A few days ago was the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend and a group of locals under the umbrella of Colchester Radio Amateurs operated a special event station using the callsign GB6NT from the Naze Tower at Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex.
This location is very close to me and I visited on both Saturday and Sunday. On the Saturday I drove to Walton-on-the-Naze and parked in the town from where I walked up the hill to the site. On Sunday I walked there and back from home, stopping in Frinton on the way for an ice cream.
The setup was very impressive, a large tent with three HF stations and one VHF station. The group had been able to use the Naze Tower as a skyhook and had a doublet for 80m hanging from it. The doublet was fed with 450 ohm open feeder via a smartuner so it could be used on different bands.
Also set up was a 65ft Antenna Solutions pneumatic mast with an MFJ 1775 rotatable dipole and a MQ-24SR hybrid quad on top and a 60ft Versatower with a couple of nine element 144MHz beams. Neither of these two masts were extended to their maximum height.
Conditions weren’t bad for the weekend with some good DX worked. The public interest was high and amateur radio was demonstrated to a lot of passers by. The prominent location of being right next to the Tower helped with that and awareness was also raised by Anglia ITV being on site on Friday evening to present the weather and to interview Garry, M0MGP.
International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend is a popular event and there were hundreds of lighthouses and lightships active around the world. The Naze Tower was only registered with the ILLW a couple of years ago so many people were keen to add GB6NT to their logbook.
I was persuaded to operate for a while so I spent some time running the FT8 station and made quite a few QSOs. It was a fun few hours spend in pleasant company. I even had time to treat myself to a baked potato from the cafe in the base of the Naze Tower.