Chapter 5 - A New Home in Roxeth (1976-1977)
Eventually, in the Summer of 1976, contact was made with the Harrow Community Youth Centre and the agreement for the Society to use the Roxeth Community Centre was confirmed at a meeting with their youth leader in October. As a result the Club vacated the Sea Cadets premises and had its first meeting at the new venue on 5th November 1976. So at least we started off with a bang! This community centre is not easy to find being east of the old section of Rayners Lane and close to the South Harrow railway arches.
The Committee at the time were: President Bill Corsham G2UV, Chairman Don Nappin G3MLS, Secretary Les Light G3KDL, Treasurer Geoff Hodges G3KRT and members Derek Morris G3LSY, Jim Barfoot G8BJO, Rene Espiau then BRS 85277, Ken Maplesden G4EMZ also Newsletter Editor and Reg Rubins G4HAB. The Club journal had been kept going by its valiant Editor Ken G4EMZ, but had become most times a single sheet owing to lack of copy and production problems. However it was circulated monthly on a fairly regular basis throughout 1976 and 1977, containing the Programme for a couple of months ahead and any interesting news and a technical article by a member if available.
The year 1976 was the 30th anniversary of the Club's formation and a dinner was organised on a informal basis at the Master Brewer, Hillingdon where about 25 members enjoyed a pleasant evening. Since then a Club dinner has been held most years mostly in November or December.
Also in 1976, the Club Digital Frequency Meter was designed by Peter Johnson G8EIM and Steve Farrow G8IWY and a good number were built by members. It was an excellent piece of measuring gear. .
The premises still were not really to our liking, being somewhat large and rambling. We had the use of the large hall, a committee room and a small coffee bar for a very nominal rental which was raised by the members attending on the night. Tea, coffee and soft drinks were available at the tiny bar on most nights on a DIY basis. A group of members used to meet at a local hostelry after the meeting finished to down a pint or two. The first construction contest at the new premises was held in November was won by Gary Shipton G4CRG with a morse code to video converter.
In 1976 and 1977 the Club put on a stand at the Leisure for Pleasure Exhibition at Harrow Leisure Centre on behalf of the Harrow Association for Voluntary service. In the first year, a demonstration of Amateur TV was given, the transmissions coming from Peter, G8EIM's residence in Wealdstone assisted by Club members and Peter's family. In 1977, a closed circuit TV system was in operation on the stand with a 'video writer'. This was some years before the home micro became generally available on an affordable basis. The Harrow Observer were impressed by this and in due course the Society became newsworthy and the subject of an article in the paper, with photographs taken at the Community Centre. We also appeared at the 1977 Harrow Show, organised by Mike G4FBK and Chris G4AUF.
Uncle Vic G2UV, one of the founder members and pioneer of the QSL card, was appointed an Honorary Member at the AGM in 1977, a well deserved honour. The Club had a stand at the RSGB Alexandra Palace exhibition in April of that year. This was before the fire which destroyed the Great Hall. Thanks go to Don G3MLS who had obtained many low voltage power supplies which were sold at the exhibition to the great benefit of the Club's finances.