UKARA SPRING SOCIAL
The meeting was due to be held in Cardiff on Saturday 25th April
but had to be cancelled due to the Corona Virus.
The weekend started well for Richard and I, as we settled in to our hotel, a mere ten minutes drive from the Yacht Club. I know the Welsh contingent were in a hotel in the opposite direction – about 20 minutes away.
I have to be honest and say that we had a good dinner and then retired, after a longish day.
On Friday morning, following a good breakfast we set off and found the yacht club easily. Having managed to get as far as the room we had been given, without the crate in which the tape recorders were, falling to pieces, we were greeted by Keith and Gwen and the Welsh contingent. The crate did then fall apart.
Shortly we were joined by Steve B-W and Dan, also Paul and Margaret Reeve.
Keith and Ken wrestled with the technicalities of the kit, whilst Gwen issued coffee, tea and biscuits.
The morning was refreshing in its laid back lack of timing and rush. Keith introduced the programme and then Peta gave details so far about the Autumn meeting and AGM – see later.
We then had a selection of ‘old’ recordings and some comparison recordings from more recent times. Keith showed his expertise in editing with a piece he had made for Soundtrack many years ago. Ken had brought a recording of the Cardiff Military Tattoo.
Richard gave a potted history of how Hospital Radio in Oxford had changed, including references to the portable tape recorders brought in the now deceased crate.
After more coffee, Peter showed a video of how the recording of the Military tattoo had been made. It makes you remember how hard these things were before the advent of transistorised and digital recording gear. It is a good thing we were all younger and able to carry the kit up many sets of stairs.
Shortly we set off for Shoreham Airport, where we were told a little of the history of the airport and then expertly guided on a tour of one of the hangars. Here we were fortunate to meet the owner of a Chipmunk who was only too happy to talk to us about it. We also had to wait whilst a small helicopter took off because there was no way we could have been heard otherwise.
Back to the ‘terminal building’ which is frequently used as a film set, having been unchanged since it was built in a wonderful Art Deco style. Inside, it was the same too and very elegant. A brief encounter with Ken Alwyn – now in his 90’s, who we all remember from Friday night is Music Night -was an added bonus.
A quick look at the fire station and it was back to the Yacht Club for a splendid lunch. A super array of sandwiches, chips, samosas, fish things and chicken bits, dips and other oddments. There was plenty, we all ate our fill and then took some away. The table looked as if it hadn’t been touched.
Back to our meeting and we viewed a couple of videos from Cardiff and a recent recording of a swing band by Richard.
Thanks to Keith and Gwen for looking after us. It was a very enjoyable day, more relaxed than some of our other events and really enjoyable for that.
A report of the 2018 Spring Meeting
Saturday April 14th
SEVERN VALLEY RAILWAY ENGINE HOUSE AND EDUCATION CENTRE
Station Road, Highley WV16 6NZ