modes and SSB depending on band conditions. We would like to extend our thanks to The Friends of Upminster Windmill for their hospitality and we wish them luck with the ongoing project.
QSL is electronic via LoTW and EQSL.cc
You can read more about the ongoing project on their website.
National Mills on the air weekend is a chance to combine amateur radio with the national windmills open day. Although not directly related to the bunker, the SNBCG decided to activate Upminster windmill as it is our local mill – it was a delight to operate on the green opposite the mill once again! The mill has stood on the green in various guises since 1803, and recently thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund its just secured large grant to complete some restoration and the building of a education and visitors centre.
Unfortunately due to the ongoing building work members of the public were not able to visit the mill this year, but that didn’t stop them coming to visit us operating radio in the field.
This years event was well attending, with our furthest operator travelling from Malta to guest operate. John 9H5G operating (left station) retired to Malta, but often travels back to the UK. We were delighted to welcome him to the team, and he was soon pressed into service on 7 MHz managing the pile-up.
We operated using 2 x Icom 7100, making use of 5, 7, and 14 MHz on HF and 70 and 144 MHz on VHF. Over the course of the weekend we contacted over 30 mills and 150 others stations from all over Europe.
Thanks to everyone we worked, QSL is via eqsl.cc 73