At the last Fun Field Weekend in the autumn it was agreed that we would hold another such weekend on 9th, 10th and 11th December. At that time we had no idea that this would turn out to be so cold and snow bound!
The site chosen was high up in the Cotswolds between Brockhamton and Hawling. The weekend started out well on the Friday with tents and masts being erected in passable winter conditions but come Saturday the weather turned cold and by Sunday the snow had started to fall, and fall heavily.
The above photo, taken on the Sunday, shows the main operating and “mess” tent complete with flue from the in-tent log burning stove.
Some fun was had on the Saturday playing radio, including by Tony G3YYH who turned up early to join the VMARS 80m AM net on 3615kHz. which starts around 8am. The main tent was kept warm(ish) by a log burning stove and members gathered inside to eat and to socialise.
Inside the main tent with Mike G8NSZ on the left and Rich M0XRB warming themselves by the stove.
Come Sunday morning with the snow thick on the ground the decision was taken to “bug out”, as the military saying goes. The site was abandoned in quick order with most of the non-radio kit left in situ for collection later. The journeys home were slow and difficult. For example Tony G3YYH took some two hours to complete what should have been a 15 minute trip, and Rich M0XRB took much of the day to return to Cheltenham. The kit abandoned on site was collected over the course of the following week as road conditions improved.
One CARA member, hearing of the problems encountered, remarked that those at the site must have been slightly mad to venture out in the winter; the riposte from one who was there was: “No, not slightly mad, but completely mad!” Nevertheless it hasn’t dampened enthusiasm for another winter weekend camping out to play radio!