Telford HamFest > History


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, and although now complete, an enforced admissions policy has prevented us reconsidering this as a venue for future exhibitions at this time.

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, co-ordinated with the famous Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trustís Staff at Enginuity, picking up where we left off and going back 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

Telford & District A.R.S. picked up where the Telford Rally left off at the first Hamfest in 2006. Several of the same organisers of that event for many years are helping with the transition and it is backed by the Committee and Club. This new site has been chosen because it offers more than just a Radio Rally venue, indeed the beautiful Ironbridge Gorge is a great attraction in its own right and has the Enginuity technology site in the same grounds!

2009 also saw us introduce our first lecture stream. Each year a well respected speaker gave a topical presentation. For example, in 2014, Tom Read M1EYP gave a useful update of all that is happening in the popular Summits on the Air (SOTA) programme. Last year 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?

2017 was a great success, providing a unique intimate venue within an area rich in attractions. 2018 will continue in the same way. We look forward to a continued great liaison with the G-QRP club as well as a cracking mobile rally for years to come.