Bill asked me to fill in for him at short notice and I thought let's make a difference from the normal area all expect me to be in. So search of Google maps came up with the Sutton Courtney area and several sites looked interesting and I invited Bill to come along and have a look.
So the Saturday before we looked at the area and it was a great help as Bill said we had an event here and there in the past, until we spotted the WW2 pill box in the trees. I climbed on top and Bill said keep your head down they wonít see you, so it was decided thatís it, now how to get down safely!
The event was nearly a non-starter with senior moments in the day (not saying anything more) so the wire went up late and there was not enough time before or between the 1st and 2nd signal to move the car to the pub, the George & Dragon in Sutton Courtney, to see if any teams would come in from the south over the bridges and weirs.
The wire was strung along the tree line away from the Thames Path, short end NE and the SW section down to a wire fence enclosing a new tree growing area.
I heard/saw Alan Simmons passing the pill box without looking, making towards the River Thames and the Water Power Generation System. Following a signal the teams scratched around the Pill Box and Justin scrambling up the tree onto the roof, with some other saying ďIím not climbing up there!!!!!Ē (they werenít the last to say that).
Tokens handed over and clocked in, the second wave hit with words like ďthe body on the roof is movingĒ followed by Peter Lisle getting to the top.
Roger Shepherd climbed the tree to get in and slipped away with the others who were testing out radios and signal strengths. Final teams of stragglers were given the helping hand of a pull string to hand their tokens in and they helped me hand the TX down safely and carry it back to the car.
The report on strange received signals was interesting at the chat back at the pub and it lead some astray, but thatís DF.
Iím pleased there was a signal at the start, 23km away, and all teams made it to the hidden station.
There's a plan of the area here.
A fairly weak and skywavy signal at the start, I got 269 deg., so I basically drove west without plotting it.
Not wanting to drive too far as I have been prone to doing I stopped about 1/3 mile short of Golden Balls on the B4105 for the 8pm. This area I remember from previous DF's is extremely noisy and I can only assume it is generated at the National Grid sub station about 2 miles to the north. The signal was hard to pick out and I had to estimate the null, my bearing passing about 1km to the north of the TX site. I decided on the car park by the river/canal cut at Culham and managed to get there in time for the next transmission at 8:15pm. Alan also turned up there which I interpreted as a good thing! The signal was pretty strong and a sharp null to the SW of 230 deg said the TX was probably located down by the weir. After mulling options, decided to run from the car park rather than drive to the south access in Sutton Courtney. Both Alan and I arrived at the weir (without seeing the wire in the hedge!) by 8:30pm and the signal came up. My set said NE along the river bank!, so a dash along a faint track in that direction followed, and within about 200 yards the set did a sharp turn to the right. The sense said it was behind in the hedgerow by the main path. So I dashed back and up the path, I saw Alan was going into the hedge at the south end, but I continued up a bit further to where I thought my set had pointed from the other side if the field. It was easy enough to find the wire, but I was not finding the operator. Steve Stone had also arrived at this point. We were all milling about looking in likely hiding places when I heard Alan remark "I can smell him!" I made my way over to the pill box, having already looked inside and tripped over an old bit of fence wire! The suspicion was that the operator was on the roof of the pill box, so with nothing to loose I decide I should be the first one up there to find out!
Thanks to Min for running a very enjoyable DF, on a nice fine evening!
|Competitor||Time||Adj. Time||Time Diff.||Score||Bill North|