Balloon Repair Station

One Man and Wellie Meet – Welshpool

This years ever popular One Man Meet was held over the weekend of the 5-7 October and organiser, the ever thoughtful Mr Dunnington, once again provided weather to suit, albeit a bit wet underfoot. It had been hoped that some flying could have been done from nearby Powis Castle but the lawn had become a swamp so it was decided that using the runway at Welshpool Airport would keep everybody a lot happier and drier. Two slots were flown, Saturday and Sunday morning, and although the ground was indeed very wet most found carparks or dry spots in stubble fields to put down. Despite the ‘limit’ of 42,000cu ft seems two interlopers turned up, an LBL77 and a UM60 but having decent excuses they got to fly! The eccentric hoppers hopped 17 balloons and had a great time proving this type of ballooning is as popular as ever.

Jeff and Val Roberts, producers of the brilliant London Region magazine Hot Gossip, kindly provided us with this report. Lots of pictures courtesy of Jeff and Sandy Mitchell, stats by Sandy Mitchell and Martin Freeston. They should get magically bigger if you click on them.

Jeff and Val go to Wales
As Jeff and I were on holiday in Wales we decided to go along to the One Man Meet being held at Welshpool Airfield. We knew Dave Such and Mark Tomlin would be there along with Ken and Mary Gregory. The Ladies Meet held the previous weekend had been a great success so hopefully this would be too.

On the Saturday morning we left our B&B to go to the 7.30am briefing. The weather was fine and 17 balloons flew. Unfortunately the weather changed during the afternoon and was very wet so no balloons flew in the evening. On Sunday morning I didn’t go to the briefing as I needed to pack for our journey to South Wales but Jeff went and although it was frosty, cold and a bit misty the balloons flew again. In the afternoon we both went to the Prize giving.

The ‘Cock Up Trophy’ was awarded to Nick Godfrey as he left half his hopper at home and had to go back for it. He also scored with The Out of the Woodwork Trophy as he hadn’t attended this Meet for several years. He did remember to take them home!

The ‘Wooden Tit Be Nice Trophy’ was awarded to Tom Hilditch (who checked out at Sackville this year) as it was his 1st flight as P1, his 1st time at this Meet and he had only received his licence on the previous Thursday.

The ‘Giacomo Trophy’ was presented to the widow of Bob Jones who tragically died a couple of months after last years One Man Meet. It was given to her to keep in perpetuity in his memory.

Now over to Jeff for the technical information which really doesn’t interest me as much as it does Jeff.

There were two homebuilt hoppers Pete Bish’s Zebedee built 31 and a Jacobs 35. The Jacobs was built in South Africa and came to the UK in 2008. The largest ‘hopper’ was a Lindstrand 77, I know that’s not a hopper, but it has a rather interesting bottom end, two Concorde seats! Tim Orchard, now working at Booker Airfield, had acquired two seats and asked Chris Dunkley if he could make them fly again. Chris being Chris duly obliged! For the full story see the article ‘Concorde flies again’ at http://www.easyballoons.co.uk/2012/02/11/concorde-flies-again/

For those that are interested, Tim along with Captain Leslie Scott and Senior Engineering Officer Rick Eades, managed to get their Concorde, G-BOAD, from New York to London in the amazing time of 2 hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds which still stands as the fastest trans-Atlantic passenger flight.

Below are some pictures from the event. One of the conditions that Dave Such had to meet when he bought his Cameron H-34 was that the previous logo either had to be removed or disguised, we think he did a pretty good job with the alien design.

Saturday am launch
G-BWBO Lindstrand LBL-77A, G-BWOY Sky 31-24, G-BXIT Zebedee V-31, G-BXVP Sky 31-24, G-BXXU Cameron Colt 31A, G-BZBT Cameron H-34B, G-CBIH Cameron Z-31, G-CBZJ Lindstrand LBL-25A, G-CEOU Lindstrand LBL-31A, G-CEWF Jacobs V35, G-LELE Lindstrand LBL-31A, G-NLCH Lindstrand LBL 35A, G-OJNB Lindstrand LBL-21A, G-ONCB Lindstrand LBL-31A, G-TKNO Ultramagic S-50, G-UHOP Ultramagic H-31B, G-XPDA Inflated only.

Sunday am launch
G-BWBO, G-BXIT, G-BXVP, G-BXXU, G-BZBT, G-CBIH, G-CBZJ, G-CEOU, G-CEWF, G-LELE, G-NLCH, G-OJNB, G-ONCB, G-UHOP

For further information on the London Region see http://londonballooning.co.uk but you’ll have to be a member to get the magazine Hot Gossip.

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