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  • LEFARS activated the RSGB Centenary G100RSGB callsign on Sunday, 28th and Monday, 29th July 2013.
  • LEFARS activated the WAB "Follow the Torch" GX4WAB callsign on Saturday, 21st and Sunday, 22nd July 2012.
  • LEFARS celebrated its 50th anniversary on Friday, 27th April 2012.
  • LEFARS are the 2016 Region 12 "Large Club of the Year" and were 2011 RSGB Region 12 Club of the Year and won third place in the 2011 National Club of the Year competition.

Loughton & District Radio Society was formed in 1962 with the inaugural meeting on 27th April at 75 Roundmead Avenue, QTH of the now late, world renowned DXer John Kay G3AAE. John gave a talk at this meeting entitled "Working Those Difficult Stations" and according to a 1986 letter from him, others present at this first meeting were: Cliff Waterman G3NKX, Bill Sheppard G3JBS, Jack Atkinson G3OPA, John Butcher G3LAS, Wilf Dunnell G3BYW and Bill Patten G3PAT.

The second meeting took place on 20th July 1962, with a talk given by Tom Withers G3HGE, proprietor of T. Withers (Electronics) of Enfield, entitled "VHF Equipment". Shortly after these first few meetings a room was acquired at Loughton Hall, Rectory Lane where regular Friday fortnightly gatherings occurred up until 1996 when the management of Loughton Hall passed from Debden Community Association to Loughton College. At this point the Society was given notice that Loughton Hall would no longer be available as a meeting place for local groups so a new venue had to be found. After a few meetings in a classroom at the college, our current meeting place, All Saints House was found.

It is not clear when, but at some point during the early years of the Society the name was changed adding the word "Amateur" to the title. And again in 1999 the Society changed its name, now to the Loughton & Epping Forest Amateur Radio Society.

We have over the years staged many Special Event Stations demonstrating all aspects of amateur radio to a public audience. Our first recorded event was in 1963 with GB3LOU from Loughton Hall during Loughton Fair Week. An added attraction here was a home built closed circuit TV system that was used to pipe operation of the GB3LOU station around Loughton Hall. The most prevalent special event callsign used by the Society since GB3LOU, is GB2LRS. This callsign, used extensively by the Society over the years from several locations around the district, was most recently put on the air during the Loughton Festival's, 2009 Loughton Clubs' Showcase. Other variants of the ‘LRS callsign have also been employed in the past including GB25LRS, used during the Society’s 25th anniversary in 1987 and GB75LRS, activated in order to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the RSGB in 1988. In 2001 & 2002, to celebrate our 40th anniversary, we staged GB4OLR from our regular field day site, Aylmers Farm, Old Harlow and in 2011 and 2012 GB5OLR will be QRV again from Old Harlow and also from the Rainbow and Dove Public House, Hastingwood - a site used extensively for club field weekends over many years.

In recent years the Society has expanded its horizons by forging relationships with amongst others: The Squadron Flying Club at North Weald Airfield, Epping Forest College, the Blake Hall Estate, the City of London Corporation, 1st Hainault Scouts and the Royal Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey. From Epping Forest College in Loughton we have participated in the British Association for the Advancement of Science “National Science Week” event operating for up to three days as GB2EFC. From Blake Hall, near Ongar we operated annually between 2001 and 2006 as GB2BHM in the “International Museums Weekend”. More recently, the City of London Corporation have permitted us to operate from within Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge, Chingford as GB6EHL. We have also participated in the City of London’s “Epping Forest Festival”; in 2003 as GB125EF (to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the stewardship of Epping Forest by the Corporation) and in 2004-2010 as GB2EFF. From 2007, GB2NWA at North Weald Airfield has been our primary event, operating during the annual International Museums Weekend, and in 2011 in support of the "Help for Heroes" charity. 2009 saw our first participation for many years in JOTA operating with, and on behalf of, the 1st Hainault Scout Group as GB1HS. During the summer we also operate from the local, Abridge Village Fete as GB2AVF and from the Theydon Bois Donkey Derby as GB0IS.

Today, Loughton & Epping Forest Amateur Radio Society continues to meet fortnightly at All Saints House, where we offer a comprehensive programme of activities and events. These include lectures on a variety of amateur radio and associated subjects, as well as regular "on-air" operating sessions and practical demonstrations.

And for those wishing to obtain a UK amateur radio licence, LEFARS provide tuition at least three times-a-year with weekend-long Foundation Licence courses. Indeed, 2012 will see us stage our 21st, 22nd and 23rd FL course. We also offer licence upgrade facilities for existing Foundation Licence holders with ad-hoc Intermediate Licence assessments, and with three accredited RSGB Examination Centres offer exam facilities at all licensing levels.

If you were involved in the early days of the Society or have any reminiscences of its early years, we would love to hear from you in this, our golden anniversary year.

Special Event Stations staged by LEFARS over the years include the following:
GB0IS - Theydon Bois Donkey Derby (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017...)

GB0TBW - Trinity Buoy Wharf (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017...)

GB1HS - 1st Hainault Scouts JOTA (2009, 2010, 2011)

GB2AVF - Abridge Village Fete (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017...)

GB2BHM - Blake Hall Museum (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006)

GB2ECS - Essex County Show (2016)

GB2EFC - Epping Forest College (2003, 2004, 2005)

GB2EFF - Epping Forest Festival (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010)

GB2HSF - Hereward School Fete (2001)

GB2LRS - Loughton Radio Society (Various years)

GB2MGA - Matching Green Airfield (2013)

GB2NWA - North Weald Airfield (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017...)

GB2RGM - Royal Gunpowder Mills (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017...)

GB2TI - "Tune-In" (2009)

GB2VDW - Veterans Day Weekend (2007)

GB3LOU - Loughton Fair Week (1963)

GB4OLR - 40th Anniversary of Loughton Radio Society (2001, 2002)

GB5OLR - 50th Anniversary of Loughton Radio Society (2011, 2012)

GB6EHL - Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)

GB25LRS - 25th Anniversary of Loughton Radio Society (1987)

GB75LRS - 75th Anniversary of the RSGB (1988)

GB100NWA - North Weald Airfield (2016)

GB125EF - Epping Forest Festival (2003)

Details of all of the above callsigns are available here on qrz.com by clicking on the links.

G(X)4ONP - All Saints House, Chigwell Row, Essex.
MH Loc: JO01BO

G(X)4ONP/P - Little Tawney Hall Farm, Stapleford Tawney, Essex.
MH Loc: JO01CQ

G(X)4ONP/P - Aylmers Farm, Old Harlow, Essex.
MH Loc: JO01BT

G(X)4ONP/P - Rainbow & Dove Public House, Hastingwood, Essex
MH Loc: JO91BR


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