The club are organising a Special event station to celebrate 100 years of the RAF on 1st April, from Market Deeping Scout and Guide HQ. Wellington Way, Market Deeping, which is the original Mess hall at RAF Langtoft Radar Station. The callsign will be GB0LRS
After it had been announced that April 1st would be the centenary day for the RAF, the Events Team decided to find a venue for a Special Event station. Investigating locally , we found that the remaining buildings from RAF Peterborough were in private hands for commercial use. Andy who was in the area at the time, made an approach to RAF Wittering. Unfortunately, the powers that be would or could not allow us on the airfield for such an event. Chip, who lives in Market Deeping, had been doing some research and found out that the Scout Hall on the north side of Market Deeping was part of the old mess hall complex at RAF Langtoft, a WW2 and early Cold War RADAR station.
Chip found out the contact details of the Scout leaders and made the initial approach. They were happy to let us have the hall for the event so we set to organising. Chip did more research locally and found 2 gentlemen who had served at RAF Langtoft before its closure in 1958. Over coffee and cake at a local cafe, Colin, who had been a cook in the Sargeants mess and Al who had served in the MT section talked freely about their time at Langtoft.
For the event, the Events Team decided to use the larger front hall for display, meet and greet and Morse training and testing. The smaller back hall was to be used for the operating area.
Saturday afternoon, 31st March saw the events group setting out tables and chairs in the display hall and gazebos being set up in the back hall. These being used to cut down echo while operating.
On Sunday April 1st 8 am local time, the gang turned up. Chip and myself setting up displays, Tracey and Alan setting up the Morse training gear and helping with the displays. Peter and his crew set up the operating areas while Andy and his crew set up the Antennas.
The Club Kenwood TS590 SG was used for HF and my Icom IC 7400 was used for VHF. Andy supplied a 40 mtr MOXON fitted to his mobile tower at about 60 ft. Above that, was the Club 2/70 white stick. A very good antenna set up with the RAF Ensign flying from the top. Because of current propogation, local ( GB ) contacts on 40 were sparse but the operators persevered using phone and later on DATA mode. VHF conditions were better, however, because we had such a high antenna and we ran 100 watts, some distant stations could hear us very well but didn't have the power to get back to us. we reduced power to make things more equal. A total of 74 contacts were made, 46 on HF and 28 0n VHF, with 15 countries worked. Not bad for 6 hours is it?
During the day we had a steady influx of visitors including a press photographer from a local magazine called, I'd Rather Be In Deeping. Also a local resident who said she played in the camp after it finally closed in the 1960's. Alan and Tracey did some morse tuition and Chip spent a lot of time talking about RAF Langtoft, which he had researched a lot. Some members of Spalding club came over to lend support. I had been in touch with South Kesteven Council who publicised the event on their web site and BBC Radio Lincolnshire put our event on their "whats on" page of their website. On Sunday afternoon, I was interviewed live on air on BBC Radio Lincolnshire which was a great chance to talk about PADARC and the Event. All in all, a great success.
The Events Team would like to express their thanks to Market Deeping Scouts for the use of their hall, a great venue. Thanks must also go to Alan and Liz Huchins, who are re-enactors for turning up in 1940s RAF uniform to add atmosphere. A big vote of thanks to all who turned up to help, ( See photo in gallery)
Finally, a special THANK YOU to Chip, who did so much research, got us the hall, persuaded friends to lend him exhibits for display, publicised it locally and, of course, made his brilliant sausage rolls.
A great event. Thank you ALL.