Essex Ham Returns, to Essex!

We’re proud to announce that once again, Essex Ham is firmly back in Essex (Although we never really went away!)

Confused? So were we!

Essex & ProudEarlier this year, we discovered (by accident) that the RSGB had decided to demote us from being an affiliated club here in Region 12, and had reclassified us as a “Special Interest Group”, not a local club. We lost our local representation from the RSGB Region 12 team and fell off the various local RSGB comms lists.

Apparently, the RSGB had decided that due to our work on national training, and their belief that we didn’t meet in Essex, we were no longer an Essex club. It appears the RSGB forgot to tell us, and we’d been wrongly assuming that we were an Essex-based club for at least a year.

We’re sure those who’ve attended meetings in Essex, met us at Essex events, seen us around Region 12, joined our weekly Essex Net and/or have attended one of our Essex field days – would agree that we do indeed meet in Essex. In case there was any doubt, we have “Essex” in our name, and the fact that we’ve won the RSGB’s own “Region 12 Club of the Year” before, is something of a clue that we’re in Region 12.

The good news is, following internal discussions at the RSGB, we’re back home in Essex and Region 12! Our friends at Suffolk RED, who appear to have suffered a similar fate, have also been confirmed as being in Region 12.

Why had we moved?

We gather that it’s all to do with the RSGB’s annual Yearbook, which lists local clubs. As groups like Essex Ham, Essex CW Club and Suffolk RED ‘break the mould’ of traditional bricks-and-mortar clubs by not meeting at a specific building regularly, we apparently don’t qualify for a listing as a local club (although interestingly, repeater and contest groups that don’t meet regularly either – are allowed an entry)

The good news is that, as of today, it looks like we’re back home in Region 12.

Thanks to those at the RSGB, including Regional Manager David De La Haye M0MBD, who’s been working hard to navigate the RSGB bureaucracy over the last few days to get us back into Essex and Region 12. That’s much appreciated!

Words from our members

This was a hot topic on this week’s club net (which uses an Essex repeater). Here are a couple of comments that we featured on this week’s  “Ham News” podcast:

AUDIO: Essex Ham’s Back in Essex! Extract from Monday Night Net 12 /07/2021 – Ham News” podcast:

Essex Ham’s History

To some extent, it’s easy to see how the RSGB may have been confused – we have grown since our humble beginnings as a one-man blog, and we continue to grow and adapt. We now have over 2,600 members worldwide (and everyone’s welcome, Essex or not), and we’ve helped over 6,500 students to study for Foundation. We’ve also provided training material that’s being used in clubs across the UK, and picked up some national awards. As we don’t fit into a traditional pigeonhole, we can see how the RSGB were unsure how to deal with us. It’s great that common sense has prevailed, and the RSGB has listened to the feelings of our club and its members. We look forward to a long and positive working relationship with the RSGB going forward.

Essex Ham wouldn’t be where it is today without the help and support of many of our members, whether they attend events, run nets, help with training, provide advice in our online groups, or simply spread the word about our mission to promote and support the hobby. Despite our growth, we’re still firmly rooted here in Essex… and proud. We owe so much to all of our supporters across Essex, Region 12, the UK, and overseas.

Note to clubs:

We encourage all clubs to check their listings in the RSGB Yearbook, on the RSGB Club Finder, on the RSGB Course Finder and on other appropriate listings. We’re seeing lots of new people entering the hobby during Covid, and many will need the help and support of local clubs. Make sure your club is visible and correctly-listed, so that those needing the guidance of their nearby groups (whether traditional, alternative or virtual), can be found and contacted when needed.

With Covid restrictions seemingly about to be lifted, and the increased interest in the hobby, this is a golden opportunity for clubs to be there for those who need a helping hand post-lockdown.

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9 Comments

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