I am thoroughly enjoying my present radio challenge of collecting US States for their Worked All States (WAS) award on HF. Every day I see Radio Amateurs around the World queuing up to work US stations and pileups arising for some of the rarer States such as Nevada (NV), which is very sparsely populated.
It made me think that a similar radio challenge for the UK would generate considerable activity on both HF and revitalise VHF too, where the levels of activity on 144/432 MHz SSB have considerably reduced in recent years and ideas are currently being sought to raise more interest.
The obvious equivalent radio challenge would be a UK ‘Worked All Counties’ award and indeed many years ago the Worked All Britain (WAB) group had a ‘Counties award’, which unfortunately appears not to be in place now. From memory I think the WAB rules permitted either activation or working each County (Scottish Counties 3 times), whereas the new proposed RSGB award might follow the lead of the US WAS award and be for working each County only, maybe.
I found the WhatCounty website today which lists all the UK Counties in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as a good starting reference, but the listing of Counties didn’t match the map so clearly a definitive list is required from somewhere else.
There appears to be approximately the following numbers of Counties in the UK
England – 39
Scotland – 9
Wales – 6
Northern Ireland – 6
Making a total number of around 60 Counties to be collected which isn’t too many or too few.
I would love the RSGB to take up the sponsorship of a UK Counties award which would make UK stations across the Country much more sought after than at present on HF and really boost overall HF/VHF activity, as well as being obviously a fun challenge for everyone.
The rarer the County the better from an operator’s point of view. Glad I live in Cumbria!
73 de Philip G0ISW
P.S. I’ve copied this message onto the Yahoo ‘RSGB Forum’ and ‘VHFandUHF’ groups pages. Hopefully others might think it a good idea and actually try to bring this idea to life.