The Society is based in Ashford, Middlesex, UK (IO91SK) and was formed in 1964. We used the olde English name 'Echelford' rather than 'Ashford', to avoid confusion with other Ashfords in Kent, Derbyshire and Eire. A move to Walton-on-Thames occurred in 2012, followed in June 2019 by a move back to Ashford.
Membership is open to anyone with an interest in Amateur Radio. Currently the annual Membership fee is £10. To apply for Membership, please contact the Treasurer.
The Society holds three amateur radio callsigns - G3UES for HF and G7EAR for VHF. In September 2017 we acquired the call G2HS, at the request of the late Peter Hale, G2HS, who 'inherited' it from his father - GW Hale - who is listed in a 1925 publication as holding '2HS'. We used to have M5X for RSGB contests, but that lapsed at the end of 2013.
On-air nets are held three times a week - all suitably licensed amateurs are welcome to join in.
The Society thrives on the active efforts of its members, who come from as far afield as Slough in the west to Hounslow in the east and Uxbridge in the north to Woking in the south. There are also a number of country members who now live out of the area, but who still like to keep in touch with the Society.
The Society aims to further knowledge of, and promote interest in, all aspects of amateur radio communications and to provide a means of social contact, acting always in the spirit of amateur radio.
Meetings are held twice a month, on the second and fourth Wednesdays, with doors opening at around 7.30 pm. If a talk has been arranged, it will normally start at 8.00 pm. Non-members are always welcome to our meetings - there is no 'admission' charge. Regular visitors are, of course, requested to become members, so as to help the Society thrive and remain one of the best in the area. We currently have around just shy of 50 members, so this is one of the larger societies in Greater London and the Home Counties. See the How_to_find_us link for details of where we meet.
Our meetings include talks, presentations and demonstrations by visiting speakers as well as by our own members. The subjects are tremendously diverse, but almost invariably have a radio telecommunications theme. We have Natter Nites, where 'bring-and-buy' sales are encouraged - many bargains are to be had.
We hold an annual Construction Contest where home-constructed equipment is judged and awards made. Our meeting in December takes the form of a Christmas party where there is always plenty to eat and drink - and a raffle is held (we only arrange to have one meeting in December, as the second would typically fall in the Christmas break).
The Society enters a number of contests - notably HF NFD and SSB Field Day, where a station is established under canvas and operated continuously for 24 hours. This requires much participation by members - both in setting up the tents, antennas, generator, barbecue etc. and in operating around the clock.
We have a number of keen top-band DF'ers who enter and administer qualifying events for the national championships.
Our Members have given talks to local schools and we have operated stations at Scout and Guide events, notably for JOTA and Thinking Day On The Air.
We have a monthly newsletter, which has interesting articles and keeps us up-to-date with What's On and other Society matters.
We run a "groups.io" discussion forum - "G3UES". It is a closed group that only approved Members have access to, and it is the repository for the most up-to-date published Newsletters.
We have a public YouTube channel - Echelford ARS - which Phil, M1GWZ, set up and regularly contributes to, and we have a Twitter presence - @echelfordars - which Jonathan, M0XXJ, set up.