Who could have imagined when Eric Letts, G3RXJ moved down from Crawley in 1966, bought a house almost opposite mine in Meadow Lane, and decided that Burgess Hill needed a local Amateur Radio Club, that we’d still be here 50 years later going from strength to strength.

Eric trawled through the RSGB membership list and extracted a list of local amateurs, wrote them a letter and invited them to an inaugural meeting at Arthur Campbell, G3PEQ’s house in Hassocks and we were off!

It wasn’t easy to get the Club going, we needed to find a meeting place since we already had more members than would fit into anyone’s front room. We looked around and our first HQ was a room in a Lindfield school just along the road from Eric Holloway, G3HUA’s house.

We then found rooms in Marle Place Burgess Hill where in due course we were able to install a Versatower 65 foot mast, and long wire antennas in the large grounds of the Community Centre.

Later we moved to our present QTH at Cyprus Hall, but with the development going on around us, I wonder sometimes where we’ll find ourselves in the future.

We’ve seen the introduction of the transistor and IC’s, the coming of SSB in favour of AM and lately the introduction of software defined radios coupling computers to real radios and who knows what is to come?

We’ve run training courses for many years introducing all ages to Amateur Radio and are involved with many outside events which give well needed publicity to our activities.

We have won many operating awards for both HF and VHF and should be proud of these talking about and displaying them whenever possible.

There are however a few of those original members who gathered in Arthur’s front room still around, and we like to think that we can still contribute something to today’s amateur activities. After all, the basic laws of physics have not changed and it is easy for some newer members to lose sight of this!

Now, in our 50th year MSARS finds itself in a very different world of Amateur Radio, communicating by perhaps different modes but still with the aim of talking to other amateurs joined together by our common interest.

Remember, and I have said this before, all of us can enjoy many different aspects of our hobby, but MSARS IS A RADIO CLUB and I am proud and delighted to be your President.

73, Ken Gibson G3WYN - President of The Mid Sussex Amateur Radio Society

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