Historical QUA Newsletters Digitised

Anyone who’s read the book The Cray Valley Years, written by the society’s president Bob Treacher, will know that the history of Cray Valley Radio Society is rich and varied.

Bob has made no secret of the fact that a considerable amount of source material for his book from 1962 onwards was from old copies of the club’s newsletter, QUA. Of course, in the days before QUA was sent to members digitally starting from the turn of the century, it was a published in hardcopy. In the early days QUA was on foolscap paper, and copies were made from a Gestetner duplicator and posted to members.

In an effort to make this precious source of club history accessible to current members, the committee undertook the task of fully digitising all 426 hardcopy editions of QUA from 1962 until 2001, a total of 2,439 pages!

Now that this task is complete, the scans, in the form of PDF documents, have been added to the club’s archive maintained by Chris G0FDZ, and will be made available at the 80th anniversary of Cray Valley RS in 2026 in the same way as the digital archives were offered to club members on the 70th and 75th anniversaries.

However, members won’t have to wait until 2026 to get access to these copies of QUA, as we are hosting them in a secure public cloud service for the benefit of Cray Valley RS members.

The total size of the documents is around 1 gigabyte, which is not excessive by today’s standards, and can be downloaded in a reasonable time on a typical broadband Internet connection.

Any member who is interested in accessing these digitized QUA documents should contact the club secretary Dave Lee G8ZZK

Nowadays almost every edition of QUA is bumper-sized and packed full of articles, but we can see from these old records that the newsletter was a modest two pages long in the earliest edition we have scanned from 1962.

In March 1968 QUA saw a splash of colour for the first time. Some familiar themes like Jamboree on the Air are seen as far back as 1962.

These old archives are a rich source of club history and contain a diverse range of content from hand-drawn art, crosswords and jokes to circuit schematics and minutes of the discussions at early AGMs. If you’re curious about the price of sale items in the 1960s, or you’re interested in seeing a breakdown of where members lived in the Cray Valley area, or who was claiming the Cray Valley Award, you can find all this out and a lot more from these old QUAs.

Bob has mentioned that he found a great motivational message from Alan Swindon G3ANK (the Club President at the time) in the January 1989 QUA.  It referred to all the unsung heroes who had worked so tirelessly behind the scenes for the club, and spoke of the ‘persuasive understanding’ of XYLs and that much could be achieved going forward.

There is so much enjoyable material for members to delve into within this historical record, maybe too much for one person to read, but by dipping into some of these old QUAs you are sure to find some gems that will bring a smile to your face and get some insight into how the club fared in its earlier years.