Friday 1st June 2018
Gig: The Ragdolls
Venue: The Octagon (Penningtons), Keighley
It was not difficult to work out what summit I would activate on the way to a gig in Keighley. Nor was it difficult to work out which mate to suggest a joint activation to! Despite the last-minute Facebook message, Colin M1BUU was available and arranged to meet me at the parking spot at the end of the driveable section of Ilkley Road. I was rather cross with myself, as I had intended to play with FT8 on my activations away from home - but I left the bag with Windows 10 tablet, ZLP MiniProSC interface and cables in my shack!
Nonetheless, I still fancied some 6m, even though it wouldnít be 6m FT8, so packed the SOTAbeams SB6 and guying kit. Colin and I made the short walk along the flagged path to the trig point. Colin was operating CW on 20m and 30m, although finding the QSO rate very slow. Not as slow as I was finding it on 6m though! In contrast to recent days, the band was dead - or was it that I was not using FT8? Anyway, I did eventually manage one QSO - with Terry G4AFS in Bingley!
The other three QSOs for the qualification came on 2m FM courtesy of my Yaesu FT70D handheld. And with that, it was time to pack up, descend, and check-in at the youth hostel. Cheap accommodation is an issue when touring, but on this occasion I had a bed at Haworth YHA - much more pleasant than most guest houses and motels, and much cheaper at only £10 for the night. They did have a doors-locked-at-11pm policy though - potentially not compatible with a typical gig - but this just meant I needed to check-in at teatime and make sure I had the door code to get back in later.
Finally, it was down to the Octagon venue for set-up and soundcheck, and the show. It was my second time working with The Ragdolls, which is a show in tribute to Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. This is a gig I enjoy greatly as the music is lovely to play and hear, and songs like Letís Hang On, Working My Way Back To You and December 1963 have cracking basslines. The following morning I would head up to Sharp Haw G/NP-029 before continuing East for the next gig.
Saturday 29th September 2018 - Gun G/SP-013, The Cloud G/SP-015 & Rombalds Moor G/NP-028
Gig: Motown Gold
Venue: Larkfields, Pudsey, Leeds
It was an unusually early 3pm soundcheck for the wedding gig with Motown Gold in Pudsey, Leeds. I was clear of that by 4pm and faced with four hours to kill. The agenda was obvious - check into the youth hostel at Haworth to make sure I had the night code to get back in after my gig, then activate Rombalds Moor G/NP-028.
The parking area is just about within the AZ, but I like my exercise, so I walked the half a mile or so, mainly flat flagged path to the trig point. This actually is quite a tricky summit for 2m FM, especially with a handheld, so I was perfectly content with my haul of two contacts! I tried calling a few more times on my return walk to the car. Tony G4DEE/M did call me as he drove past Huddersfield on the M62. We didnít complete though, and I can only assume he was travelling westbound and had commenced the descent towards Manchester.
The gig was great - a big posh wedding at a big posh private residence. Good band, good musicians and great classic Motown tunes! It was a bit of a drive back to Bronte country after the gig. My bottom bunk at the YHA was very comfortable and I had a great nightís sleep ahead of a walk up Ingleborough G/NP-005 the following morning.