In the first instance, Larry, G4OXY, the regional representative for region 9, asked the members how many radio amateurs there were in the UK. Most guesses were rather wide of the mark of 40 to 50,000. The apparent vagary in the numbers is caused by amateurs holding more than one callsign. However, it was revealed that the RSGB membership now stands at 21,500 members. When a poll was taken of members present, only a very few were non members of the Society and Larry offered to sign them up right there and then!
Larry went on to show the many ways in which the Society helps amateurs. The list which was not definitive but listed services such as support of Contests, Planning assistance, EMC , Propagation information, IOTA, Technical forum, Spectrum Planning, Exam activities, NOVs, ARDF, Beacons and Repeaters, GB2RS news, Awards, Intruder Watch, Aros, and Ofcom and IARU liaison.
The problem facing many clubs is the ageing membership and what to do to get younger people interested. It was mooted that modern technology would be more of interest and to that end the idea of remote control of communications equipment might give the possibility of using amateur radio in areas where big masts and large antennas are not possible.