Hi there, Andrew,
This post is going to be
but it is my thread, after all!!
I'm sure decades ago I used to go to 'radio rallies' at Hornchurch ARC
I got the name of the club wrong - ancient grey cells!!! It was/is actually Havering & District Amateur Radio Club. I joined in 1980 and left in about 1995, shortly before I moved out of the district. The 'London Borough of Havering' comprises Romford, Hornchurch, Upminster and Rainham. After the borough was formed it was named after the tiny village of Havering, presumably to avoid bickering between the merged councils. Henry VIII had a hunting lodge at Havering, some refer to it as a palace, and Queen Elizabeth the First is supposed to have spent some of her childhood years there. Havering is at the top of a hill (yes, there ARE hills in Essex) and it was apparently possible to see the sails of ships on the River Thames from the brink of the hill.
In my time, H&DARC didn't actually hold rallies but we regularly used to visit rallies at Chelmsford, Canvey Island and Colchester. Some of us were regular visitors to the VHF Convention that used to be held at Sandown Race Course. One of the club members was a bus driver and could hire a bus for a very friendly price. This facility often helped club members to attend other rallies at more distant venues such as Longleat. I am now faced with the downside of attending all those rallies (with their flea markets) i.e. the burden of trying to constructively dispose of all the techno-jumble that I bought but never used.
If anyone disputes my claim that there are hills in Essex, they should visit the site of the one time GPO Radio Station on the Epping Upland, overlooking North Weald. I understand that the antennas have now gone but there is also a Palmerston Fort on the same site. A few miles further to the East is 'Toot Hill' - the word 'toot' is Old English for 'look out' or 'lookout'. Hence its use by Mr. Toad of Toad Hall while careering about in his motor car!