Thread: Hamfest Newark
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Old 29th Sep 2019, 5:17 pm   #18
David G4EBT
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Cottingham, East Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 4,137
Default Re: Hamfest Newark

Originally Posted by Techman View Post
You could argue that Saturday would be a better day due to people being at work on a week day, so not able to go on Friday. However, not so, I looked around and all I could see was pensioners (and that includes me now), so nobody of working age - it was a case of 'spot the young person', I think that just about says it all!
I was 14 when I became interested in radio (1953). Back then, to a 14-yr old, all radio amateurs seemed 'old' though in reality many were ex armed services who just eight years before were fighting a war. Many were still only in their early thirties and had been radio and radar operators and technicians. A lot had gone into radio and TV servicing, and as national service didn't end until 1961, many more youngsters served two years and many of those were trained in radio and radar. Hence, there was a raft of guys who were both young and skilled, who formed the bedrock of the hobby, keen to put into use the skills they'd gained, but they're not around any more.

National Service went, and so did radio and TV servicing.

The OFCOM survey in 2005 confirmed what we already knew - the age profile of radio amateurs is heavily skewed to the over 65s and is overwhelmingly male. A decade & a half of the new licence structure and valiant attempts by dedicated amateurs and clubs to attract young people into the hobby as active amateurs has had minimal impact. It matters little how many people hold a licence - what matters is how many are active in the hobby, and are in it for the long haul. Why would my 18-yr old twin granddaughters want to be on air talking to strangers as old as their granddad with whom they have nothing in common, when they can be on social media chatting with their peer group? It isn't going to happen.

Go to a model railway, model engineering, model aircraft, model boat, woodworking show etc, and the age & gender profile will be just the same. Old buffers with time on their hands and generally, a high net disposable income, despite what's often said about pensioners being impoverished.

Whatever age we are, we tend to view 'older people' as anyone older than ourselves. The older we get, the fewer are the people who we are able to view as 'old folk'. Having become an octogenarian this year, one of the uplifting aspects of visiting radio rallies and vintage radio events is that I can always be assured that there will be a goodly selection of 'oldies' to make me feel young by comparison! There will also be those who are younger than me, but who haven't aged too well.

Let's take heart from the fact that very many people, whatever their ages, did visit the Hamfest and are enjoying the hobby in their own way or they'd have stayed away.
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