Amateur radio in West Sussex - Training, Exams, Contests and Special Event Stations

A Brief History of the Club From 1948 to 1998.

The Worthing and District Amateur Radio Club was formed in September 1948 from a small group of RSGB Members. The Club was to be open to both RSGB and non-RSGB members.

The early meetings were held in Oliver’s Café in South Farm Road, Worthing. This was located next to the Railway Station.

In 1949, meetings were held on the third Monday in each month at the Adult Education Centre in Union Place, Worthing. The Club participated in HF National Field Day, a major competition, from a site near the Coach and Horses in Arundel Road, Worthing. In those days equipment was home built and antenna masts were made of timber and transported between two bicycles. A Club Net was held every Wednesday evening on Top Band, 1.837MHz.

1949 saw the first lady member (YL). The subscription was 10 shillings per year and attendances at meetings was steady at around twenty members.

1950 saw the first Bucket and Spade party, which was the forerunner of today’s Mobile Rallies, and it was held on the seafront at Worthing.

By 1951 the Club membership had grown to forty. The club newsletter, Ragchew, was being produced and this cost one (old) penny to post.

In 1952 an attempt was made at the AGM to dispense with the Committee. This motion was defeated and the club continued until 1958 when a drop in attendance led to a proposal at the AGM that “The Club would be wound-up if interest did not improve”. Again, this was defeated and the Club continued.

By 1962 the meetings had changed to the second Monday in each month. Ragchew had restarted and July saw the first VHF National Field Day. At this time, 4m seem to be the most popular band.

1963 saw a drop in membership to twenty but by 1964 it was on the rise again, reaching thirty. In 1965 two meetings were held every month, on the second and fourth Mondays in each month.

1967 saw a move from the Adult Education centre to the Rose Wilmot Youth centre in Littlehampton Road. There we had the use of a large concrete double garage type of building, where we installed metal cupboards with locks for our equipment. The adjacent football pitch, with its floodlights, provided suitable antenna supports and the Club was “On Air” regularly.

The callsign G3WOR was issued to the Club and with membership on the increase, meetings were held weekly.

At the end of 1975 the club moved back to the Adult Education Centre with weekly meetings until a move was made in the early 1980s to a new venue in Pond Road, Durrington. Meetings were then held every Tuesday evening until the increasing membership demanded yet another move, this time to larger premises.

In 1979 the Club met with five other local clubs and organised the Sussex Mobile Rally. This was to be an annual event, held at Brighton Racecourse on the first Sunday in July. This event continued every year from 1979. It became the Sussex Amateur Radio and Computer Fair and was one of the largest mobile rallies in the South, catering for everyone with some 100 Traders each year in the fields of amateur radio equipment, components, computers and related equipment.

In 1984 the Club moved to it’s present location at the Parish Hall, South Street, Lancing. The meetings were changed to be held every Wednesday evening.

During 1984, the special event callsign GB2WOR was on the air from Worthing Pier.

After the move to Lancing, the Club membership grew to over one hundred and twenty. The Club has prospered and many Special Event Stations are put on each year, including the Worthing Hobbies Exhibition, Fire Brigade Open Day, Windmill Day and Children in Need.

The Club participates in many amateur radio contests and owns its own equipment.

In 1998 the Club celebrated it’s 50th year with an Anniversary Dinner.

The Club has over twenty trophies, donated by members over the years. These trophies are competed for on an annual basis by the members and includes something for everyone.

New members are always welcome. Just call in any Wednesday and you’ll be assured of a warm welcome.