Wye Dean's 'Drive It' day
Wye Dean member Alan Barker organised our 'Drive it' route, to take advantage of Rod Edwards' kind offer to show us around the BT Satellite Communications centre at Madley, Herefordshire. Here's his account of what was a very successful day, with a record number of cars and members taking part.
"Wye Dean had a packed Drive It Day planned and it brought out twelve Wye Dean TRs for our largest group outing.
Nine cars met early in the lee of an old Yew tree at a twelfth century ornately carved small church before setting off under blue skies along quiet, narrow country lanes. We skirted a former royal hunting ground to cross into Wales over a narrow stone bridge towards Grosmont -one of a number of stone castles in the area built soon after the Norman Conquest to subjugate and dominate this part of the Welsh Marches. Driving south towards the Skirrid there were some magnificent views against a blue sky of the Skirrid and the Black Mountains. We swung north to enter the Vale of Ewyas at Llanvihangel Crucorney and began to climb a single track road thirteen miles up into the Black Mountains. We were joined by another Wye Dean TR6 and the convoy of ten Triumphs continued up this very impressive valley. The winding, already narrow road grew narrower until it seemed barely a car's width as we steadily ascended through 1800 feet. Eventually we cleared the tree line, bursting out to vast open panoramic views afforded over the Golden Valley.
Pausing briefly to regroup and take in the scenery we slipped back into our cars and rapidly descended into the border town of Hay on Wye, heading for our planed tour of the BT Satellite Communication Station at Madley kindly arranged by Rod Edwards for Wye Dean members.
Two further Wye Dean TRs joined us at Madley before Rod gave us an enjoyable and interesting guided tour of the UK's major satellite communications site - BT Madley. Built in 1975 on a quiet agricultural site away from radio and electrical interference, the three thirty-two metre and sixty five smaller dishes are visible for many miles around. Our twelve TR's parked under one of the large dishes and we were treated to a knowledgeable tour by Rod, firstly through the dish control building and then into the main communications control room where BT staff constantly monitor the TV and communications channels routed through Madley. We followed this with a tour of some of the other BT services on the site including the BT Response teams for major emergency network failures and their equipment.
Everyone expressed their thanks to Rod for an excellent tour.
Then off to relax and reflect over the day's diverse experiences over a well-earned lunch at the Castlefields, a day with something for everyone."
So out thanks to Alan & Rod and also Kevin for the photos - see more on the gallery.