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***   News item: 2017 Annual General Meeting  ***
On Saturday the 9th of September 2017 VMARS will be hosted by RAF Henlow and the RAF Henlow Signals
Museum, the former by the good offices of the Station Warrant Officer, SWO Gary Owen.

Further information will be published in due course on timings for the AGM and documents needed to enter
this MOD Establishment.

I am pleased we have been able to secure this facility as it will interest many members and it is in a timely as
sadly RAF Henlow is to be closed in 2020.

Stuart McKinnon GOTBI
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Sunday 14th February

The Harwell Radio and Electronics Rally was held at the  Didcot Leisure Centre on Sunday 14th February. As usual it was well attended and the VMARS stand manned by Chairman Tony Barron, G3YYH and member Robin Maddison, G0GNE, proved popular.

Photo's by Robin Maddison, G0GNE
View from the tea shop balcony of the main hall at the Harwell Rally

Members congregate around the VMARS stand at the Harwell Rally


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VMARS Auction held at Baginton
Saturday 24th October 2015

Many members attended the latest Society vintage equipment auction held at the Baginton Village Hall, Warwickshire, on Saturday 24th October. On sale was an interesting selection of equipment, with many bargains snapped up by keen bidders, raising around £3,500 for the families of silent keys. A full list of the hammer prices of each item sold appeared in issue 151 of the VMARS News Sheet for October 2015.

Click on the picture below to be taken to more photographs.


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VMARS at the 2015 National Hamfest

28th September 2015
VMARS were once again present at the annual two day RSGB National Hamfest held at the Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire on Friday and Saturday 25th and 26th September 2015. The VMARS stand was busy for the entire show, with many visitors expressing high levels of interest in a wide variety vintage and military equipment and signing up as new members of the Society.

Exhibitors and traders at the National Hamfest catered for all aspects of amateur radio, from vintage and valve equipment to Software Defined Radio and Satellite communications, along with every imaginable type of support equipment, aerials, services and literature. The show was very well attended and was a great success for VMARS.   

Click here to link to photgraphs on the National Hamfest web site and click here for more VMARS photographs taken at the event.
Top Secret........

Saturday 18th July 2015
Entrance to the former secret nuclear air defence Operations Room at Neatishead.


VMARS held their Annual General Meeting at the award winning Neatishead RAF Air Defence Radar Museum in Norfolk on  Saturday 18th July. About 45 members attended and after some brisk discussion a new Committee was elected. Many Members also enjoyed the Flixton Air Museum Family Day held nearby on the following day, Sunday 19th July. A full report of the AGM will be published in the VMARS Monthly News Sheet. For more photographs click on the newly elected VMARS Chairman Tony Barron's photograph below.

The Museum was opened at 09:30 for the exclusive use of VMARS Members and their partners who were provided with light refreshments following their arrival. The AGM was scheduled to end at 12:45hrs but the lively debates continued until 13:30hrs and were followed by a buffet lunch. The well informed Neastishead museum guides took members on a series of informative and sometimes thought provoking tours to discover the fascinating history of our air defences during the Cold War. For more information about this absolute gem of a museum, please click on the picture below.
The impressive Operations Room at Neatishead as it is today

Newly elected VMARS Chairman Tony Barron, G3YYH
Click on the picture for more photographs taken at Neatishead and Flixton

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Sunday 3rd May 
The Dambusters Rally weekend
Many VMARS Members braved the wet weather to attend the annual Dambusters Rally held at the Thorpe Camp Museum near Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire. Thorpe Camp was the domestic site for RAF Woodhall, the base for Guy Gibson's 617 Dambusters squadron following their spectacular raid on the Ruhr damns in May 1943. The museum has a fascinating collection of memorabilia, artifacts and photographs of all the squadrons that were based at RAF Woodhall Spa in its wartime operational period and also of their post war activities.

10am, wet arrival at the Thorpe Camp Museum for the Dambusters Rally
Despite the weather the event was well attended by visitors but many traders were put off, with the number of trade stands down by about two thirds on last year. There were still some bargains to be had and some of our members were spotted carrying away their new acquisitions. By late morning the rain had subsided and the event turned into more of a social get together.
VMARS Member Les, G4EPL, spied with a purchase under his arm - a Clansman 320 perhaps?

To view more pictures of the weekend, click here

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Saturday 25th April 2015

International Marconi Day
Robin - G0GNE/EA3 working from his holiday apartment in NE Spain. The base of the 16ft whip aerial can be seen on the balcony
VMARS Member Robin Maddison and his wife Barbara have been enjoying a break at their holiday apartment in North East Spain. While away, Robin likes to keep in touch with friends back at home in the UK and see what other interesting stations he can work from his /p location. (Not sure what Barbara thinks about that). On Saturday 25th April, International Marconi Day, Robin, G0GNE,  was tuning around on 20m when he came across the Marconi special event station GB2GM working from the Marconi museum at Poldhu in Cornwall, from where Marconi made his first transatlantic transmission on December 12th 1901. GB2GM had linked up with the Guglielmo Marconi Memorial Station IY4FGM, located in the grounds of Villa Griffone in Pontecchio Marconi - Bologna, where the young Guglielmo Marconi made his early radio experiments.
Princess Elettra Marconi Giovanelli - daughter of the Nobel prizewinner Guglielmo Marconi
To everyone's delight, Marconi's 85 year old daughter Princess Elettra Marconi Giovanelli happened to be visiting the  Villa Griffone with her son, also named Guglielmo Marconi in honour of his distinguished grandfather. Princess Elettra was handed the microphone and made a goodwill exchange with the Poldhu station. Realising that he was witnessing an historic moment, Robin quickly switched his mobile phone to record the exchange. A further message was passed to Poldhu by Marconi's grandson. To hear the recording, click on either of the pictures above.  

Robin's station in Spain is a 1980's Icom IC-735. MFJ-941E Versatuner II, a larkspur Landrover tub-clamp with rubber aerial base supporting a four section larkspur 15ft 6inch vertical whip (comes in a fibre tube) with 4x 6 ft zip wire radials.

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