North Norfolk radio museum starts search for a new headquarters

Bob Smith, a member of North Norfolk Amateur Radio Group, using a vintage 1950's amateur radio station at Muckleburgh Collection to celebrate the centenary of the Radio Society of Great Britain.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY Bob Smith, a member of North Norfolk Amateur Radio Group, using a vintage 1950's amateur radio station at Muckleburgh Collection to celebrate the centenary of the Radio Society of Great Britain. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

David Freezer david.freezer@archant.co.uk
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
6:32 AM

Just three weeks ago the North Norfolk Amateur Radio Group were taking part in centenary celebrations with radio enthusiasts from around the world – but in two weeks they could be without a home.

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Malcolm Prestwood, a member of North Norfolk Amateur Radio Group, using a Morse code key at Muckleburgh Collection to celebrate the centenary of the Radio Society of Great Britain.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYMalcolm Prestwood, a member of North Norfolk Amateur Radio Group, using a Morse code key at Muckleburgh Collection to celebrate the centenary of the Radio Society of Great Britain. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

For the past 23 years the NNARG has occupied a hut within the grounds of the Muckleburgh Military Collection at Weybourne, but the group say they have now been asked to “vacate the site at short notice”.

NNARG secretary, Steve Appleyard, said he had informed Muckleburgh bosses that the group would be leaving in two weeks’ time, saying: “We were surprised to be asked to leave at short notice with no apparent reason.”

The group are now hoping to find a new base for the museum, which regularly hosted school visits. Its collection includes radio transmitters and receivers used by all three armed services and radios used for intelligence gathering, surveillance and espionage during the Second World War and later, as well as a collection of vintage domestic
broadcast radios.

Sir Michael Savory, managing partner of the Muckleburgh Collection, said the group had needed more space which could not be provided at Muckleburgh.

When asked if he was disappointed that the 23 years of the group being based at the site were coming to an end Mr Savory said: “Quite honestly, visitors come to Muckleburgh for military vehicles.

“We don’t get many solely to come and see the radio group. The big difference is they are only open one or two days a week.”

The volunteers who run the radio museum are now hopeful they can combine with another tourist attraction to continue their work.

Bill Ward, NNARG’s chairman, said: “We are sure that we would complement a number of existing visitor attractions in north Norfolk – bringing in additional tourists as well as local residents who regularly visit the museum.”

- Anyone interested in offering the museum a new home can contact secretary Steve Appleyard on 01263 519485 or sfappleyard@btinternet.com

13 comments

  • Until we visited Muckleburgh this year I was not even aware that the radio group were based there. It is a shame as the article implies a strong synergy between the two concerns which, should it be broken, might devalue them both. May both parties involved have a successful future whatever happens.

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    George Ezekial

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

  • That is sad to see this happening. I have been a member of the Heartland Amateur Radio Association in Dawson County Nebraska for a lot of years. What makes the group unique is that we are the signal corp arm of the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles. We refurbish military communications gear and actually operate the equipment. People just didn't come to see the vehicles, they also enjoyed the radio communications as well. HARA's operations center is also an authorized Army MARS station as well. The best of luck to NNARG in finding a new home, hopefully with folks that see the value in radio communications.

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    Mark Voris

    Monday, August 26, 2013

  • That is sad to see this happening. I have been a member of the Heartland Amateur Radio Association in Dawson County Nebraska for a lot of years. What makes the group unique is that we are the signal corp arm of the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles. We refurbish military communications gear and actually operate the equipment. People just didn't come to see the vehicles, they also enjoyed the radio communications as well. HARA's operations center is also an authorized Army MARS station as well. The best of luck to NNARG in finding a new home, hopefully with folks that see the value in radio communications.

    Report this comment

    Mark Voris

    Monday, August 26, 2013

  • Amateur radio is a hobby for old men stuck in the 1960's. The movement has done nothing for decades to revive it and the UK membership of the RSGB has plunged. Mr Savoury is correct in saying visitors to the museum come to see the military vehicles. In a time when you can use a mobile phone or the internet to contact anyone in the world the use of morse is akin to sending telegrams. Kids today are no more interested in this hobby than they are on pigeon racing.

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    Michael Clintergate

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

  • It is so sad that the Radio Hut will no longer be an attraction at Muckleburgh. The radio museum was well known internationally and was an important resource of information regarding the development of both radio communication from the military context and the wider field of technological development during the twentieth century. It is often forgotten that mobile phones, Ipads et-al can all have their roots traced back to the work of radio amateurs. Although the history of technology is a relatively new area the NNARG have been pioneers and I personally hope their work can continue. Radio is also an important part of social history. Let's just hope that a new home can be found and that the loss in footfall from the many radio enthusiasts visiting Weybourne causes museum owners to question their decision.

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    Bigtone

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

  • That is sad to see this happening. I have been a member of the Heartland Amateur Radio Association in Dawson County Nebraska for a lot of years. What makes the group unique is that we are the signal corp arm of the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles. We refurbish military communications gear and actually operate the equipment. People just didn't come to see the vehicles, they also enjoyed the radio communications as well. HARA's operations center is also an authorized Army MARS station as well. The best of luck to NNARG in finding a new home, hopefully with folks that see the value in radio communications.

    Report this comment

    Mark Voris

    Monday, August 26, 2013

  • I can not agree with your comment about our hobby. I have been a member of the NNARG for 8 months and in this time I have shown visitors round of all ages. We have had a number of school trips for year 9,10 and 11 form groups (not your old men in my book) who have shown a real interest in our radios and have taken an active role in trying morse code.Schools also do pre visit lessons on radio and the role it played in keeping our country safe and saving lives in WW2. So to close radio is not for old men but for all ages and will be for years to come.

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    chasp

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

  • Sad news for NNARG but hopefully a new more deserving home will be found soon. To make what appears to some as being an ignorant, sexist & ageist comment, in my view only demonstrates very little or no knowledge of this great hobby. Good luck in finding a new home

    Report this comment

    traceye

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

  • That is sad to see this happening. I have been a member of the Heartland Amateur Radio Association in Dawson County Nebraska for a lot of years. What makes the group unique is that we are the signal corp arm of the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles. We refurbish military communications gear and actually operate the equipment. People just didn't come to see the vehicles, they also enjoyed the radio communications as well. HARA's operations center is also an authorized Army MARS station as well. The best of luck to NNARG in finding a new home, hopefully with folks that see the value in radio communications.

    Report this comment

    Mark Voris

    Monday, August 26, 2013

  • Obviously Mr Clintergate knows little about real amateur radio. Admittedly there are a lot of older people within the hobby but that is because it is such a fascinating hobby and stays with you for life if you are keen. Lots of youngsters do take part. He is also ignorant in the way that amateurs use Morse. He has obviously been watching Tony Hancock, a particularly cynical portrayal of the hobby, a bit like Mr Clintergate himself! It might interest him to know that most of the Secret Listeners during WW2 were radio amateurs. It would open his eyes were he to pay a visit to our Club, whcih has over 160 members, a lot of them youngsters.

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    Rog

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

  • I find it very hard to believe that "SIR" M Savoury has actually said that the radio hut asked for more space and simply said we haven't got any to give them?. if this is the way he treats a museum that has been there for 23 years then god help the military museum will he just close the doors when its full?? ah no he will just add yet another bit on or take over the café. still his mechanic will be happy not so sure about the visitors though. :-)

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    i am mostly wrong??

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

  • Sad news for NNARG but hopefully a new more deserving home will be found soon. To make what appears to some as being an ignorant, sexist & ageist comment, in my view only demonstrates very little or no knowledge of this great hobby. Good luck in finding a new home

    Report this comment

    traceye

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

  • Sir Michael was wrong when he said we only open 1 2 days a week....we were there Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday...remember we are VOLUNTARY...not paid like the other staff of the museum...We also were there whenever there are special events on like Forces Day etc... pressure was put on members who used to park (temporarily) near the hut entrance to offload disabled members, to SHIFT immediately...we also had a number of exhibits where the visitors were able to interact...morse, dressing children in uniforms for photos..using a "potato" powered radio, solar powered radio, and heliograph...we would have liked larger premises, but no pressure was put on anyone to acceded to our requests...just an occasional request in passing... A big draw would be if a building closer to the main building, could be found, would be advantageous to both parties...

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    2E0CVY

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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