We set up our HF station, call-sign G3UES/P, at the northern edge of the Weybridge Vandals RFC grounds on Desborough Island, which is situated in the Thames at Walton-on-Thames.
The official address is:Brownacres The Towing Path
Getting onto site
Walton Bridge is the first landmark. It's on the A244. The new Walton Crossing has been constructed. If approaching from the north (Sunbury), cross the bridge and immediately turn right (1). If approaching from Walton town centre, turn left immediately before crossing the bridge (1). This area is known as Cowey Sale and is popular with visitors.
After about 0.4 mile (620 metres) through the 20 m.p.h. zone, turn right (2) onto a one-way bridge over the Thames. The road turns left after crossing the bridge, but you want to pass under the height barrier (sometimes left open) that is straight ahead of you at the bend (3).
Continue carefully along the track, past a barrier, until the road turns left (4) past a cottage. Pass another barrier and into the large car park (5), which is where you will park if attending a club meeting, held in the club-house.
For the Contest site, you can either park up here and walk, via (7), across to the station site (8), or can drive over to it via a slope (6) which has been cut through the banking (there's a gap in the railing). If you chose this option, please turn sharply right at the bottom of the slope and follow the tree-line around the edge of the field via (7) to (8). If access to the slope has been blocked by an inconsiderate car owner, you can also get onto the field between the club-house and the wooden cricket hut, then turn sharp right towards (7). Please be careful of people milling around, especially any youngsters who won't be expecting to see vehicles on the pitch area.
When nearing the station, please keep a sharp lookout for mast guy wires, wires tied off into trees, trailing radials/counterpoises, and generator power leads etc.
(i) If the cricketers are playing, please wait until they finish an over and the bowlers start to swap ends before proceeding from (7) to (8).
(ii) If the rugby players are using the pitch at the bottom of the slope, please leave your car in the car park and walk across to the station, via (7) and the tree-line, to (8). Avoid getting caught in a scrum!!
After returning to the entrance (3), you must turn right and follow the road for 1/2 mile or so, to exit the island via a second bridge. To return to Walton bridge, you'd then turn left. Alternatively, turning right will take you into Weybridge town centre. There are a couple of good pubs along that stretch of road, the Minnow on the left seemingly being most popular, along with the Old Crown (recommended - it has a selection of Real Ales) a little further along on the right!
Late night through to early morning, you may find one of the barriers closed and locked. If that is the case, please park up responsibly so that the RFC staff can get by when they arrive, and proceed carefully on foot via (5), (6) and (7) to (8). It is worth checking the lock first, as occasionally when we are on site, it is just hooked through its loop without being fully secured. If that is the case, feel free to pass through, but please replace things behind you as you found them.