RAYNET, The Radio Amateur Emergency Network, is the UK’s national voluntary communications service provided for the community by licensed radio amateurs, ordinary men and women who give up their free time to help out where communications are required in times of need.

Barnsley Area RAYNET is the local group covering Barnsley, South Yorkshire. We provide a flexible communications service for civil emergencies, and local community events FOR FREE, such as shows, meetings, fairs and races. Experience has shown that many problems are caused by a lack of organised communications and co-ordination.

That's where we come in! Take a look further down the page at the events we've already helped out at!

In times of major civil emergency, existing communications - especially mobile phone networks - can become rapidly overloaded (try making a phone call on New Year's Eve!). Too much reliance on high technology can be a mistake.

Recently in London after the terrorist attacks, a review committee considered communications to be patchy at best.

RAYNET is there to step in when needed, to augment existing emergency services, co-ordinate with, and relieve the strain on emergency responders and their valuable resources, freeing them to do the important work they need to carry out.

Barnsley Area RAYNET offers:

  • Additional flexible communication links to complement established systems. We can provide a rapid deployment infrastructure in the event of an emergency, often outperforming existing communications networks under duress.
  • Proficient operating. Our operators have passed a government and Ofcom recognised examination of competence. We train regularly to ensure professionalism and ability. We also have relevant insurance.
  • Diversity. Members who come from a variety of backgrounds and bring with them a wide pool of skills, knowledge and expertise.
  • Established local contacts. Our people know the area well, and can offer advice as to where the best locations for operations are, radio obstructions, interference problems, etc.

Under the terms of the amateur radio licence, we are permitted to pass messages in any emergency on behalf of:

Any UK Police force, Fire & Rescue service or Ambulance trust.
HM Coastguard
Local Authority Emergency Planning Officers
Any health authority
Any government department
British Red Cross
St. John Ambulance
St. Andrew’s Ambulance Association
Salvation Army
Any utility service


Countrywide, RAYNET has provided additional communications at major incidents involving aircraft, trains, flooding, evacuations, telephone exchange failures, missing persons searches, adverse weather, oil/chemical pollution etc. Examples include:

* Lockerbie air crash
* Severn Tunnel incident
* Towyn flooding, North Wales
* Portland WWII bomb evacuation
* Sea Empress oil pollution disaster

RAYNET has also provided safety communications for large-scale community events, such as:

* London Marathon
* Mildenhall Air Fete
* Great North Run/Great South Run
* Many charity cycle rides and events
Long-distance walks and orienteering
* Endurance horse rides


Internationally, groups like RAYNET in the USA provided vital communications for emergency services during 9/11 in New York after emergency service relay equipment located on the World Trade Center was destroyed during the towers collapse.

They have also proved a crucial resource during the Columbia shuttle disaster search and recovery, locating survivors after the Indian Ocean tsunami, and more recently, in New Orleans supporting emergency services after the hurricanes. In fact Barnsley RAYNET played a part in this when one of our members ran an emergency network in support of relief workers in New Orleans and Louisiana during hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

These services are provided VOLUNTARILY by dedicated, community spirited people. The whole ethos of amateur radio revolves around self development and training, and RAYNET is but one small area of a vast field where amateur radio is helping people.

RAYNET is included in emergency contingency planning by the cabinet office on their website at: http://www.ukresilience.info/useful_links.htm

Though we are an independent group, we co-ordinate at national level with the countrywide RAYNET organisation. Their website is at: http://www.raynet-uk.net

The Radio Society of Great Britain has pages about us at: http://www.rsgb.org.uk/emergency/

Membership is open to all with an interest in public safety and emergency communications, with an amateur radio license or not. We can provide licence-free radios for non-licenced helpers, and training to obtain your amateur radio licence.

Barnsley RAYNET have attended these events:

Barnsley Hospice Midnight Walk 10/6/2007 - RAYNET members took part in running communications for the Hospice event which started before midnight.The event involved leapfrogging checkpoints and kept everyone on their toes as the walkers were well spaced apart. Stuart M3FFW rode around in the sweep car, Ron G0TLA and Ian M0ILS manned checkpoints 3 and 7, also helped out at checkpoint 4 due to patchy communications. Jim M1DZM and Rob M1LOU handled checkpoints 2 and 5, Cliff G7NSA manned checkpoint 6 near the Alhambra Centre and toured the course helping out where needed. Carrie Anne M3WOC and Michael M3OCP manned the first checkpoint and then moved to 4 where walkers stopped for refreshments. There was plenty of food for all at the end and one lady over 90 years old completed the walk in good time!



Barnsley Carnival 15/7/2006 - Raising the profile of Barnsley Area RAYNET and Amateur Radio in general with South Yorkshire Amateur Radio Society. We had a visit from the Mayor!

Attendees: G1BQR, G7NSA, M0ALA, 2E1HJO, M1EOZ, M3LQB

NSPCC Hike Against Cruelty to Children - 17/6/2006 - A challenging 40 mile walk for both walkers and operators stretching from Kirkbymoorside on the North Yorkshire Moors to Scarborough in the East.


British Heart Foundation Cycle Ride 11/6/2006 - Dalby Forest, in co-ordination with Richmond RAYNET. As part of our training procedures we work regularly with other groups to ensure we have the highest standards of operating proficiency.

A very hot, sunny day, the event went well with few problems. St John's Ambulance were in attendance.

One of the BHF organisers asked Ron for our contact details for use in future local events around Barnsley. Attendees: G0TLA, G1BQR, 2E0ILS, 2E1HPA, M0ALA. M1LOU, M3AQK.

Humber Bridge Race - 11/6/2006 - No feedback on this yet from Cliff. More to follow. Attendees: G7NSA, M1EOZ, M3LQB, M3WOC. First time we've been split across two events on the same day!. Well done all, and thanks for your efforts.

Dove House Hospice - 25Km Sponsored Walk co-ordination in Beverley in conjunction with East Yorkshire RAYNET.

Several problems occurred which were unexpected but were worked around. Firstly, Clint's car and radio nearly went up in smoke due to a poor quality lighter socket extension going short circuit and fusing the leads. (I stress this wasn't down to operator error HI). Secondly, walk marshals and RAYNET members had problems with the local vicar who was less than friendly regarding parking outside his church, so we had to relocate some distance away where signals weren't optimal. M1EOZ acted as relay for M0ALA who was in the church hall. There were several retirees, no reported injuries handled by us, everything went smoothly.

Having an extra channel, it made operations easier and quicker to transfer vital information between certain checkpoints. Hospice workers at the village hall thanked us for the service and commented on the professionalism and quality of our operations. Attendees: G0TLA, G1BQR, G7NSA, 2E0ILS & son Stuart, 2E0TTS, 2E1HPA, M0ALA, M1EOZ, M3LQB, M3WOC.

Wombwell 5 Mile Road Race - 21/2/2006 - Wombwell Sports Stadium. Course wide communications for event organisers. Weather was fair, One notable injury - a runner was hit by a motor vehicle from behind causing moderate injury tended to by Stairfoot St. Johns Ambulance. Attendees: G0KSK, 2E0ILS, G1BQR, G7NSA, M1LOU, M1DZM and XYL, G0TLA, 2E1HPA, M3WOC, 2E0SDA, M0ALA, M3AQK and son.

Nidd Valley Road Runners Guy Fawkes 10 - 6/11/2005 - Ripley Castle, Nidderdale. Over 700 runners, running 10 miles. Checkpoint communications were provided by Nidderdale and Barnsley RAYNET (as part of our training process with neighbouring groups). Weather was poor, very windy and initially lots of rain. A couple of people retired from the race with injuries and were assisted by Barnsley RAYNET and Teesside St John's Ambulance. Attendees: G1BQR, G7NSA, M1LOU, M0LOU, G0TLA, M0OXO, M3WOC, G0KSK, 2E0SDA, 2E0ILS, 2E1HPA, M0ALA, M1EOZ and M3LQB. Thanks to the organisers for the goody bags!

Mike Higlett, G6WTM, Nidderdale RAYNET controller with some of the group

Barnsley Hospice Walk - 5/9/2005 - Cannon Hall Country Park. Over 200 participants covering up to 20 miles.- Wide area communications and troubleshooting as far out as Penistone and Silkstone. A beautiful sunny day out, one walker had a head injury and was helped out by RAYNET operatives and medical staff. Participants: 2E0ILS, 2E0SDA, 2E1HPA, M3TTS, M3AQK who travelled from Chesterfield, M3WOC, G7NSA, G1BQR, G0TLA from Sheffield, M1EOZ, M3LQB and M0ALA.

Bottom left: G1BQR, RAYNET Control operators G0KSK, 2E0ILS and M3WOC packing away, assisted by Dale Brook M3TTS. Bottom right: Checkpoint 4 team with Mark from Barnsley Hospice, Ann (SWL), G7NSA and M3TTS.

Cudworth 6K Race - Dorothy Hyman Leisure Centre - Race communications and troubleshooting. Participants: 2E0ILS, 2E0SDA, 2E1HPA, M3WOC, G7NSA, G1BQR, M3AQK (and son), M0ALA - Nice carvery meal and beer afterwards!

Carlton Gala - Local fair for Carlton village near Barnsley, helped with organising site communications and ensuring smooth running of the day, monitoring traffic flow.

Carlton Gala Team - Left to right: G1BQR, G7NSA, M3TTS, M0ALA, M1LOU, M3OPB, G0KSK, M1EOZ, M3LQB, 2E0ILS, 2E0SDA, M3WOC and Louise (XYL of M1DZM).

Photograph by kind permission of Jim Nichols, M1DZM

Dalby Forest Ride - 66Km horse riding event co-ordination in North Yorkshire with East Yorkshire RAYNET. Participants: M3TTS, M0LOU and girlfriend Becky, M1LOU, G1BQR, G7NSA, M0ALA


Dove House Hospice -2005 - 25Km sponsored walk co-ordination in Beverley in conjunction with East Yorkshire RAYNET. Participants: M3TTS, M3OPB, G1BQR, G7NSA, M0ALA

East Yorkshire RAYNET Controller Melvyn Lewis G0KGU co-ordinating walk communications from Longcroft School in Beverley.

Barnsley RAYNET is extending its membership. If you have an interest in radio communications and think you have what it takes to be part of our group, feel free to call and visit us!

South Yorkshire Amateur Radio Society provide training for our group.


Mike Spinks G1BQR

26 Church Hill, Royston, Barnsley
S.Yorks.S71 4NH.
Tel. 01226 726830
Mob.07986 791613
E-mail: 011142'at'tiscali.co.uk

Cliff Schofield G7NSA

63 Meadow Rd, Royston, Barnsley
S.Yorks. S71 4AH.
Tel. 01226 723021
Mob.07837 545068
Fax. 01226 723021


We advise you to check out this website which is an extensive government resource of information regarding emergencies, what to do, and who to contact.

Members (and general public!) are encouraged to collect lists of important contact numbers that may be needed during an emergency, to print these out and keep them safe. These include local police/fire/ambulance/hospital/doctors/utilities contact numbers etc. Also, your local broadcast radio and TV station frequencies should be monitored for updates.

Members - put a Barnsley RAYNET logo on your phone! download it here and send it to your phone. Works best with 3G phones.

Barnsley RAYNET thanks the CRT for its community involvement and sponsorship

South Yorkshire Amateur Radio Society is proud to work with Barnsley RAYNET, and maintain this website for free.