Ecclesbourne Valley Railway - May 2014

The Club supported a ‘Fun Day’ outing at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway on Saturday 10th May using the call G2DJ.  This year, the weather was kind and the two events in May were helped by pleasant sunshine.  The plan was to erect the Club large gazebo.  However, we abandoned that idea after finding a crucial component  missing!

The photo below shows  early morning frenzied activity prior to setting up the station.   We later erected two dipoles; one for 40m and another for 15m.

All hands to the pumps

The club operated on 7.0 MHz and the higher bands.  As per usual, the band conditions were good in the morning with plenty of activity up to mid afternoon when most amateurs break for a  siesta.  A good time was had by all who attended. 

The Club later returned to Duffield junction on 24th to 26th May, Spring Bank Holiday, to operate a station from the guards van at Duffield Station in support of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.   This corresponded with Wirksworth Carnival Weekend making it a busy day with plenty of the public travelling between Duffield and Wirksworth.  It proved a nice day out for the family with good weather, a chance to play radio and an opportunity to natter to people in general. 

Wirksworth Carnival Weekend - May 2013 (Ecclesbourne Valley Railway)

Having had the disappointment of not being able to operate from the Duffield Station of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway in Derbyshire over Easter due to the sub-zero weather, it was most pleasing to be able to set up G2DJ, one of our club callsigns, inside a Guards Van up by the buffers during the Spring Bank holiday in nice warm, even hot, weather.duffield

The Guards Van is actually owned by Tim Oates who has done a magnificent job of restoring this from what was a bare shell.  As all restorations this is ‘work in progress’ and I’m sure we’ll see changes made over time.  A big thanks to him for allowing us it this year.  It’s even equipped with wood-burning stove so if we operate at Easter next year and it’s as cold as it was in 2013, then at least we should be able to keep warm! And it’ll boil a kettle!   

There was quite a bit of interest shown from the passengers on the platform either waiting to go to Wirksworth or coming from Wirksworth to Duffield. A handful of our own members popped in to say hello and to check out the guards van. 

Yes, we do hope to operate from Tim’s guards van again but whether we can later this year or Easter 2014 we’ll have to see.  Thanks go to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway (EVR) for organising the guards van being put in place and for allowing access to their facilities.  So – not too many contacts but good PR for the Society. 
Dave, G1VAB

Easter at Ecclesbourne Valley Railway - Duffield Junction 2012

In celebrating the first anniversary of the re-opening of the railway line from Wirksworth to Duffield, the people of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway had allowed us to duffield3put up our Clubs gazebo at the end of their platform.  There we put up dipoles for 40m and 20m and a collinear for 2m FM and GX2DJ went on the air.

Saturday we didn’t do too badly, not forgetting we’re there to also publicise amateur radio and not to work stations and ignore the public.  Regrettably we weren’t able to operate on the Sunday due to a lack of operators, but we were able to put the station back together again on the Monday  accompanied by almost incessant rain.  Bands were suffering badly so our using an end-fed aerial wasn’t able to be fully appreciated.  As the railway lock their station and facilities as soon as the last train leaves to return to Wirksworth we had to have everything packed away ‘PDQ’ having worked 26 stations over the two days of operation.  Given the fact that our waterproof gazebo wasn’t and we had mains electricity in there as well as radios, we did well to work that number due to having to move equipment about to get away from the drips!  What a rotten day. 

Thanks go to the folks who turned up to assist, and especially the folks of the EVR for making the weekend unforgettable. 

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway is a community owned and locally-managed venture to reopen and operate the railway between Wirksworth and Duffield in Derbyshire.

EVR operate tourist passenger services between Wirksworth and Duffield (8.5 miles) and Ravenstor (½ mile up a 1 in 27 incline) using Diesel Multiple Units and steam trains on special days.

The section of line between Idridgehay and Duffield opened in April 2011, a culmination of 10 years hard work on the part of our dedicated volunteer force.


Ecclesbourne Vally Railway
EVR Wikipedia page
EVR association
EVR Newsfeed

More Photos
Trains go by very close
Plenty of people interested
Dinner time at the junction
Some club members

Radio Conditions and Station 2013

Operating over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend wasn’t brilliant as there had been a CME event on the evening of Friday 24th May so the Saturday was VERY quiet on HF with only long skip on 40m where we worked about a 10 stations (4 in the UK) all day. 

Other bands were – to us – just about empty with very few stations making their presence felt.  Our station consisted of the Society’s FT990 with an Inverted ‘V’ aerial for 40m. 

As we weren’t operating on the Sunday, an opportunity was taken to put up a 2m, 5 element ZL Special so we could see who was about on that band.  

Monday saw us adding the Society’s FT897 to the station to give us the 2m band but again it was a bit hit and miss as to who was working it as again we were glad to have the visitors.  

One of the contacts on 2m came to the station to meet us and he even stayed to assist with dismantling the station and loading the cars.  Thanks Gary (G6CDT)!