International Museums Weekends 2017

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The History and Background of the IMW

The IMW developed as a direct result of the UK’s foot & mouth epidemic in the early spring of 2001 Link to Wikipedia. The Mills on the Air event was having issues due to the restriction on the public's movement around the UK's countryside and with so many of the windmills and watermills being located out in the countryside, amateur radio enthusiast's access became somewhat difficult. I got my head together with a local amateur who had keenly supported the Mills and decided that a good alternative offering might be a museums event, as museums were most often near cities and towns and not generally affected by the epidemic. In addition to which, there were many more of them and operating from them we would be more in the public's eye.

My friend thought that the museum curators would be reluctant allow amateurs to put such events on in their prized museums, so by the way of a bit of ‘market research’ and forever the optimist, I approached several of the largest, most imposing and least likely museums in my area - to see how they might accept the idea of bunches of radio amateurs tramping around their museums. I described what we would be doing, what facilities we would need etc.. and in all cases they agreed in principle that it might work.

This was only two or three months from the Mills event date and the intention was to run the ‘Museums on the Air’ event at a similar timing to the Mills event in 2001. With such a short time to get the event set up, I asked one of the Mills organisers agreed to set up the initial web site – I really had no idea where to start in setting up a web site back then and no time to learn. In the meantime I concentrated on advertising the new event and encouraging amateurs to take part. It was only really intended to be a once only event to cover for the foot & mouth year, but the following year I was asked to keep it going for another year. I was also asked by those from outside the UK, to allow them to also take part - so I then had to rename it the ‘International Museums Weekend’. From there it became a regular and popular event in the radio amateur calendar alongside Mills on the Air and CASHOTA. 


A regular problem each year, had been that of being asked to adjust the date because of clashes with other events and clubs other commitments. So the next change was to test it as double weekend, to allow some choice. That proved to be a very popular change in the event indeed and many of the clubs now take part on both weekends.

Having run the site on my own for a few years 2013 saw big changes in the admin team. Dave M1TWO joined the team to help with the day to day Admin and IT matters. Dave was closely followed by Hans DE3EAR in the role of Awards Officer. Another recruit to the team is John M0HEM, who took on the post of IAW Manager In May 14 we were joined by Sue G6DDS as Publicity Manager

 

Harry M1BYT


 

     
                       

Last page update 26 December, 2016 10:45 -0000