On this page, you’ll find a list of the various amateur radio clubs and organisations in Essex.
For each listing, we include the club’s location and whether the club offers amateur radio training courses. The information is checked for accuracy regularly, but is subject to change, so please check with each group’s website for latest information.
If you have any new or updated information to pass on about ham radio groups, clubs or organisations in our area, please contact Essex Ham and we’ll update this page.
|Braintree & District Amateur Radio Society (BADARS)||Braintree||No||Active club that meets twice a month in Bocking nr. Braintree (£1 entrance fee). Holds two nets a month. Founded in 1975. Membership fee £16.|
|Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS)||Chelmsford||Yes||Oldest radio society in Essex (1936). Has over 100 members, many former Marconi employees. Holds monthly social evenings, field days at Sandford Mill museum and a weekly net. Runs 4 training courses a year, and the training venue is home to the Essex Skills Night. Membership fee £15. More about CARS|
|Colchester Radio Amateurs (CRA)||Colchester||Yes||Active club that meets monthly and offers training. They run two nets a week, on 2m and 80m. Formed in 1963. Membership fee £20.|
|Dengie Hundred Amateur Radio Society (DHARS)||Latchingdon||No||Members meet twice a month at their club station in Latchingdon, which has permanent antennas. Formed in 1992 and until recently, had a shack at the Stow Maries WWI airfield. Membership £50 a year, £2 admittance fee.|
|Essex CW Club (ECWARC)||Essex-wide||No||Encouraging Morse code on-air in Essex with regular meetings and events. Formed in 2009. Runs regular Morse nets. Free membership|
|Essex Ham||Essex-wide||Yes||Supports amateur radio events, activities, clubs and training across Essex. Runs a busy weekly net and helps people get started in the hobby. Offers free online Foundation training, and hold impromptu field events. Launched in 2011. Free membership. More about Essex Ham|
|Harlow & District Amateur Radio Society (HADARS)||Harlow||Yes||Active club that meets twice a week in Harlow (Tuesday and Friday). They hold various events around the year. Membership fee unknown|
|Harwich Amateur Radio Interest Group (HARIG)||Harwich||No||The group meets monthly and holds occasional events. Formed in 1990. Membership fee unknown|
|Havering & District Amateur Radio Club (HADARC)||Hornchurch||Yes||Active club that meets weekly in Hornchurch, holds field events and nets, and offers training. Formed in 1965. Technically not in Essex, but we’ve included it as it’s right on the border. Membership fee: £10|
|Loughton & Epping Forest Amateur Radio Society (LEFARS)||Chigwell||Yes||This active club meets every two weeks in Chigwell Row, and holds field events including North Weald Airfield activations. LEFARS offers regular training courses. Formed in 1972. Membership fee unknown|
|South Essex Amateur Radio Society (SEARS)||Thundersley||Yes||Active club that meets on the second Tuesday of the month in Thundersley (nr Benfleet). They hold various field days and special event stations throughout the year. SEARS hosts the popular annual Canvey Rally, and offers Foundation training. Formed in 1982. Membership is £12 (£15 for families). More about SEARS|
|Thames Amateur Radio Group (TARG)||Canvey Island||Yes||Active club that meets on the first Friday of the month, with a members-only night on the third Friday of the month (£2.50 admission). They hold camping & caravanning events, and run a fortnightly net. Formed in 2012. Membership fee £20. More about TARG.|
|Thurrock Acorns Amateur Radio Club (TAARC)||Grays||Yes||Active club that meets monthly in Grays (third Tuesday of the month), holds regular field days and special event stations, and runs a weekly 2m net. Founded in 2013. Membership fee £20. More about TAARC|
|Vange Amateur Radio Society (VARS)||Pitsea||No||Social club that meets once a week in Pitsea for talks, discussion and to watch DVDs. Membership fee unknown|
Other Essex-based Groups
|Blackwater Amateur Radio Contest Group (BARCG)||Southminster||Contest Group that operates in Essex using the callsign M0HCY.|
|Coalhouse Fort Radio Society||East Tilbury||Group that activates Coalhouse Fort in East Tilbury on public open days using the callsign GB1CHF.
More about Coalhouse Fort RS
|Essex AR DX Group (EARDXG)||South Essex||Launched in June 2014 with plans to run special event stations and field days. Has the callsign MX0XYD|
|Essex RAYNET||Essex-wide||This county-wide group handles emergency communications and supports the community by providing radio comms for community events. Provides an opportunity to put radio skills to practical use by helping the local community. Membership £15 a year. More about Essex RAYNET|
|Essex Repeater Group (ERG)||Essex-wide||Responsible for maintaining local repeaters, including GB3DA and GB3ER. Membership fee £12 a year.|
|Martello Tower Group||Clacton-on-Sea||Primarily a contesting group that also administers repeaters in Clacton. Formed in the late 1980s. Membership is by invitation only.|
|Secret Nuclear Bunker Contest Group (SNBCG)||Kelvedon Hatch||RSGB affiliated amateur radio contest group & special event station based at the Secret Cold War Nuclear Bunker. Callsign M0SNB. Formed in 2015.|
|Selex Galileo Basildon Radio Club||Basildon||According to the RSGB Yearbook, they meet on various dates at the BAE Systems Social Club in Basildon. Employees can contact Michael Purser G0NEM at Selex Galileo for details|
|Southend & District Radio Society (SADARS)||Southend-on-Sea||Small social group that meets at the EKCO Social Club socially every Tuesday evening. Guests welcome, but have to be signed in and pay a small fee. More about SADARS|
Former clubs and organisations
Here is some information on some of the local ham radio clubs that appear to no longer be active:
- Barking Radio & Electronics Society ceased operating in 2012 according to their website when we checked in 2013
- Clacton Radio Club is listed in the RSGB Callsign book 1992. They used to meet twice a month. The Martello Tower Group expressed an interest in re-starting the group in 2012 (link here)
- Mayland and District Amateur Radio Society, listed with an address in Great Totham in the RSGB callsign book 1992
- Martlesham DX Contest Group listed with a Clacton address in the RSGB callsign book 1992
- Police Associate Radio Club, listed with an address in Chelmsford in the RSGB callsign book 1992
- Stanford-le-Hope and District Amateur Radio Society. Used to meet on Mondays according to the RSGB callsign book 1992
Anything need updating? Please contact Essex Ham and we’ll update this page.
- Amateur Radio Clubs in Essex offering training
- Amateur Radio Nets in Essex
- Promoting Amateur Radio Club Events in Essex
Any comments on clubs in the area, or questions about local groups, please contact us or add your comment below.