I first joined WARC in the 1970’s whilst at school. I had always been interested in electronics and loved the place. The club moved to Grappenhall whilst I was doing my A levels and the club then had its own shack! Work took me away from Warrington for 20 years but shortly after I moved back again the club moved into its new rooms at Grappenhall Community Centre.
For those of you who have never been to WARC, its facilities are quite surprising. A main meeting room, a radio shack, permanent aerials including a Stepp-IR on a permanent mast, satellite capability and test equipment. There is even a kitchen for the weekly coffee mornings.
When I took over from Peter at the start of 2020 none of us could have known what was to come!
WARC used to have at least 3 meetings a week;
- The main meeting on a Tuesday evening
- Coffee mornings on a Thursday
- Solder Sundays
That came to an abrupt end, but the club rallied round. We have managed to keep a weekly Tuesday night meeting going with a talk every week by Zoom. Even Solder Sundays have continued with Zoom. No coffee mornings though.
The membership of the club is diverse. Surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly in hindsight) we’ve picked up a number of new members during lockdown with people new or returning to the hobby.
Where are we heading?
The pandemic won’t be with us forever. We had already started to put Covid secure procedures in place and planned to start opening up again when the second lockdown hit and it puts us in a good place for when things open up again.
It’s going to be a while before we get back to a “new normal” but I am confident that we’ll chart a path through this. If you are interested in radio, drop us a line, or listen on 145.5MHz at 10:00 AM most mornings. If you are a member and have any suggestions to make, drop me a line.
Whilst we have been seeing each other on Zoom every week, I look forward to seeing members and visitors face to face as soon as we are able.
Dave Roberts G8KBB (Chairman, Warrington Amateur Radio Club)