To the Radio Amateur, any event is an event worth celebrating or commemorating; be it historical or current affairs, of international or local importance – a Radio Amateur somewhere will want to set up a Special Event Station.
A Special Event Station is, quite simply, a temporary Amateur Radio station set up to publicise an event. For example, groups of Radio Amateurs around the UK established special event stations throughout 2001 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and in 2000 there were thousands of special event stations running around the world to commemorate the new millennium. Other Amateur Radio operators set up Special Event Stations to help raise money for charities; each year hundreds of Radio Amateurs raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) through SOS Radio Week, and British Wireless for the Blind (BWFB) to name just a couple.
Special Event Stations are our way of introducing the Amateur Radio hobby to the general public. Located inside a building, or outside in a tent, Radio Amateurs set up antennas and connect to them the necessary radio and computer equipment and then demonstrate their use, allowing visitors to the station to pass messages to the distant operator – sometimes on the other side of the world.
If you have an event that you think would benefit from having a Special Event Station present please contact us and we will be happy to meet with you and discuss your requirements.
SADARC Special Event Stations we run
These are some of the special event stations that we run on a regular basis, but they’re not necessarily run every year. For details of stations we will be running this year please refer to our calendar below.
The purpose of the special event station is to raise an awareness of the RNLI amongst folk, both in the UK and overseas.
We run the station from the operations room of the lifeboat station with several of the crew who are on hand to talk to visitors, who are made most welcome, of the invaluable work the RNLI crews perform.
The date of the event varies during SOS Radio Week according to the tide; it is not unknown for the lifeboat station to be under a couple feet of sea water on high tides.
The station has be operated every year since 2010, but sadly we were unable to run the station in 2015; we do hope to be back in 2016.
One of our young members normally braves the cold of this seafront location in January to run a collection which can usually raise several tens of pounds on the day itself. Other money is raised by members of the club through sponsorship from friends and family.
Lytham St. Annes is a bit of an anomaly in that it is actually two towns that have grown together and it has two distinct lifeboat stations – though they are both run by the same team and are known collectively as the Lytham St. Annes Lifeboat Station.
The inshore lifeboat, Sally, is a D class boat and is small and manoeuvrable boat, ideal for rescues in the ever changing Ribble Estuary. It is located at the Lytham lifeboat station and is where we were operating from.
The ‘big’ boat is a carriage-launched Mersey class boat and is capable of working off-shore up to 140 miles from base. Named after the Duke of Lancaster, Her Majesty the Queen is located at the St. Annes lifeboat station 12m long and capable of speeding along at 17 knots.
The station has a proud history, receiving its first boat at Lytham in 1851. The Clifton was provided by the fore-runner of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariner’s Society.
In 1854 the station was taken over the RNLI in 1854. However, it wasn’t until 1881 that a lifeboat station was established at St. Annes.
The worst disaster in lifeboat history involved both the Lytham and St. Annes lifeboats, together with the Southport Lifeboat (then an RNLI station, it is now an independent station). It unfolded on the night of the 9th December 1886 when the German barque Mexico ran aground off Southport. Both the Southport & St. Annes lifeboats were lost, along with twenty seven crew members – just two survived the Mexico disaster. The Lytham lifeboat managed to rescue the Mexico’s crew of twelve and returned safely to shore.
The Ribble estuary is constantly changing and in 1925 the St. Annes lifeboat station was closed in 1925 due the severe silting of the channel. It would be 2003 before St. Annes would see another active lifeboat station on it’s shores.
In 1931 the Lytham lifeboat station was renamed Lytham St. Annes Lifeboat Station after joining with the St. Annes Branch.
A new boathouse was built at Lytham in 1960 and an inshore lifeboat was stationed there from 1967, as an addition to the existing boat that was moored afloat in the channel.
1999 saw the ‘big’ lifeboat change from being moored to being carriage launched and stored on the foreshaw. It was transferred indoors at the new St. Annes lifeboat station in 2003 whilst the inshore lifeboat remained at Lytham.
To-date the station has received three Framed Letters of Thanks, six Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum, five Bronze Medals and four Silver Medals.
Further information can be found on the Royal National Lifeboat Institution web site.
The Park Praise Fun Day has run every other year since 2008 and, in 2014, takes place on Saturday the 28th June. The event takes place in Ormskirk’s Coronation Park and the Southport & District Amateur Radio Club will once again be operating a special event station using the callsign GB5PPF.
Fun Day Activities
Organised by Churches Together in Ormskirk, there is a programme of music, puppets, drama and other items at the Bandstand throughout the day with local schools and youth groups. Arranged around the bandstand there will be a wide range of stands and attractions appealing to all ages including; the North & West Wales Christian Motorcycle Association, bouncy castle, large inflatable slide, kid’s train ride, go-karts, climbing wall, donkey rides, a secure play area for the young ones, face painting, craft activities and punch balloons. Also in attendance are organisations such as the Lancashire Police Force, Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service and the Red Cross. There will also be plenty of refreshments available and a free barbeque.
View our 2014 GB5PPF gallery.
Free Radio Controlled Treasure Hunt
New for 2014, the Southport & District Amateur Radio Club will be offered youngsters a free radio controlled treasure hunt. Children accompanied by a parent/guardian will be able to take part and they will each receive a hand-held radio for the event, just like those used by the Police and Army.
Free prize for everyone that takes part
They’ll be given an initial clue to find the first post along the trail and they’ll be able to use the radio to get additional clues if they can’t find it. Once they’ve found the first post they’ll radio in the code back to ‘HQ’ and be given another clue to find the second, third and fourth posts. Once they’ve found all their posts they’ll return to ‘HQ’ to get their free prize.
Free prize draw
Everyone that takes part will be entered into a prize draw for a superb electronics kit that enables youngsters to experiment safely with electronics to build all sorts of wonderful projects and devices.
Sponsored by Icom and RSM Air Conditioning
The prizes that all participants will receive for taking part in the Radio Controlled Treasure Hunt have been very kindly supplied by Icom and RSM Air Conditioning. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them very much for their continued support of our club and its activities.
Build a radio
Another activity that we’ll be holding is a ‘Build a radio’ event using a simple electronics kit, just like we’re offering as a prize draw for our Radio Controlled Treasure Hunt. This will enable children to see how simple it is to build your own equipment and hopefully generate some enthusiasm in the wonderful world of listening in to radio around the world.
Help needed from SADARC members
This is a great opportunity to present Amateur Radio to the populous of Ormskirk, being so close to the main shopping area and car parks on a busy Saturday, which is of course also Market Day. We’ll need lots of help setting up the station and the activities, operating it during the day and then packing away in the evening. We’d also like the stand to manned by folk who can talk to people about what we do and promote our hobby.
Please register your attendance
If you can help, please register your attendance on our new event manager web site where you’ll also find further details of the event; start times, map for the location of the event, etc.
Free parking for members taking part
Parking in Ormskirk on a Saturday can be a bit difficult at the best of times, not to mention expensive for a whole day. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank St. Annes School for offering us free parking for the day, though you will need a special pass, obtainable when you register your attendance. Parking is limited to the first ten people to request a pass.
Further information about this event can be obtained from our Special Events Manager.
Special event calendar
Below are the special event stations we will be running this year…
Special event station documentation
To run a special event station with a special callsgn for the event you will need to download OfW287 from the Ofcom web site, fill it and send it off to them at least 28 days prior to the event.
Insurance, health and safety and child protection
For information about our insurance, health and safety and child protection policies please view our Legal Documentation page.
For more information, please contact our Special Events Manager.