Friday 11th October 2019 - Cheriton Hill G/SE-015 & Cliffe Hill G/SE-014
Gig: Simon Faulkner Band
Venue: Tom Brown's Brasserie, Gunthorpe
From Cheriton Hill G/SE-015, it was quite a detour to take in Cliffe Hill before heading across London and up to the East Midlands. But I couldn't resist. Neither could I resist phoning in to Nicky Campbell's "Your Call" show on BBC Radio 5 Live and talking about Liam's radio show - Late Night Liam - on Canalside Radio 102.8 FM - which was relevant to the discussion topic of the morning. I parked at TQ449110, opposite the track called "Week Lane", which I walked up and onto the hill.
Cliffe Hill has never been a particular favourite of mine. I studied the map in detail - I now had the OS Maps app on my iPhone, and subscribed to the paid-for service (good VFM @ £2.99 per month) for the addition of the 1:25000 and 1:50000 Leisure maps. I found that I could take the PROW up to the golf course boundary, but then follow the fence around to the left, staying out of the golf course, but still getting to a suitable point within the AZ, about 10-15m lower than the true summit.
The only thing was that this point only had small areas flanked by aggressive gorse bushes, and most of the areas between had been used as a "convenience" by cattle. So for the second time in the day, finding somewhere to sit, and set the aerial up without getting dirty / injured / ill was something of a challenge! It took far too long to actually achieve this, which was not good in sudden heavy rain.
The rain intensified as I started calling CQ on 30m CW. Fortunately, four minutes was all that was needed to make seven QSOs. With one unaswered QRZ? call, I needed no further encouragement to get packed up and down to my car. It was a good job I didn't hang around. It took me hours and hours to drive across London. My satnav insisted I cut across through Ealing and Twickenham, but surely it couldn't have been any worse if I'd had stayed on the M25 - could it?
Just as I finally got going again, and appearing to escape the clutches of London, the M1 ground to a halt and I was delayed a further hour until I got past the scene of a very nasty looking multi-vehicle road accident. I was still at the gig venue in time for soundcheck, and it was another great gig with the Simon Faulkner Band. I managed to get home, after a couple of roadside naps, around 3.30am, enough for 4.5 hours sleep before my next visit to The Cloud G/SP-015!