What ho ballooning people various and Old and Rusties worldwide. The sun is out and so are we (mostly!). Whether you’ve come here to find information on balloon meets, TCDSs, Ride Operators, manuals, inspecting baskets and cylinders or Salome, HMS Hindustan, Surviving cloudhopper flying or our antics various it will all be here somewhere. Primarily we are a Part M Subpart F&G bonker EASA Approved Continued Airworthiness Organisation who are trying to keep things simple. We are always pleased to help if we can or point you in the right direction if we can’t. We and our lovely customers have the most eclectic interests which suits us down to the ground where airborne things always, eventually, end up. So please have a look round read some of the nonsense and have, we hope, a good chuckle. With everyone being out and about the news is a bit thin but full of Matts, congratulations to Nicola and Matthew Scaife who are now the proud owners of a son Hugo. There’s a flight test courtesy of Steve Roake.
Down here in sunny Bucks the weather has been pretty nifty swifty and many a flight has got away. We are finally enjoying the lovely weather to get on with as many outdoor inspections as we can down at the jolly Black Horse. A sudden growing spat meant we had to get Farmer Jay down there a bit post-ockta-Proctor to mow the grass. Very courageously Manager Piers had been using the ride on to do the job but two hours at a time proved too much and it was undergoing therapy. Being circled by eager Red Kites waiting for a diced mouse to appear probably doesn’t help. After a bit of a sad start when a few envelopes failed their grab test, John was getting a bit of a reputation, we can report that things are now improving nicely and we have actually seen some old envelopes come back from the darkness. Most recently Richard Simpson turned up with G-RONI for an inspection. He has now got it insured and we await a call for a re-validation flight in the very near future. Sadly our old friend G-BULF finally really failed badly and has now been retired. On the upside Welsh Colin and Patrick Goss have been lent a balloon by Rick Vale for Metz so at least they are still in the air. You never know one of these days Welsh Colin will actually get his licence.
Now then we have been away a fair bit and as the weather has been so nice we haven’t been inclined to finish articles pending off but at last two are now out. One features the recent gathering of Gresley A4s and if you don’t know what the Dickens I’m on about never mind but check out Mallard and the Canny Fox article. We have also finally finished the report on our last Germany visit. I always have problems writing about these trips not least the fact that we often end up forgetting, or rather not remembering, chunks of it but this time round it was a bit of a dilemma on how to actually put up what we actually did, anyway we finally settled for a Led Zeppelin connection. Following a great day out at The Benson Veteran Bike Day on Sunday and Birdman Batchelor and myself in his Trojan being beaten back to Thame by Booker Paul and his mate on ‘60s push bike tourers and the week previous enjoying lunch with the famous Blethyn Richards and Ashers by the River Wye I am all primed up and eager to get the 1935 Standard 8 back on the road. First trip out will be to The Old Candle Factory for tea and crumpet. The next things we need to do, following some constructive criticism, is to get some sort of index in place for the website and something else that I have now completely forgotten. So, one and all (both of you that is), thanks for rocking up and paying us a visit. Please have a look around and if you have something interesting and potentially rusty in your shed please let us know, we’d love to hear from you. So as Gerry Turnbull always used to remind me ‘Take reasonable care.’ Now where’s that shopping trolley we never got around to flying? All the very best Jane, John, very large Alice, and Chris.