TSGARC 2017 Meets

I have cancelled our room booking at the Chantry for the following dates:

  • 1st Wednesday June 2017 (Foxhunt)
  • 1st Wednesday July 2017 (Foxhunt)
  • 27th December 2016 (Christmas week).

Perhaps members would like to have a Christmas meal again this year as we did at the local carvery last year?  If so, can people leave a reply to this post suggesting a venue and possible dates.


2017 calendar

The Chantry are looking to book the rooms for 2017 and have asked for dates we DO NOT require the room I have suggested the 7th June, mob FH, 5th July ped FH and 27th December between Christmas and New Year, is this OK


Committee 2016

After the AGM on 6th April the elected committee for 2016 is as follows:
Chairman – Andrew Gawthorpe G0RVM
Vice Chairman – Mike Davies G0JMD
Treasurer – Stan Goodwin G0RYM
Secretary – Garry Moore G7NVZ
Committee Member – Mark Beasley M6KMJ
Committee Member – Rex Laney G4RAE

TSGARC – A short history

In September 1987 I joined the Thornbury Radio Club as I had recently passed the Radio Amateurs Examination (RAE), in those days we met in the upstairs hall of the United Reformed Church (URC).

We had a variety of radios at our disposal and a large hall, so if conditions allowed we were able to have smaller meetings around the hall; CW in one corner, a radio operating in another and maybe a group stood nattering about all things Amateur Radio, oh and computers were just making themselves known so we were also looking at packet radio and amateur television broadcast and receive.

But now for a short history.  The Thornbury Radio Club was formed in early 1980 by Alan Jones G8AZT after running the first RAE in Thornbury.  This, however, was not the first club in Thornbury.  During the late 60’s and early 70’s there was a club that met, as it happens, at our current location, the Chantry.  This club obtained the callsign G4ABC but when the club ceased it passed to a couple of members in Chipping Sodbury where it remained unused.  But during the 1980’s it was offered to the newly formed Thornbury Radio Club.  During the club’s expansion in the 80’s members also joined from area’s a little further afield: Wotton, Dursley, Yate and Chipping Sodbury.  To reflect this larger catchment area the club changed its name to the Thornbury and District Radio Club.  But in the early 2000’s the government disbanded Avon county and replaced it with South Gloucestershire, so the club again changed its name to reflect this new division, becoming the Thornbury and South Gloucestershire Radio Club.

We were a club of about 40 members in the late 80’s and into the mid 90’s. Then we started to lose members, either because they were moving away or because the stage after retirement caught them up. So for the period from then until about August 2008 we struggled on with a nucleus of about 12 to 15 members, then we had to vacate the hall for refurbishment, so for nearly 9 months we were offered the HQ of GX0WOI the local Scout radio station at Woodhouse park. Finally in May 2009, we were able to move back into the newly finished URC Hall! But it was not a good period as the hall had been finished with aluminium clad insulation boards in the roof, a highly gloss laminate floor and shiny gloss walls, the echo and cold feeling made it impossible to do anything resembling radio activities, so we were forced to find alternative accommodation.

Finally in August 2009 we were able to rent on a long term but weekly paid rental the Tudor Room in the Community Association premises, this just worked with 10 members but was not ideal. Over a period of time we negotiated the installation of both VHF and HF antenna’s, so things improved and we were gaining new members. The search began again for a larger room, after talks with the Chantry staff, it was agreed that we could trial the Buckingham Room in November and December of 2012, finally, in January 2013 we negotiated a similar deal for this room as we had for the Tudor room although it was about £4 per week dearer. A team exercise one weekend saw us transfer the antenna feed points to the Buckingham room.

Today the Buckingham room is the home of the Thornbury and South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Club (TSGARC) where it meets each Wednesday evening.  Click here for further information.  Being one large room it has space to accommodate the club which continues to grow and now has 35 members.

Many thanks to Alan G8AZT for information about the earlier clubs.

Stan G0RYM

TSGARC gets a radio room

TSGARC Radio roomAt his first annual general meeting (AGM) our chairman, Paul M0ZMB, stated he would like to see the club with its own shack.  So I started talking to the Chantry staff about a convenient store room located next to the Buckingham room where the club meets each Wednesday evening.  Unfortunately it was under a rental agreement with a local Girl Guide Company, who had no wish to either share the room with us nor move out.

It became somewhat demoralising on club evenings as those wishing to operate the club radios found it hard to hear their radio contacts due to others talking in the room, and vice versa.  I tried to reach the Guide Company by leaving a typed note under the door in February of this year.  It finally paid dividends, as in March a friend informed me that a) she was the responsible person for renting the store and b) she had just cleared out all their tents and camping equipment.  I presented myself at the Chantry on the following morning at 09:00hrs and commenced negotiations for the room.  I was shown it and had pointed out to me that there was “a serious damp problem”. 🙁

TSGARC Radio room prior to renovation

Undeterred I persevered with negotiations until June when proposals were presented to the Chantry which they accepted. 🙂 We would refurbish the room and paint as required for which we would get 2 or 3 months of rent free use until September when we would begin a monthly long term sole rental.  It took 2 of us about 6 days of effort removing damaged plaster only to discover there was no damp problem at all – it was mainly condensation from storing wet tents in a non ventilated room. 🙂

TSGARC Radio room prior to renovationWe repaired the damaged areas to a reasonable standard, added 2 coats of brilliant white emulsion on walls and ceiling, new carpet tiles on the floor and a dedicated electrical and data supply into the room.  Finally 2 weeks ago the furniture was provided by our chairman and moved in ready for operation, the chairman also rerouted the antenna feed points into the shack and all was ready for operation.  It only remains to box in the cables in the hallway where they pass across the ceiling.

At last, on the club night of the 29th July 2015 our first contacts were made from the new shack. It is worth adding here that we now have some 30 paid up members, all anticipating their use of the shack.

We have a working party planned to re-jig antennas and maybe add a new HF one sometime in the near future.

Those responsible for bringing this amazing project to fruition are Stan G0RYM the club Treasurer, Richard 2E0RES and Paul M0ZMB, for providing the furniture, moving the antenna’s and John M0HFH for transporting the furniture to the Chantry. The entire project has cost us less than £200, has added a new vitality to the club, and hopefully will allow us to take part in more field days, contests and generally have more contacts with Amateurs around the world.

My utmost thanks to Richard for all his help and for Paul and John for providing and moving equipment


Project Night

Tonight’s project night has lots of different things going. There is a group doing Morse, another wielding soldering irons, others are doing some training for the license and me updating the blog.