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The Telford Rally was organised and run by two Shropshire Amateur Radio Societies, "TDARS" Telford & District Amateur Radio Society and "SARS" Salop Amateur Radio Society. The very first Telford Rally took place in 1978, when Telford was a new town. The very first rally was held in the shiny new shopping centre before the days of Sunday opening. It was then, as now, very successful.
We moved from the town centre to the Telford International Centre in the early 80s, when it was known as the Telford Racquet Centre. Incidentally we were the very first "exhibition" to be held at that centre. In 1999, because of the continuing rise in costs at the TIC, it was decided to look for an alternative venue, which turned out to be at the RAF Museum site at Cosford in 2000.
This was a popular venue for 5 years, but unfortunately, extensive building work was started in 2005, with an enforced admissions policy which has prevented us reconsidering this as a venue for future exhibitions.
In 2005 we found an alternative location - West Midlands Show Ground. It was an attractive venue, all on ground level, and on the edge of open countryside. A pleasant place for a day out close to the Historic town of Shrewsbury, but it turned out to not be financially viable for the future.
Other difficulties arose around that time. As a direct result, the Committee had no choice but to abandon the 29th Telford Rally in its old form and formally close the group.
Following the demise of the 2006 Telford Radio Rally, Telford & District A.R.S. organised an alternative event at Enginuity, picking up where we left off for the next 16 years.
After careful local research, the decision was made in late 2018 to move location to Harper Adams University near Newport - just north of Telford. The details provided at this website outline its advantages, whilst remaining true to our core values:
- A real Radio Event - with the best traders attending
- A real family event - Somewhere you can bring the kids and have fun before or after the rally
- A true Hamfest Event where people can participate and learn about other aspects of Amateur Radio
2009 also saw us introduce our first lecture stream. Each year a well respected speaker gave a topical presentation. This aspect has grown ever since. For example, in 2017 we had three speakers covering a range of topics covering low frequency activities (Dave, G3YXM), operating from DX locations with QRP (Dom, M1KTA), and the rather cryptic titled The Little Rigs that Could. (Paul M0XPD).
We want to support the grass roots Radio Amateurs in the local area and beyond and believe that there is still a need for regional events like this. Do You?
The move to Harper Adams Uni in 2019 was a great success, providing an extensive and modern venue to suit all needs. The 2020 was cancelled (Covid-19), but we returned in 2021 and 2023, and have booked again this year (2024) at the same venue. We look forward to a continued great future liaison with the G-QRP club, who decided to hold their 2021 Convention on-line, but returned to Telford in 2022 & 2023. So the 2024 Telford HamFest should be a cracking mobile rally!