Friday, 16 November 2012

Buckden Pike - Remembrance Sunday



For this years Remembrance day, I decided to go to the Buckden Pike War Memorial to do the two minutes silence at 11am.

A Wellington bomber crashed on Buckden Pike in January 1942, killing all but one of it's crew. The survivor erected a memorial cross at the crash site to pay tribute to his fellow servicemen.

Buckden Pike, 2303ft, is classified as a 'Marilyn', so it is included in the SOTA scheme (G/NP-009), being worth 6 points. My plan was to operate my radio from near to the trig point and claim the SOTA points, before moving on to the War Memorial, something like 1km away.

I parked in the public car at Buckden and set off walking along the bridle path at about 0745utc. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the once boggy path had been properly surfaced and was now easy to walk on.

 
I gained the summit at just after 0900utc, it had taken around 80 minutes from the car park to the trig point, much faster than previous occasions.
 
 
I'd taken along my MTR (Mountain Topper), a little two band CW rig, built into an Altoids tin. Using a 1000mAh LiPo battery, I was on the air on 7.032MHz at about 0925utc with about 2.5W. I was amazed at the pile up that quickly developed! I found after about 20 minutes of operating, my brain got a bit fried and I started making a lot of mistakes. I took a 5 minute break from the pile up, but upon asking 'QRL?', I was greeted with another wall of chasers! I moved on to 14.058MHz, again I was met with a big pile up after only a few minutes. My time soon unfortunately run out, so after working Barry N1EU in Delmar, NY, at 1040utc, I had to leave the chasers and tear down the station. 34 QSO's were in the log, so the little MTR had done a great job, I'm sure I could have worked many more stations given a lot more time. I had actually operated a little too long really, it was 1050utc by the time I left for the memorial, and it was about 1km away!
 
 
Unfortunately, the route to the memorial is very boggy indeed! I simply didn't have the time to carefully pick my way through the bogs, I just had to run like mad! I reached the memorial at 1058utc, I'd just made it and I was quite soggy too! There was quite a mixed gathering of people at the memorial, and we all fell silent for two minutes at 11am. I was persuaded to pose for a group photograph, although I didn't know any of the other people there! For once, the photos should turn out OK, the weather was actually very nice, usually the visibility is very poor at that time of year, with thick fog being the normally expected conditions. My camera didn't record the memorial pictures properly, so I don't have any pictures of the people at the cross :-(
 
As you see, the weather was fantastic -
 
 
73 de Colin, M0CGH
 
 

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