Field Weekend at the Secret Nuclear Bunker 25-26 August 2023

By | 15 December 2023

LEFARS were invited by the Secret Nuclear Bunker Group to join them in their annual Field Weekend at Kelvedon Hatch over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Below are two reports. One from Richard G4DDP and also Fred G3SVK, now sadly SK.

SNB August 2023 Report – Richard G4DDP

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend LEFARS were invited to take part in a field weekend at the Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker. Once more members of the portable group took our radio caravan to participate at a radio quiet location. I wanted to try out my recently completed homemade 2 element portable HF beam covering 10, 12, 15, 17 and 20m.

This is a lightweight, easily erected by one person utilising elements made with 5.6m telescopic whips. This aerial can be seen and demonstrated at the talk at the LEFARS club meeting on 26 January 2024.

I erected the aerial on a 15m GRP telescopic mast and tried various different beam headings to see how it would perform, picture below.

We also had a 2m station just for local contacts. Weather was a bit variable with the occasional shower with a lightning storm locally that produced a stunning double rainbow.

Richard G4DDP

As well as us there was also Dave M0YOL operating on 12m, Brian and Boo M0OAB & M6OAB operating on 17m plus George M1GEO and Chris G8OCV operating on HF using an A3S 3 element beam and 40m EFHW rigged on the SNB commercial mast.

Contacts map for HF below from G4DDP


Bashing the key at the Bunker – Fred G3SVK

You can bet your last QSO that there will be contest of some sort every weekend. Well, you were not wrong! Whatever your preference to CW or SSB, there’s a contest just for you. The weekend of the August Bank holiday 2023 was no exception.

You can also rely on Fred, G3SVK, to bring his trusty paddle along to have a play using the excellent antenna facilities at the annual August Bank Holiday Bunker Field Day. You might have wished for better weather. It virtually rained for the whole of the Saturday. Not disheartened, and after the welcomed curry, the scene was set for the contest. This was to be the YODXC CW/SSB contest – a Romanian contest where you have to give a running serial number in exchange for their Romanian two-digit Province Code. This contest started at 12.00 UTC, so we missed the first few hours and would be unable to complete the contest due to time contraints. Nevertheless, in the few hours spent doing the contest, Fred racked-up 168 QSOs. Not very good by his standard but enjoyable nevertheless.

Sunday was a better day for weather and we were blessed with some lovely sunshine. Shepherd’s pie was the culnery delights of the day. Since most of the stations had been involved with the YO contest the previous day, there were little or no CW activity so, as a result, Fred just managed to make 68 QSOs using the Club’’s GB0SNB callsign.

So, thanks to the 3 element beam provided by the Secret Nuclear Bunker Contest Group, a very pleasant operation and hoping for a repeat in the coming months.

Fred Curtis, G3SVK

Fred Curtis G3SVK (SK)

L to R: Diane Curtis, Peter G0IAP and Fred G3SVK


Meal time – Fred G3SVK’s Shepherd’s Pie was appreciated !

A double rainbow….

Photo Credits: John G8DZH and Richard G4DDP

John G8DZH