More than just a Ham radio blog. CQHQis an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
RSGB National Amateur Radio Centre (The Big Green Shed)
Are you a member of the Radio Society of Great Britain? Wondering where you subscriptions are going? Well you may be glad to know not all of it has been fiddled on unauthorised expenses or gone to pay off the interest on the ex-general manager's credit card bill. No some of it has been poured in to what appears to be a money pit called the RSGB National Amateur Radio Centre. From what I gather the story goes something like this... RSGB is offered one of the many 'huts' at Bletchley Park in which to establish a National Amateur Radio Centre. The centre would be a show piece for the hobby and offer a great opportunity to introduce the ham radio to the general public. I am sure we would all back the thinking behind this, however after much effort and not a little expenditure it was found that the hut our national society had been offered was 'beyond economical repair'. Not wanting to retreat from their announcements of a wonderful new facility or miss the chance of a foothold in the now legendary Bletchley Park RSGB decided to replace the hut with there own building. Probably because of planning constraints the building had to be in keeping with the style of the surrounding huts, despite the fact that most of them are in such a bad state of repair that they will probably not still be standing in another couple of years. So instead of getting a building for next to nothing or building something more substantial RSGB paid a couple of hundred thousand pounds on a shed. Having seen the building prior to painting it seems a terrible shame that it had to be painted that yucky green to match the other huts but we cannot blame RSGB for the vomit inducing colour, however a nice coat of yacht varnish would have gone down a treat. What really gets my goat about this new centre is not the insane price of the 'shed' but the fact that it was scheduled to open in April 2010 and from what I saw through the dusty windows it is still an empty shell twelve months down the line. The money has been spent, there is no going back on that, but for Pete's sake (that is a metaphorical expression, I don't mean Mr Kirby) let's get the place open and start attracting in the visitors to Bletchley Park and maybe some new blood in to the hobby. Okay I am a little miffed that I planned this trip six months ago and they still had not got it open when I got there, but a lot of us have been asking questions about why it is taking so long. In a more tongue in cheek thought surely the RSGB would have wanted to have got away from the giving the impression that all radio hams are shed dwellers.