WEST MANCHESTER RADIO CLUB. A BRIEF HISTORY. 1981 –
In the spring of 1981, the late Jack Williams, G4MRM, a businessman from Lowton, and Don Aitchison, G3BSA, (Club President until his death in 2008), had an article published in the Leigh Journal, calling for anyone interested in forming a radio club in the area to attend a meeting at Howe Bridge Leisure Centre, Atherton. The response was excellent and a Steering Committee was formed during the meeting. Among those attending were present members Jerry Coupe, Les Jackson, Ron Ainsworth, and, our current Chairman, Steve Daniels, to name but a few.
A constitution was drawn up. The club was to be known as the West Manchester Radio Club and its emblem would be based on the red rose of Lancashire.
Several more meetings were held at the centre and the callsigns G6FSA, and later, G4MWC (Manchester West Club) were obtained.
A more suitable venue was sought, resulting in the Club transferring its meetings to the Scout HQ in Shuttle Street, Tyldesley. As membership numbers grew rapidly, the club later moved to its current location, the Astley and Tyldesley Miners Welfare Club, in Gin Pit Village, Tyldesley. Three fine shacks were established in the loft area at the club, one a dedicated packet radio shack, and even a small QRP area.
In the early 1980’s the low power and construction section was formed and for the decade which followed, we add an additional station at the premises of Atherton Youth Concern, in Devonshire Road, Atherton, with the callsigns G7AYC and G0MWC. Our club supported this voluntary youth organisation until its closure.
Many construction classes and successful events were held at these premises, including our first National Field Day contest and our clubs contribution to the annual event, “European Youth Clubs Day.” The club was actively engaged in training Scouts for the communicators badge and in assisting towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
As fire safety regulations changed, we were forced to vacate the loft space and established our current radio shack at the side of the Club building.
The Club celebrated its silver jubilee in 2006, and enjoys a membership of around 100. We continue to support local charities, in particular, helping to raise money for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, and we retain close links with our local scout group.
The club is registered as an R.S.G.B. satellite examination centre enabling us to provide training and examination facilities at all three levels.
Annual activities include sponsored trips, special events, rallies, construction competitions, auctions, fox-hunt, barbeque, pie and peas nights, quizzes, guest speakers, even a bowls tournament.
After his death in 2008, the family of our lifelong President, Don Aitchison, expressed a wish that the club he loved adopt his callsign G3BSA. We were honoured to be asked, and with the cooperation of the licencing authority, we have proudly added it to our club calls