International museums on the air 2012

A few of the operators, Andrew, Ian, David & Ron.
Operators, Andrew, Ian, David & Ron.

GB2SMM was the callsign we used on Saturday 23rd June 2012 when the Hilderstone Amateur Radio & Electronics Club operated from the ex RAF base at Manston (Map reference: TR 333665 Lat: 51.35012 Long: 1.34947). Many other enthusiasts from around the world took part on this International Museum’s on the air weekend.

John (G7SXJ) very kindly

The 'truck' alongside the museum setting up.
The ‘truck’ alongside the museum setting up.

came along with his truck, with the kind permission from the museum we were allowed to park up next to the Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum itself. Once all setup, a quick check with the air traffic control to confirm we were not causing any interference, we were transmitting. Then the sound heard many times through history attracted visitors over to us ‘CQ CQ CQ’. Although the bands were quite noisy we made some good contacts, even with other stations participating in the event.

Ron lends a hand while Ian hangs the wire.
Ron lends a hand while Ian hangs the wire.

During the first ‘International Museums Event 2002’ over 80 museums from all over the world took part. The museums varied from tiny local village museums manned by a single lone operator, to some of the worlds most prestigious ones. These were accompanied by a great number of military museum sites, such as HMS Belfast in London, the Battleship New Jersey in the US, RAF museums as well as very many non-military types.