Sheffield & District Wireless Society - 100 year anniversary

Special Event Amateur Radio Station GB0SWS and GX5TO

As part of our celebration of the founding of our Society one hundred years ago, Sheffield & District Wireless Society is, over the coming months, providing hands on experience of Amateur Radio to the wider community. This is part of our ongoing programme of promoting this exciting technical pursuit to people of all ages

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019

Sheffield & District Wireless Society will be at the Heeley Festival, Heeley City Farm, Sheffield, from 10.0am to approximately 4.0pm and, by installing two temporary radio stations and aerials, will literally put the Festival and Sheffield on the Short Wave and VHF radio airwaves for the day.

We will use a Special Event callsign, GB0SWS and the society’s callsign GX5TO. The HF station will be on the 40 (7140kHz) , 20 (14.208MHz) and 15 (21.200MHz) metre bands subject to propagation conditions There will also be a datamodes station on the 30m band using FT8 and other datamodes.

The event is open to all members of the public and there will be much of interest to young people. Where appropriate, visitors will be actively involved as much as possible, e.g exchanging on air greetings messages, listening and logging callsigns heard on amateur radio receivers, receiving simple Morse tuition, etc. The latter may particularly interest young visitors. In addition there will be a static display of posters, photographs, continual video display of amateur radio activities and examples of radio equipment covering the whole of our 100 year period.

Hidden Transmitter Hunt

Weather permitting, it is proposed to hold a Hidden Transmitter Hunt in during the afternoon of our Special event. Members of the Society will invite members of the public to accompany them, in pairs, in the search for the tiny hidden transmitter, using small hand-held receivers


Special QSL Cards will be sent to other amateur radio operators who make contact with us. For more information about QSLs and the event please visit and search for GB0SWS.

For further information about the Society, please email the Society Secretary, Peter Day, G3PHO at:

History of Sheffield & District Wireless Society

The Sheffield & District Wireless Society is one of the oldest in the United Kingdom. Recent searches of archive material on the internet and in old radio magazines have discovered many fascinating facts about the Society, the most important one at the moment is that it came to life on the 20th June 1919, just one hundred years ago, when radio was in its infancy, before the days of valves, transistors, TV, the BBC, the internet and a few years after the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 when spark gap transmitters and the Morse Code played such an important role in helping to rescue survivors!

Sheffield was home to many amateur radio operators just before World War 1 but the war itself must have prevented those operators from forming a hobby club or society during that troubled period and so it was not until the war ended and the government passed the legislation require, that those interested in making their own radio sets and transmitting to other enthusiasts were able to form local clubs around the country. From archive photographs found in old magazines of the period, it seems that our Society members were largely affluent and learned men who could afford to buy components and other materials to experiment with and build their own transmitters and receivers.

Archive studies have shown that SDWS flourished between 1919 and sometime up to the early 1930s. after which a new group, the Sheffield and District Short Wave Club (later to become Sheffield Amateur Radio Club) took over the reins of promoting this absorbing pursuit to the less affluent members of the Sheffield community. Today, both organisations exist side by side in the city. SDWS was reformed in 2013 and now has over 200 members, some of which live outside the Sheffield Region including overseas countries such as Brazil, the USA, Canada and India.

The Sheffield & District Wireless Society meet at 7.30pm on Wednesday evenings at the Rutland Hotel, Broomhill, Sheffield. The first Wednesday of each month is usually a formal lecture or organised activity.