History of the club
Riviera Amateur Radio Club was formed in January 2012 and is based in Torbay, Devon, England – also known as the English Riviera.
A conversation on 2m (about vintage QSL cards) led to Alan G2DXU and Paul M0PCZ inviting some local hams (some new to the hobby, some experienced) to meet for tea and a radio chat at G2DXU’s QTH.
A week after the original conversation six amateurs met and discussed the hobby and other subjects of interest. The six were Alan G2DXU, Paul M0PCZ, Ken G3SDW, Steve G6UIM, Denis M6AYK and Dave M6DPG. Also invited was Dan M6DXG.
G2DXU and M0PCZ considered starting an informal group so that hams, new and old, could carry out radio related activities together. The idea later developed into forming a Club. The main advantages were that this allowed us to register a club callsign for all to use and also to become affiliated to the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) – RSGB membership has the added bonus of Public Liability Insurance cover included for Special Event Stations etc. In fact it later became an urgent necessity when the group decided to take part in its first event, the SOS Radio Week, at the end of January.
On 2nd January 2012, at the invitation of G2DXU and M0PCZ, the group met again and a list of aims and objectives was proposed to those present, now numbering eleven hams, who were then invited to ‘join’ and form a club for carrying out those objectives. All eleven present decided to join. In the discussion that followed, Ted G7UGT suggested the name ‘Riviera’ and it was agreed to name the group the Riviera Amateur Radio Club. Original members numbered 12 (11 of which had been present). The membership reached 16 by the time the members met again and elected officials to the Committee.
* We jokingly referred to operating portable/outdoors as ‘DXpeditions’, when we really meant field days. [Corrected by Alan G2DXU]
Additionally, it was decided that the Club was to become affiliated to the RSGB and that members would begin to seek a venue for future meetings.
The Club website was launched in early January. The Club logo was designed by Alan G2DXU. Accounts were set up on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Riviera ARC can also be found on Google+. RARC have an account at CQFriends.com.
The members decided to meet fortnightly on Wednesdays. The Club net was introduced on the alternate Wednesdays on 145.425 MHz FM at 20:00, hosted by Dave G4OTU. The net later became a regular weekly event when club meetings were moved to Mondays. The members agreed that the net would be open to members and non-members alike, whether local or visiting the area.
The Treasurer Paul M0PCZ and Chairman Hugh 2E0HOO opened the Riviera ARC bank account and Paypal and eBay accounts were set up.
21-29 – GB4TBL – Special event station for SOS Radio Week raising awareness of the work of the RNLI.
Soon after the club formed, Alan G2DXU put forward the idea of taking part in SOS Radio Week (21st to 29th January 2012) in aid of the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and registered the Special Event Station callsign GB4TBL ‘GB 4 TorBay Lifeboat’. Riviera ARC operated the callsign at Beacon Quay, Torquay harbour during RNLI Torbay‘s fund-raising events for SOS Day, the RNLI’s main fundraising event of the year.
Following enquiries made by Paul M0PCZ, the group had its first meeting at 10th Torbay Sea Scouts HQ at Babbacombe Road, Torquay. Paul M0PCZ negotiated the required permission and approval to erect antennas at the club and these were duly granted by Torbay Council. The club began meeting fortnightly on Monday evenings.
With funds raised from equipment donated by members, the club was able to purchase its first HF radio transceiver – an Icom IC-735. A colinear donated by Ken G3SDW and a fan dipole built by Paul M0PCZ were put up at the club HQ.
Members began holding informal meetings at Gallows Gate on Mondays when there was no Club meeting at Babbacombe. This gave members a chance to try portable and mobile equipment together and use the Club callsign regularly.
Polo shirts with embroidered logo, name and callsign were made available for members.
7 – Airfields on the Air (AOTA) – RARC took part in RAFARS‘ Airfields On The Air (AOTA), ‘activating’ the former WW2 airfield Haldon Aerodrome at Haldon Moor with the club callsign MX0RIV.
Riviera ARC took part in the Diamond Jubilee QSO Party with NoV callsign MQ0RIV.
Riviera ARC took part in the Diamond Jubilee QSO Party with NoV callsign MQ0RIV.
The club became affiliated to the Royal Air Force Amateur Radio Society (RAFARS).
The new club callsign GX3AH was licensed on 21st June. G3AH was originally assigned to John Wightman in November 1937. John has lived in New Zealand since 1950 and is now ZL1AH.
22 – Members of the club operated a portable station near Haytor, Dartmoor using the callsign GX3AH almost 75 years after the original callsign G3AH was assigned.
22 – John D. Wightman ZL1AH was made an Honorary Life Member of the Riviera Amateur Radio Club.
14 – Some of RARC’s members volunteered as part of South Devon RAYNET to provide communications for the Newton Abbot Carnival.
19-20 – Riviera ARC operated a portable radio station at Brixham in support of RNLI Torbay’s Lifeboat Week 2012 on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th July.
21 – Some of RARC’s members volunteered as part of South Devon RAYNET to provide communications for the Rowcroft Sleep Walk 2012 on Saturday 21st July, in which about 2,000 ladies took part in a sponsored walk in Torbay.
21-31 – The club used the special callsign MO0RIV/GO3AH to commemorate the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics (21 July 2012 to 9 September 2012)
1-30 – The club operated the special callsigns MO0RIV/GO3AH to commemorate the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics (21 July 2012 to 9 September 2012)
4 – Riviera ARC operated the SES callsign GB4TSF at Torbay Steam Fair.
1-9 – The club used the special callsigns MO0RIV/GO3AH to commemorate the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics (21 July 2012 to 9 September 2012)
22-23 – GB4LBR special event callsign for Railways on the Air at Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, Woody Bay, North Devon.
15 – The first AGM took place.
15 – Club members assisted 10th (Torbay) Sea Scouts with obtaining their Radio Communicators Badge at the scout hall. [Pt 1/2]
29 – GX3AH callsign 75 years old. Riviera ARC members worked the callsign from Gallows Gate, Torquay to commemorate 75 years since first registration.
04 – Members met at the Precinct Centre, St Marychurch, Torquay as an alternative to the usual outdoor radio evenings.
06 – Club members assisted 10th (Torbay) Sea Scouts with obtaining their Radio Communicators Badge at the scout hall. [Pt 2/2]
10 – The Riviera ARC Xmas Party took place at the Sea Scouts HQ. This was to be the final meeting of the year and it was announced that it would be the final meeting at the venue. Riviera ARC will meet at the precinct Centre at St Marychurch in future.
02 – Riviera ARC celebrates its first ‘birthday’ on 2nd January 2013.
08 – The club begins regular weekly meetings on Tuesdays at the Precinct Centre, St Marychurch, Torquay.
Riviera ARC has RSGB-registered assessors and exam centre.
30 – GB4ZOO – Riviera ARC run the first amateur radio station at Paignton Zoo to mark the zoo’s 90th anniversary at Easter weekend.
1 – Riviera ARC operated the RGSB Centenary callsign G100RSGB.
19 – Riviera ARC operated the RGSB Centenary callsign G100RSGB.
25 – GB4ZOO – Riviera ARC took part in Zoos on the Air (ZOTA) from Paignton Zoo.
30 – RARC assist a Scout group with the Communicator Activity Badge.
2-3-4 – Torbay Steam Fair
6 – Rowcroft Hospice’s The Colour Rush [RAYNET]
28-29 – Railways on the Air (ROTA)
– SOS Radio Week
– RAFARS Airfields on the Air – GB4AOA
– Field Day
– Armed Forces Day – GB8AFD
– Torbay Steam Fair GB6TSF
2 – Riviera ARC is 3 years old
– SOS Radio Week – GB4TLB operated from the club base at the Acorn Centre
19 – RARC named winners of the RSGB Club of the Year Region 11 (Small ClubSection) 2014
28 – Airfields on the Air – GB4AOA
27 – Armed Forces Day – GB8AFD
31 – Torbay Steam Fair
1 – Torbay Steam Fair
15 – International Lighthouse Weekend – Berry Head, Brixham
15 – Battle of Britain 75th Anniversary GB8BB
26-27 – Railways on the Air (ROTA) GB4BCR