Wednesday 9th October 2019 - Dundry Down G/SC-010 & Beacon Batch G/SC-003
Gig: 60s Gold - The Mindbenders & Steve Ellis
Venue: Fairfield Halls, Croydon
From Dundry Down G/SC-010, I drove to the cul-de-sac East of the summit of Beacon Batch, and parked beside the transmitter compound. I figured this would be a short and quick approach with not much ascent. However, it was not that simple.
It had been a very wet morning, and this narrow path between high hedgerows had turned into a deep stream. I tried to straddle or skirt around it the best I could, but it was tricky and I soon got wet feet. The further I progressed, the deeper, wider and faster-flowing the stream became! I passed a stile to a grassy field to the left and wondered if that might offer easier progress, but not know if it could be exited further up, I ignored it. Turned out, there was another gate onto the common, so I made a mental note to return that way.
Once I got out onto the common, things became a little easier, but certainly not trivial. Once I'd passed the worst of the floods, I could now see a large group of wild ponies congregated at the trig point. They slowly moved away as I approached. I enjoyed a very quick activated with the 2m FM handheld, with four QSOs in just six minutes. This was an excellent result, and I could get on my way to the theatre.
I arrived at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, signed in at the Artists' Entrance, and followed the signs to the stage and dressing rooms. I met the bandleader/keys player Tony, drummer Andy and guitarist John and started to set up my stuff. I was then introduced to Steve Ellis (formerly of the Love Affair) who was a really nice bloke and went off to make me a coffee. After soundcheck, we went off to catering where a small buffet had been prepared for bands and crew. I tucked in before doing the traditional thing of going off to find a Wetherspoons with the other musicians.
Drinking beer in 'Spoons with the Mindbenders and the Merseybeats was a new - and pleasant experience! Later on, the two sets - one with the Mindbenders, and one with Steve Ellis - both went well, and my own work for the night was done by 8.15pm! I took the opportunity to get straight on the road to Folkestone, where I had theatre digs booked for a couple of nights. The next day I would seize the opportunity to get out on the South Downs, starting with Firle Beacon G/SE-010.