Autumn Meeting

The AGM this year is being held in MARKET HARBOROUGH THEATRE



09.30 – 10:00 arrive and coffee

10:00 Formal AGM

10:30 Tony will talk about the development of the microphone that carries his name.

11:30 Tour of the theatre

12:00 approximately, disperse for lunch of your choice.

13:45 Reassemble at the theatre

14:00 Film show of films made by local film makers.  These deal with the Foxton Flight (Canal locks) and one other subject.  

15:00 In House AUDIO competition to be judged by staff from the theatre.

16:00 Time to vacate the building.


The AGM was held at Batsford Arboretum, Moreton-in-Marsh, Cotswolds

After coffee and breakfast,  the meeting commenced at 10:30 with a talk by Sue from the Arboretum staff.  Sue outlined the history and special features of the Arboretum and suggested specific points to visit.


At 11:15 Mike Wooldridge, retired BBC foreign correspondent talked about his time in various African countries and the problems associated with getting his reports back to London.  Especially interesting was his report of the release from prison of Nelson Mandela.  

Mike was an entertaining speaker and we could have listened for much longer than the allotted time.


Lunch break was at 12:45.

At 14:15, in a change of programme, PJ reported on the BAARC contest.  There had been only 12 entries from four entrants this year.  There had been only one documentary entry so that category had been abandoned.


AF had judged the entries and had suggested that one of the ‘Experimental music’ entries was appropriate for an award, but that it didn’t compare directly with the ‘Live Music’ entries.  The contest organisers agreed to award two first prizes, one to Creative and one to Live.  

The total prize money would be split between these two.


The four winning entries were played and prizes awarded to:

First prizes:  Cardiff Recording Club (Live) and Mark Rigler (Creative)      Second:  Geoffrey Smallwood          Third:  Stewart Smith





Ken Everitt Cardiff Club

Peta Simmons on behalf of Mark Rigler

Geoffrey Smallwood           

Stewart Smith


After the presentation of the prizes, the formal AGM commenced.

Following the AGM,  Mike Dickens offered his entry for the abandoned documentary class for the company to listen to.  

A very moving piece about the end of WW1 and the following celebrations.


Paul Reeve then offered two pieces by a consort of Tubas.


The meeting closed with tea and cakes and general discussion.


The Autumn AGM
was held at the British Motor Museum
Gaydon,  Warwick.

UKARA meeting at British Motor Heritage museum,  Gaydon.      September 2nd  2017

Richard Simmons report: 

The museum proved to be an excellent choice for our meeting.  Reserved parking near to the conference centre entrance, a well-equipped and spacious lecture room, and access to the adjacent café were the immediate plus points.  As well as that, there was a discount on the café food for us, and free entry to the museum. 

First item on the agenda was coffee/tea, served in the lecture room, and this was followed by a talk from Tony Faulkner.   Tony made the potentially boring subject of testing consumer products come to life with details of the rigorous procedures to be followed, and the many pitfalls that stood in the path of fair and unbiased testing.  He also expressed strong opinions on the subject of  ‘DAB’ digital radio.  We have known for a long time that DAB was a compromise rushed into in the hope of releasing former analogue frequencies to be sold off.  Tony explained that the problems were mainly due to the codec used to bridge the analog and digital domains, which was now considered outdated and inaccurate, but which we were stuck with because both broadcasters and consumers had invested in the equipment.  (My personal opinion is that it is fine where we use it – in the car, kitchen and bedroom, and I suspect that the many people who happily tolerate .mp3 encoded music would not complain about DAB).

Tony’s session led to lots of questions and debate, which occupied us for well over an hour, before we reluctantly turned to the AGM.  I won’t go into the details, they are documented in the minutes, but it does seem that the future of the contest is down to us to secure, by producing and submitting entries for it.  I was one of the inactive members this year, having (like many of us) lots of other activities and problems to deal with.  I have promised to do better next time!

Peta had made a card to wish Mike Thompson well in his current round of treatment.  We all signed it and it has now been sent.

After a bit of necessary administration, lunchtime beckoned.  The café  was pleasant and served full meals if you wanted them, or sandwiches or other snacks if you just wanted to survive until reaching home.  My only criticism of the whole day was the bread in the bought-in sandwiches,  white and bland.  (Though the fillings were all right.)

Suitably fortified, we returned to the lecture room to listen to the winning entries for the competition.  The Welsh delegation kindly provided the necessary audio equipment for this.  There had been some discussion on the difficulty of judging between different classes to rank the overall winners, and indeed, faced with this task, many members didn’t bother to send their marks in at all.

Next contest will have a prize per class, and independent judges.  However we need enough entries to make it worthwhile for the judges to undertake the task.

The museum was an added (free) bonus which we sampled enthusiastically after the meeting closed.  Nowhere else has such a comprehensive range of British vehicles, from once-common family cars to exotic prototypes.

Richard Simmons.


The Autumn AGM
Venue was the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

Programme for the day:

10:00 to 10:30 Arrival and tea/coffee

10:45 Depart on foot to The Land of Lost Content

12:45 return to the Discovery Centre for lunch at 13:00

14:00 Formal bit followed by BAARC results,
members playback and open session.

15:30 Tea/coffee

16:45 depart.


UKARA meeting September 2016

Craven Arms is a quietly pleasant place.   The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre was set up to showcase the area’s attractions, but with a café and meeting room, it also seems to act as a community centre for people in the town.

We made use of the meeting room to hold our sessions, starting with the inevitable concern over our finances.  Relax, UKARA is still solvent, and the long issue over the separate budgets for the association, the British contest and the international, appears to have been resolved.  Although still separately traceable, there will now be a single bank account, which will make Linda’s life somewhat easier.

Having disposed of that, we all made the short walk to ‘The Land of Lost Content’ a museum of  domestic items from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries .This was the work of one person who has amassed over many years, an eclectic and varied collection of clothes, kitchen equipment, toys, electrical items and more.   Keen eyes among the visitors would have spotted a Ferrograph 4 tape recorder amidst a number of lesser examples.

Back for a very plentiful buffet lunch, then some formal business which Peta has reported on elsewhere.  Once that was done, we settled to the most pleasant part of the day, beginning by  listening to the competition winners’ recordings, and watching the prize certificates  awarded by Tony Faulkner (see BAARC tab).  After that we listened to a few members’ recordings brought along to illustrate some particular aspects of the craft.  Mike Dickens lost out here, his CD wasn’t recognised by the CD player, even though subsequently it played without problems on other machines.  So, his pieces are on UkaraLink for those who wish to listen.

Many of the attendees seemed reluctant to leave, even after the room hire period had expired.   It seems to me that this sort of meeting is the ideal place to discuss techniques, seek advice on particular problems and look at new equipment, including an impromptu linking of two Zoom H8 recorders to form an instant 16 track machine.  Impressive, but would you want to do a serious 16 track recording on such a small-screen bit of kit?

I look forward to the next meeting.

Richard Simmons