Club news 1990s

Extracts from S&G February 1990 to December 1999

February – March 1990

Our new K-13 has arrived eight months behind schedule and will be used mainly for post solo and dual cross-country experience.

Building continues apace with hangars for the Super Falke and Supacat - now everything with an engine has its own house.

An odd thing about the club is that mention of a load indicator (for winch launching) provokes heated debate whereas in the rest of the country there is total disinterest. The CFI has therefore asked a group of instructors to measure what happens when pilots "fly to a load" in a variety, of gliders and conditions.


April - May 1990

The recent gales reduced one caravan to matchsticks, tore the clubhouse roof apart but happily only caused minor damage to one glider and left all members intact.

Congratulations to Dave Brummett and Peter Craggs on becoming assistant instructors and to Derek Palmer on going solo.

The clubhouse overflowed for the AGM and for Bill Scull's thought-provoking talk on accident prevention.

Our finances and future are looking rosy with a steady flow of new members and applications for summer courses.


August - September 1990

Attendance on Wednesdays increased through the winter and the summer sees extra courses, block bookings and competition weeks. Four days a week in winter and seven for most of the summer fully justifies our hefty capital outlay on land and new equipment in the past five years.

Congratulations to Rex Taylor on his 5hrs and to Sarah Baldwin on going solo.

Annual pot winners were Malcolm Chant, Tim Towers, Tim Gardner, Dave Reilly (two), Don Jones, Dave Puttock and Ron Jones. The Progress shield went to Rod Ward while Chris Banting was declared the "Wily Old Bird".


October - November 1990

Our cross-country logbook has been in regular use since April with the sad exception of the BGA week. Competition Enterprise gave us 25,000km (see report in this issue).

Rex Greyling (K-6) flew 320km and congratulations also to Dav Reilly, Simon Minson and lan Mitchell who demonstrated that an O/R to Lasham will be tomorrow's milkrun; Chris Heide (Silver badge); Chris Banting, Bob Wilson, Rod Ward and lan Snelling (Silver distance); Frank Bertonelli and Alan Davidson (Silver height); Rex Taylor, Phil Whithead and Chris Banting (duration); lan Snelling (Bronze badge) and Ken Daniels and Doug Roy (going solo).


December 1990 – January 1991

The dry spell broke for our task week but undaunted we paddled around small tasks to give four days, all won by the Oly 463 flown by Rod Ward and Peter Craggs.

Ron Jones completed his Gold badge and went to 20,000ft at Aboyne. Les Hill has his 5hrs and Andy Davidson a Bronze badge. Peter Huggins, Bob Varty, Tim Bardon, Dav Cottingham, Martin Woolner, Damien LeRoux, Ray Duckett, Martin Bennett and Doug Ray have been sent solo, mostly by Tim Gardner.


April - May 1991

We had interesting and enjoyable flying in January with good ridge and thermal soaring.

At our December AGM eloquent tribute was paid to our president, Eric Shore, on his retirement after more than 25 years as treasurer. He is also a tug pilot. We are grateful for his tireless and capable tending of our finances and his astute guidance. The presentation (see photo on p98) was a small token of our appreciation.

Prizes were awarded to Sarah Baldwin (best progress); Dave Reilly (best cross-country/Comp placing/Club Ladder); Rex Grayling (best wood cross-country); lan Mitchell (best 300km attempt, an O/R to Lasham); Peter Craggs and Rod Ward (winning the task week); Tom Towers and Tim Gardner Two-seater trophy) and Brian Weare was the "Wily Old Bird".

Our first home-grown all three Diamonds pilot, Mike Fairclough, received a special award and to make up for the cancelled Enterprise prizegiving, John Bally received the Enterprise Challenge plate as joint winner with Dave Reilly.

Another immaculate DG-300 has arrived and more K-6s brings their total to seven. The task week is from August 12-17. Come and join us.


June - July 1991

The Husky has been re-energised, a third SF-27 has arrived and a further K-6CR brings the total to eight. Expeditions are planned to Talgarth, Portmoak and Glyndwr (with the K-13).

Ron Johns celebrated his full category instructor rating with the first cross-country of the year, an O/R to Okehampton.

We plan to extend and rationalise the trailer park/hangar apron to give more parking and sheltered winter storage.


August - September 1991

It is heartening to see so many members visiting other sites and having badge flights. Simon Minson (Mosquito) claimed Diamond height, John Bugbee (DG-101) and lan Mitchell (Foka4) Gold and Andy Davison (SF-26) 5hrs at Portmoak; Peter Nethercot (PIK 20) Gold height and Gordon Bonney (K-6) and Damian LeRoux (K-6) Silver height at Lleweni Parc with Peter Harding gaining 5hrs at Talgarth.

The Talgarth expedition had its darker side with a K-6 written off in a trailer towing incident on the way home. Thankfully no one was injured.

Congratulations to Stewart Procter on going solo and to John Jowett who completed his Bronze badge during the late May cross-country week.

We have regular catering in the clubhouse, which is a bonus for course weeks. Our task week is from August 12-17. If interested, contact us at the weekend or on Wednesday/Thursday evenings, after flying, on 040484 386.


December 1991 – January 1992

After years of hard and first class work maintaining the club fleet, technical officer Dave Reilly has retired and we thank him for all his help and expertise, lan Beckett has taken over.

Congratulations to Christine Langford, I.Anderson and G.Fudge (going solo); K.Lopez and P.Huggins (Bronze legs) and C.OIdfield and G.Bonney (Bronze badges).

There were some good flights during the August task week in spite of mediocre conditions. D.Le Roux won with R.Grayling 2nd and I.Snelling/J.Jowett 3rd, all flying K-6s.

P.Harding, J.Jowett, D.Le Roux, G.Bonney, T.Barden and R.Hawley flew Silver distances with 5hrs by G.Bonney, T.Barden, M.Beecham, C.Oldfield and K.Daniel and Silver height by C.Oldfield. R.Ward completed his Gold badge with a Diamond goal from Dunstable.

Work on the trailer park by the hangar is progressing.


February - March 1992

It is 25 years since we bought our splendid site. Then, as now, there was a healthy interest in and optimism for our sport. Our annual report and accounts have encouraged us to buy a K-21 for advanced training.

Clubhouse comforts have improved – with double-glazing and Caroline's catering concession.

Although the launch rate is similar to 1990, overall flying was significantly less, reflecting poor conditions. However, pilots still achieve! Philip Morrison with his first solo/Bronze leg flight; David Cottingham's Silver distance to Wimborne and, in early October, lan Mitchell's exploration of Quantock wave.

Ron Johns and Malcolm Chant have progressed from a K-18 via Pegasus to Nimbus 2. For the May Day weekend, May 2-4, we will be welcoming Vintage GC members for a short rally as company for our T-21 and Eagle.


April - May 1992

Trophies were presented at the AGM to Simon Minson, who won three and shared another with John Burrow, Mike Fairclough, lan Mitchell, Stuart Proctor and David Greig.

On New Year's Day Damian Le Roux (K-6cR) contacted wave over North Hill with a gain of 3100ft.

We have a cross-country week from June 15-19 and a task week from August 10-14. We look forward to welcoming visitors, particularly to the vintage weekend from May 2-4.


June - July 1992

Our first cross-countries were on March 8 by Ron Johns (Pegasus) and Damian Le Roux (K-6CR). On April 4 Damian and Tim Bardon (SF-27A) flew 150 and 130km triangles and Colin Watt (ASW-19) a 170km multiple TP task.

At Talgarth in March, Guy Adams gained Gold height in the club's Junior. We have further expeditions to Talgarth and Portmoak.

Jonathan Smith has a full Cat instructor's rating; Bernard Reeves, after a decade's break, has resoloed and Adrian Bolt, Chris Wool, Richard Petheram, Peter Callaghan and Alan Turner have gone solo. Well done!

We are celebrating our 40th anniversary with a hangar party after flying ends on Saturday, July 18. We hope past D&S members will come and renew old acquaintances.


October - November 1992

The Easter Portmoak expedition logged over 180hrs in the week, with Gold height for John Pursey (SF-27). Returning south, Mike Fairclough (PIK 20) went to 24 700ft at Glyndwr for their site record.

Strong winds discouraged visitors to the May Day weekend vintage rally with only Ted Hull (Moswey) arriving to fly with our home based T-21, Eagle and Oly 463.

Since late May we have had good wave off Exmoor and Dartmoor with climbs to more than 8000ft. Our newly arrived K-21 is doing advanced and cross-country training with some TV filming.

Badge claims are flowing in:- Stan Yeo, Ken Daniel, Peter Huggins and Mike Beecham (Bronze badges); Stan Yeo (Silver badge in two weeks in the K-6); Chris Oldfield (Silver distance); Peter Harding (distance and height for a Silver badge); Ellis Smith (Silver distance) and Simon Leeson (duration). Simon Grey, Neil Gorton and Adrian Jones have gone solo.

Damian Ie Roux (K-6) came 2nd in Competition Enterprise and flew a Gold 344km from Sutton Bank with climbs in the lee wave from the Pennines.

We celebrated our 40th anniversary and 25 years at North Hill with a hangar party well attended by members of all generations, including founder member Brian Masters from the USA.


December 1992 – January 1993

We had three mediocre contest days for the August task week. Frank Bertorelli and John Jowett (both K-6s) gained Silver distance (John with a barograph this time!). The overall winner was Rex Grayling (K-6) with John Jowett and lan Snelling runners-up.

In mid-September a small expedition to Glyndwr GC experienced Welsh wave with Gold height for Chris Oldfield and Gordon Bonny (both K-6s). Malcolm Chant (Pegasus) narrowly missed Diamond height. This is clearly a site for better acquaintance.

Simon Leeson and Frank Bertorelli have their 5hrs and Stuart Proctor a Bronze badge. Adrian McMullen and Dick Stevens have gone solo and Gilly Cox has resoloed after 15 years.


February - March 1993

Training and air experience courses have been particularly successful. Noteworthy were solo/resolo flights of the Britton and Rix family teams (father and son) on a July course.

Alan Bromley has a Bronze badge and Peter Harding part 1 of the Cross-country diploma.

CFI Chris Miller was organised into the K-21 with Peter Craggs as "trainee" and then with TV presenter Chris Serle for an ITV "Shoot the video" programme. It resulted in a significant number of membership inquiries.

Our annual statistics "prove" that 1992 was belter than 1991 with flying hours up +9%, cross-country kilometres +11% and launches -1½%.

There was an improvement in solos and badge Claims, except for no change in Bronze. It seems that even the K-21 is justifying its purchase.


April - May 1993

Private ownership is increasing - we are at 38 with the arrival of a Libelle and M200. Cs of A and maintenance work continue on non flying days.

At our AGM and prizegiving, Damian Ie Roux won trophies for the club ladder, best Diamond goal attempt, best cross-country, best cross-country in a wooden glider and best placing in a BGA rated Competition (Enterprise). Other prizes went to Rex Grayling (task week winner); Ron Johns and Chris Wool (two-seater trophy); Chris Miller (best O/R to Lasham); Richard Petheram (best progress) and lan Davison was the Wily Old Bird. There was a good attendance and Caroline's buffet supper was much appreciated.

Francis Bustard, who died last autumn, remembered the club in his will; we have to find a suitable way to perpetuate his memory.

We are running Competition Enterprise 20 and our regular summer courses.


Obituary - Francis John Bustard

I don't know when I met Francis; it just seems he was always there. Quietly, lovingly, Francis seemed to turn up whenever he was needed and caused things to be done "right."

His contributions to the club were continuous. He was a contributor to the North Hill purchase deposit and when we bought North Hill (in exchange for our gliders), he lent us a Capstan.

He and I collected it from Slingsby's, towed by Phil Jefferies in the Tiger Moth. Over the Mendips we got towed over the top of a fog layer which Phil decided to dive through. At 500ft, in thick cloud, diving steeply with the Moth dangling somewhere out of sight in front of us (the Capstan had very good brakes), Francis said: "I don't think the insurance starts till tomorrow!!" There wasn't the slightest tone of panic or fear in his voice. There should have been, but that was Francis.

Francis became chairman and then president, bringing that quiet confidence, which was his hallmark, to all club decisions. He will be remembered by the BGA Executive Committee members for his contribution from 1970 to 1980.

I had the good fortune to share a Dart and then a K-6E with him. He enjoyed the air so much, which was unusual for someone who discovered it late in life.

Those of us who had the honour of knowing and loving him as a dear friend, know that he was a one-off and an English gentleman of the best sort.

John Fielden

August - September 1993

At last 1993 is bringing regular (if difficult) soaring. Ron Johns (Pegasus) set the cross-country ball rolling by flying a 100km O/R on March 25.

With Damian Ie Roux (K-SCR) and Dave Reilly (who flew the first 300km of the year in his Libelle on May 3), he features regularly in the cross-country book.

Lisa Knights has gone solo; Richard Petheram, Phil Morrison and Stuart Procter have Silver heights and 5hrs and Marion Dean Silver height.

We have had a successful instructors' course at the site, in spite of washout conditions with heavy thunderstorms. We are hosting Competition Enterprise is in July with our task week from August 9 to14.


October - November 1993

With a successful Competition Enterprise behind us, our thanks to Sandy Harrup for her hard work as organising secretary. We are delighted she has been awarded an International Air Tattoo flying scholarship for the disabled and will be training in the USA during the autumn.

M.Flower and P.Baldwin have gone solo. Derek Palmer has 5hrs and Stuart Procter, Phil Morrison, Simon Leeson and Martin Woolner flew Silver distance, Stuart and Phil to complete their Silver badges.

Midsummer Day (June 24) was good. Lan Beckett flew a 302km triangle for Gold distance/Diamond goal (see p253), in company with Malcolm Chant (ASW-20L), Ron Johns (K-21) and Tim Gardner (DG-100). Malcolm is also claiming Gold distance/Diamond goal for this Gold badge.

We have had some enjoyable barbecue/social evenings when grounded by bad weather.


December 1993 – January 1994

After many years' absence from national competitions Damian Ie Roux was 2nd in Competition Enterprise (in a borrowed Std Cirrus) and flew in the Standard Nationals. Jonathan Smith (in our club Junior) gained his Diamond goal in the Junior Nationals, ending midway in the list

Fred Clark (Oly 463) and Richard Petheram (K-6CR) flew Silver distances. We had an enjoyable summer barbecue. Considerable assessment is underway for improvements next year


February – March 1994

Another beneficiary of "that day 1993" (June 24) was Tim Smart (Skylark 3e) who completed his 5hrs.

With the success of Enterprise, we followed with a poor August task week with only three flying days. Rex Grayling (K-6CR) won, waving handicap at Tim Gardner (DG-100) and Tim Bardon (SF-27). Then came the Oly 463 and the gang of K-6s. The best day was a Westbury-Halesland triangle over the Somerset Levels.

Retirements are here. CFI Chris Miller has handed over to Simon Minson after five years. David Minson stands down after even longer running the club computer. This was the latest spell in his long service to the club which has included instructor/committee member/chairman. Somewhere he has fitted in some private flying (Gold badge and Diamond goal.)

There are plans for a cross-country training week as well as our usual August task week.


April - May 1994

Prefaced by the sad news of Peter Hill's death only hours previously, our AGM went ahead to deal with our successful progress in a mediocre soaring year - to which Peter had contributed in no small measure in many ways.

Committee members elected were Sandy Harrup (our first lady), John Street (re-elected) and ex CFI Chris Miller. David Minson's record of long service as instructor/committee member/chairman/accounts computer was recognised by the presentation of glasses and a decanter. Trophies went to Dave Reilly (club ladder and best flight); lan Beckett (best flight in wood and best Lasham 0/R); John Bugbee (best 7gain of height); Malcolm Chant (first Diamond goal of the year); Damian Ie Roux (best place in Competition Enterprise); Ron Johns and Phil Morrison (two-seater trophy); Dick Stephens (best progress) and the "wily old bird" award to Rex Grayling who won the task week trophy.


Obituary - Peter B.Hill

It is with great sadness that I record the death of Peter Hill.

I first met Peter when he joined the club in the mid 1980s and I was a newly qualified instructor. I asked him what flying experience he had. He replied, with a twinkle in his eye, that he "had done a bit of power flying". It was later, when we became friends, that he showed me his RAF logbooks. During the war he had flown practically everything there was to fly and had logged thousands of hours as a ferry pilot.

Peter was a dedicated member, usually the first on the field, with his dog Josh. He was always available to give aerotows, winch launches and help on summer courses and task weeks Peter was well-known to all participants of Competition Enterprise at North Hill. He was also on our management committee.

Delightful company, possessing a wonderful sense of humour, Peter was a true gentleman and a very dear friend. He will always be remembered with affection and will be greatly missed. Peter enriched all our lives and we were privileged to have had his friendship.

Our sympathies are extended to his daughter Joy and his son Alistair.

John Street.

June - July 1994

If you blinked at the wrong time this winter, you missed the good weather. The first cross-countries were a 155km on March 10 by Ron Johns (Pegasus) and on March 26, lan Beckett (Duster) 118km, John Pursey (SF-27) 161km and Dave Reilly (Libelle) 210km.

The Oly 463 syndicate had a 30th birthday party for the glider. Also, "the workshop sit-in" has been popular, with winter refurbishing and C of A work keeping the workshop full. Lan Mitchell has just gained his inspector's ticket.

Our summer courses start in June and we have our task week in August when we welcome friends old and new. Our telephone number is now 0404 841386


Obituary - lan Snelling

With great sadness, we report lan's death. A true stalwart of the club, anyone could turn to him for assistance at any time.

Holder of a Silver badge, he flew his syndicate K-6CR on every possible occasion and was clearly on his way to greater achievements, so it came as a great shock and sorrow to us to learn that he had developed motor neurone disease. In spite of increasing difficulties and often in great discomfort, lan fought on. He continued to fly until he could no more.

Our sympathy goes to Catherine and family.


October - November 1994

Badge claims from the K-6CR mobsters include Peter Huggins (Silver distance and height); Ellis Smith (duration and height) and Chris Wool (duration and distance), completing Silver badges for Ellis and Chris. Ellis also flew Gold height in wave at the Long Mynd. Tim Towers has Silver height and Frank Bertonelli part 1 of the cross-country diploma.

Robert Lee, John Murray and Eric Alston have gone solo and Ron Jones (ASW-20L) has completed all three Diamonds with a 513km flight from Booker.

Simon Minson (CFI), with instructors Chris Miller and lan Mitchell, organised a visit by Peter Mallinson (from Nympsfield) for an aerobatic instruction weekend.

There have been expeditions to Portmoak, Talgarth and the Long Mynd. The August task week is dogged with strong easterlies, snaking frontal systems and our final course week in mid August was cancelled due to lack of support.


December 1994 – January 1995

The cross-country log reveals: five active days in August; September - none. Even the task week went missing, in spite of the best endeavours of task setting magician, John Fielden. However on the Saturday the remaining task week pilots set themselves a 102km triangle with Dave Reilly (Libelle) completing four circuits, John Pursey (SF-27A) three and lan Beckett (Duster), Peter Craggs (Oly 463) and Simon Leeson (Junior) a single circuit each. The same weekend lan Mitchell (Foka 4) flew with Mendip GC in the Inter-Club |League.

David Greig (K-6CR), Joe Watt (K-6) and lan Anderson (Junior) have flown Silver distance and lan a 5hrs. Dave Reilly is back at the top of the club ladder.



February - March 1995

As we have a fall in membership, the committee are planning a publicity drive, coupled with improved flight arrangements.

Stuart Procter and Geoff Cook have AEI ratings. Although overall launches, flying hours and cross-country kilometres for 1994 are down from 1993 levels, there is still an air of satisfaction with Ron Johns' completion of all three Diamonds and a good bunch of solos and Silver badge flights.

Dave Reilly is back at the top of the club ladder on which there are 26 pilots (more than for several years).

Hopefully the BGA instructors' cross-country course (28 May-June 3) will be full


Obituary - Chris Oldfield

It is with sadness that we report the death of a popular and reliable member, Chris Oldfield. He joined the club in 1990 and was always ready to lend a hand and "muck in" with whatever was needed.

Part owner of a K-6CR, Chris obtained great satisfaction from gliding.

Considerate, a true gentleman - we shall miss him. We extend our sympathies to Lois, Kate, Annabell and Lottie.

Sandy Harrup

April - May 1995

At our well attended AGM on December 3 Chris Heide and Ken Jenkins were returned to the committee. Trophies went to Dave Reilly, Simon Minson, Lisa Knights, Ron Johns, Ellis Smith, lan Mitchell, Tom Zealley and John Murray. The enjoyable buffet was by Caroline and her team.

John Street and lan Anderson are spearheading a major publicity campaign culminating in an open weekend on June 24-25 dedicated to air experience flying from dawn to dusk, while proofs of the new club leaflet are looking very exciting. We are planning one and two day courses to complement our successful one week summer courses.

January saw many members taking advantage of the visit by the BGA's DG-500, while others experienced inverted flight with Chris Miller in the club K-21. Stewart Procter and Geoff Cook have AEI ratings and Phil Rowlands has soloed.


June - July 1995

We are replacing our Husky with a new Pawnee this April; visitors' accommodation has improved with the new club caravan and we are decorating the clubroom.

We have an air experience weekend in June and a task week in August. Richard Petheram, Les Hill, Mike Sansom and team have given the workshop a new floor and Mike Robinson has worked on the club trailers.


August - September 1995

An interesting April and May saw our CFI Simon Minson and Ron Johns have wave climbs to 8000ft. A group led by Dick Wolff had a very successful expedition to Talgarth taking two club and two private gliders. In five days 130hrs were flown with wave climbs to 14 000ft and Dave Reilly notching up 29hrs on several cross-country flights

Many members took advantage of the visit by the BGA's DG-500 and Discus but the BGA cross-country course had poor soaring with only one task set. Stewart Procter flew Silver height to complete his badge.


October - November 1995

Excellent weather has produced a host of new solo pilots - Julie Minson, Gilly Hodds, Luke Roberts, Dave Edwards and James Warren.

Our first air experience weekend in June went well with over 100 flights on the second day with the T21 much in demand. It produced a number of new members as have the very successful summer courses. Marion Dean has her 5hrs and Mike Sloggett his 50km.


December 1995 – January 1996

We have had much activity and achievements during August and September with Silver legs for James Warren (height) and Luke Roberts (height and 5hrs). The last two courses were very successful with excellent weather.

Marion Dean has gone solo aero behind our new Pawnee - members are experiencing the difference from the Husky's gentle launches.

There have been expeditions to Pocklington, Lleweni Pare and the Long Mynd and late September has given excellent ridge days.


February - March 1996

With the arrival of our new Pawnee (thanks to the efforts of Joe Acreman) we have a host of new solo aerotow pilots.

Malcolm Chant, John Bugbee and Roger Matthews gained Diamond heights at Aboyne and Dave Edwards in Arizona.

We are renovating our "control bubble" and a dedicated team keep our tractors and winches going.


April - May 1996

The most notable achievement last year was our ever youthful octogenarian, Peter Huggins, completing Silver badge with a 5hrs.

Our chairman Les Hill handed over to Joe Acreman at our AGM in December and Chris Heide was elected vice-chairman, while Peter Craggs (safety officer), lan Anderson and Simon Leeson have joined the committee.

John Pursey almost completed a clean sweep, winning five trophies and sharing the sixth with Allan Rappaort. Other cups went to Dave Reilly (two); James Warren, Julie Minson and Dave Edwards Snr.


June - July 1996

We have had several wave days. Our new chairman Joe has worked hard on the much needed retrieve Land Rover which is already giving worthy service, lan Mitchell, our new technical officer, has a full Cat rating and Chris Heide is an assistant instructor.

We have bought four EW barographs and printers with the Francis Bustard bequest and are replacing our parachutes. CFI Simon Minson led an Easter expedition to Portmoak.

Our courses are filling up rapidly and Competition Enterprise will be held at North Hill from June 29 to July 7. For more information call the club on 01404 841386 - this was a superb event three years ago so do join us.


August - September 1996

Dave Reilly and CFI Simon Minson flew O/Rs to Lasham. Summer courses have started and air experience evenings are filling up fast.

Oscar MacMillan and Peter Stapleton have gone solo. Paul Carpenter arranged well attended lectures on cross-country flying techniques given by Simon Minson, Dave Reilly and lan Mitchell.

Work has started on the new hangar apron and alarm systems to cover the clubhouse hangars and workshops as activity builds up as we approach Competition Enterprise.

Our thanks to treasurer Mike Davies who has worked tremendously hard during this year.


October - November 1996

July brought the sad news of the death of Peter Craggs whose contribution to the club as committee member, safety officer, instructor and friend to many will be much missed.

Competition Enterprise was a huge success with flying of some sorts on all eight days with the weather never ideal (see p279). Our thanks to Sandy Harrup and her dedicated team for an excellent event.

Mid week pilots have had some good weather with excellent 300kms flown. The new tarmac has vastly improved our hangar apron. Joe Watt completed his Silver badge with a distance leg and Peter Stapleton gained Silver height soon after going solo.


December 1996 – January 1997

August and September brought a mixture weather and some interesting flying although our task week was almost wiped out.

Luke Roberts and Mike Sansom completed Silver badges with distance legs, Luke at Portmoak. Isobel Jennings and David Jones have gone solo and Paul Carpenter and Robert Lee have cross-country endorsements.

Roger Coote and Max Bacon flew in for a day’s meeting with our committee to discuss options for future club development - this was both constructive and enjoyable.


April - May 1997

At our AGM in December Ron Johns took over as CFI from Simon Minson whose efforts and enthusiasm were greatly appreciated. Malcolm Chant is the safety officer and Simon Leeson and Mike Fairclough were re-elected to the committee joined by Eddie Bromwell and Malcolm Chant. Trophies went to Chris Wool (2), Luke Roberts (2), John Street (2), Simon Leeson (2), Tim Gardner, Eric Shore, Dave Edwards, Dave Reilly, Malcolm Chant and Phil Morrison.

With free reciprocal membership extended to all UK clubs we welcome visitors. Martin Woolner and Simon Leeson have AEI ratings.


June - July 1997

The run up to Easter saw a remarkable change in the weather encouraging many to exploit our ridges, wave and the first decent thermals. Easter was very busy with John Street opening the club for the whole week.

Ron Johns was within eight miles of completing a declared O/R to Lasham. The club development plan for application to the Lottery Sports Fund is nearing completion while thanks must go to Joe Acreman for his tireless work keeping the club running smoothly.

We also thank the caravan committee of Dick Wolff and his team, who have dug a trench to take electricity to the caravan owners. Also Mike and Barbie Fairclough for organising our new cadet scheme. The first recruits have started training.


August - September 1997

We have had an exciting two months with a BBC film crew preparing Sue Cook's "Out and About" series which was shown in May. It has given the club excellent coverage and our thanks to Stewart Procter for doing the flying.

The Inter-League Club now includes Dartmoor, Mendip and Bath, Wilts & North Dorset GCs. On the first day, despite difficult conditions, John Pursey was at 15,000ft over Dartmoor.

Some 20 members, taking a K-21, T-21 and a tug, enjoyed the Cornish GC's 40th anniversary.

Julie Minson has her Silver badge and Mark Courtney and Tom Wythe have gone solo.

The expeditions to Scotland have given members memorable wave flights.


October - November 1997

The interesting mix of weather in June and July gave few really good cross-country days. These were exploited by Dave Reilly, Ron Johns and Simon Minson (single-seaters) with Phil Morrison and Chris Wool taking the K-21 on an O/R to Salisbury. Justin Wills visited us and flew an O/R to Perranporth, the venue for the Inter-Club League which was a wash out.

Paul Carpenter has Silver distance and Martin Davies and Joy Chadwick have soloed. The air experience evenings and summer courses have already been very successful.

We have been granted a Lottery Sports Fund grant towards two new gliders and a hangar so that club gliders can stay rigged.


February – March 1998

We plan to buy a DG-505 and build a hangar if lucky with our Lottery Sports Council application. Already the East Devon District Council have contributed £5688. We have replaced the written off K-6 with a Pegasus.

At the AGM in December Phil Morrison joined the committee with Eddie Bromwell and lan Anderson re-elected. Trophies were presented to John Pursey (3), Dave Reilly (2), Chris Wool, Phil Morrison, Luke Roberts, John Jowett, Paul Carpenter, Peter Stapleton, Robert Lee and lan Beckett. Our thanks to our chairman Joe Acreman, secretary John Phillips and treasurer Mike Davies for their contribution to the club.


April - May 1998

The Lottery Sports Council has confirmed a grant of £60 000 grant towards a glider store and a two-seater trainer (DG-505 Orion), which will be collected from Germany in March by our CFI, Ron Johns, and safety officer Malcolm Chant.

The lack of easterlies has robbed us of our January ridge soaring but there have been several wave flights. Simon Leeson and John Pursey are now assistant instructors and Gordon Bonny has an AEI rating.

We are running four courses and two open weeks for solo and cross-country flying. With reciprocal membership scheme we welcome visitors. For details call 01404 841386 on Wednesdays and Thursdays and at weekends


June - July 1998

Our new DG-500 Orion is already a great success. The last two days of Easter gave us the first good soaring weather of 1998. We had local cross-country training and pilot conversions while Dave Reilly and Mike Fairclough, amongst others, completed O/Rs over snow covered Exmoor to the north Devon coast.

With our new fleet structure shaping up well many K-8 and K-6 pilots have converted to our Junior and Pegasus. We have to make a decision on our Lottery grant supported glider store, with a number of new options to be discussed.

Due to unforeseen problems at the host club, Competition Enterprise will be held at North Hill starting on Saturday, June 28, with John Fielden offering some interesting tasks. For more details contact the organiser, Sandy Harrup.


August - September 1998

The thermal soaring season appears to be on hold here with only a small number of cross-countries possible so far. Jill Meakin completed her Silver Duration on a difficult day. Sandy Harrup, Martin Callaghan and Mark Shotton have all flown solo. Gordon Bonny is now an AEI and Air Experience evening-activity is increasing.

A full programme of courses, task weeks and open-weeks lies ahead of us, as does Competition Enterprise.

Simon Leeson

October - November 1998

Our Summer courses and Air experience evenings are in full swing. With weather improving many members have made successful cross-country flights while others have received Cross-country training in our new DG505. Our Open Week in early August proved extremely popular despite the very hot anticyclonic conditions limiting opportunities for cross-country flying. The 25th Anniversary Competition Enterprise produced some interesting results as usual, with tasks set by John Fielden on most days. Gill Meakin completed her Silver Badge with a 50km flight to The Park, Steve Bushell and Charles Artur have flown solo and Phil Morrison has become an AEI. Visitors from other clubs are welcome; we have free reciprocal-membership.

Simon Leeson

December 1998 – January 1999

Plans for our new hangar are now on display. Gordon Peters continues to improve our new computerised flight-logging software which is still undergoing trials at the launch point.

The weather has not offered much to talk about. There have been a number of successful expeditions to Talgarth and Portmoak. Congratulations to Phil Morrison who has qualified as an AEI, and Stuart Proctor and Martin Woolner who have completed their Assistant Cat. Courses at Bicester.

Simon Leeson

April - May 1999

It is with great sadness that we record the death of lan Beckett, who had contributed so much to the Club over many years.

Our AGM in December saw the annual distribution of trophies. Several club members including Gill Meakin, Gordon Bonny, Peter Stapleton and John Burrows jointly shared the Kennedy Challenge Trophy for their flights in our DG505 during Competition Enterprise. Mark Courtney has completed his Bronze badge.

We are grateful to the many members who have worked on projects during the year, with special thanks to Gordon Peters, who has developed our computerised log-keeping program.

Our CFI is leading an expedition to Spain in April and we hope that the work on our new hangar will be starting in the near future.

Simon Leeson

August - September 1999

Limited cross-country weather has kept most of us closer to home than most would prefer. The group that visited Cerdane, Spain, led by CFI Ron Johns, and Safety Officer, Malcolm Chant, had challenging and exciting weather. During their two-week stay, Phil Morrison and John Burrows made Diamond-height climbs in wave. The final day would have been a disappointment, but for a hot-air balloon trip to France!

North Hill was the venue for an Inter-club league day in late May with visitors from Mendip and Bath, Wilts & North Dorset GCs. However, only the Saturday was flyable. A busy schedule of Task and Course-weeks approaches, together with Trial-lesson Evenings.

Simon Leeson

October - November 1999

Very hot anticyclonic conditions have limited the number of cross-country flights. However Oscar McMillan has completed his Silver badge with a trip to Keevil during which he also reached Silver height.

The number of names on the Club Ladder is increasing steadily and is currently topped by Dave Reilly.

Construction work on our new Lottery Sports Fund supported Hangar is about to start, and our thanks go to all involved, especially Don Jones.

The Computer Flight log, developed by Gordon Peters, is now operating well. Thanks must also go to John Bugbee for his decorating the clubhouse. Finally, congratulations to Sandy Harrup and Steve Westlake who have flown solo.

Simon Leeson

December 1999 – January 2000

The new hangar is now finally taking shape allowing all club aircraft to remain permanently rigged. Members have ventured to Talgarth and North Wales and at the time of writing Oscar McMillan, Steve Bushell and Anthony Leech were enjoying a BGA wave course at Aboyne. Latest news was that Oscar obtained his Gold height and Anthony was last seen at 10,000ft in our Club Junior. Closer to home, Mark Courtney and Fred Marks completed Silver distances with a trip to the Park. Everyone is looking forward to our AGM on Saturday, December 11. Our thanks to Ron Johns who will be standing down as CFI after three years; and congratulations to Malcolm Chant, our safety officer, who completed his Full Cat earlier this year and who takes up the CFI's role in December.

Simon Leeson