The Tyneside Amateur Radio Society Picture Gallery

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Sadly, there are no remaining images of the early days of the Society, at least none that we are aware of. Below are some pictures of events with which the Society has been involved which we hope will give you an idea of what amateur radio activities can be like.

First of all, a field day. These pictures were taken during a National Field Day a few years ago. The location was Coldrife Hill in northern Northumberland. The county of Northumberland, away from the Tyneside conurbation is pretty thinly populated, so it's not too hard to find quiet places for operations. Coldrife [NZ 059 946] is at an elevation of around 850 feet, and with clear take off in almost all directions, makes an excellent location for a field day. The only drawback is that most major population centres lie far to the south, so when it comes to notching up points, it's at a bit of a disadvantage. On the other hand, there's not much man-made QRM about...

The location On the left is part of the station, whilst to the right, you can get an idea of the remoteness of the spot. Southern view

Cubical Quad A cubical quad was used for VHF whilst a tribander was effective for HF. There was plenty of space as you can see to accomodate just about anything... The Station

A pile-up ? Keeping score on
a field day needs
plenty of
and when the
contacts come in,
thick & fast, you
need all your
wits about you.
The more
operators you
can muster
the better...
The Gear

Another outing but of a different kind - Special Event Stations. The Society has been involved in a number of these over the years, some large and important; for example, GB5NO to mark the 50th. Anniversary of the BBC in Newcastle or GB2BSR, the Blue Star Rally (See below). Others are more low key and one annual event in which the Society has participated several times is the Scouts' Jamboree on the Air. One such was at Earsdon (Tyne & Wear) set up for the Whitley Bay Scouts. We operated out of the Community Centre where the Society was based at the time.

The Station [1] The Centre formerly
was a school so
the rooms are quite
spacious - there was
plenty of room to
set out a complete
station, which visitors
could also
visit too; it's well to
be mindful of public
relations on
these occasions !
The Station [2]

The Centre is quite an old building on one level, so it wasn't possible to arrange HF antennas at any great height, which was somewhat limiting when trying to work interesting DX.  But, one has to work with locations as one finds them, and handicaps can be a challenge to be overcome with good operating technique.

The Community Centre The station, GB2WBS managed
quite a lot of contacts, one of
which is being entered into the log
by the Eamon G4MRT, the Society's
Late Honorary Life President.
The Station

Another Special Event Station which the Society set up was to mark the 200th. anniversary of the founding of the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society. This Society is one of relatively few remaining independent libraries in the United Kingdom. It has a very large collection of books, many rare and unusual, often of local interest, together with a large record library. It sponsors many lectures, talks, recitals and so forth, and generally contributes significantly to the cultural life of Newcastle. On this occasion we were able to operate from within the Library itself, but the location provided many problems. Not least of these was the down-town location, electrically noisy and not helped by the 25kV overhead wires of the railway not far away; more problematic was the lead roof over which the HF antennas were supported. As quite a good reflector, it ensured that a fair bit of our signal went out more or less vertically !  This didn't help working DX but even so, plenty of contacts around Europe were made with a few farther afield.

The Literary & Philosophical Society The Lit & Phil (as it is locally known) has
an elegant building (not the original which
was destroyed by fire in the 19th. C). The
rather hallowed interior gave quite a
different feeling to this Special Event
Station from what is usually

Here the Society Chairman Stuart G0BEV
looks for local 2 metre contacts.


Quite a number of amateur radio clubs and societies support rallies (hamfests to our US cousins) TARS amongst them. There being a lack of large scale such events in the North-East of England, the Society set about filling the gap. The very first Rally was held at Gosforth Park Exhibition Centre, a little north of Newcastle, the building being part of Newcastle Racecourse. A Special Event Station GB2BSR was mounted to mark sponsorship by a local brewing company. The location at the top of the Grandstand proved an excellent spot, allowing a full size 80metre dipole to be erected along with others for various bands together with the talk-in station. Opening the station, the resulting pile-up was memorable indeed with reports of 5x9+60 being received from around the UK and abroad. Unfortunately, we were all too busy on the day to record the event for posterity.

Young Visitors A local newspaper reporting the event - young, aspiring visitors look on. A recent view of the Grandstand, from the top of which the station operated. The Grandstand

In subsequent years, the Rally moved location to a more convenient spot at the Temple Park Centre in South Shields. This provided a vast amount of space all on one level and proved extremely popular (as well as being a good deal more comfortable).

Setting up A lot of hard work is involved in
mounting a Rally, not least of
which is setting out stalls and
stands beforehand (not to
mention cleaning up afterwards)
and able-bodied hands are
always needed. The high ceiling
of the Centre allowed
particularly big exhibits to be
Beam Antenna

Turnout The event was always popular with visitors coming from all over the North-East, Cumbria and parts of Scotland. More turnout

The considerable amount of space meant that visitors would have a relatively comfortable time viewing the various exhibits and also made it possible to give more room to facilities sometimes lacking at rallies.

Sit down... Room to sit down
and have a cup of
tea with friends
- an essential
element of a
Rally !  Essential
too is the talk-in
station to help
would-be visitors
to find the Rally.
Even locals
needed help !
Talk-in Station

Finally, back to home and the regular weekly meetings. We are fortunate to have a comfortable meeting room as well as a shack and a workshop (still to be completed).

Thanks to all the members, past and present who appear in these pictures.

We hope you've found these pictures interesting and that they give you an idea of what the Tyneside Amateur Radio Society is like, and of course some idea of what Amateur Radio is like too. It's a lot of fun, you can learn something new, make plenty of friends (worldwide) and have an activity which will be there for you for years to come. Why not come along and visit us ? We'll look forward to seeing you.

Stuart Hill G0BEV, Chairman T.A.R.S.

Last updated January, 2005