A very bright early 2014 type welcome to you and thanks for dropping by, as the Bonzo Dog Doodah Dand once said with a broad smile. We hope you enjoy your visit. We are an EASA PartM Subpart F&G Organisation specialising in the airworthiness of hot air balloons and through our Balloon Repair Station we also mend them and all the bits that go with them but we do loads of other stuff. There, that’s out the way quite smartly. Things are starting to have a bit of a reshuffle here and already you will notice (or may notice) that any Airworthiness News that pops up between News postings is now a something or other thingy called an ‘Airworthiness Update’. If its something really important that isn’t an ‘Airworthiness Update’ it will be a ‘News Update’. Eventually there will be a category heading wotsit that says ‘Airworthiness’ and they’ll be stored there. In our plan to upgrade the site a bit we are trolling through all the old articles and classifying them to make searching a bit easier but we do have a very good search engine that you can always use at the top. We are back working now but can’t find the answerphone handbook so the message remains the same for the moment or until a small child comes in. When I say working, John has gone travelling round the UK with his new Sprite Muskateer hitched up to his Volvo for a week but will be in from the 21st January. I have to say the year has started quite well especially the brilliant performance by the Dante Group in providing a canny slot during the Icicle which caught most off-guard. Sadly for reasons various we missed it this year, first time since I can’t remember, but thanks to our reporters in the field and some great pictures we have cobbled together a bit of a report which is at Defying the Weather Forecast - Icicle 2014.
On the subject of the weather we’ve had some cracking stuff, thunder, lightening, torrential downpours and wind that tore the felt of Andy the Sculptures’ roof. The piccie was taken by Barry using a clip on lens thing on his eyepatch of the new Rainbow Tunnel entrance they’re making for HS2 to go under the village. Moving on... with the best will in the world I had hoped to have got the rake of old photos sorted by now but you find a few of interest and before you know it the bookcase is being raided and the wibbly-wobbly web surfed and a story is emerging and usually it leads to something else so I don’t think it will ever get done. This time round we’ve dug out some pictures of the RMS Caronia and a rather fetching shot of the small Dunkley brothers posed in front of the Queen Elizabeth so, before you could down a tot of rum, an article appeared in which we even managed to include planes, trains and a ballooning story. Shocked I was. Its under The Queen and the Green Goddess - A Day trip to Southampton but just in case you think it happened a few weeks ago you will be wrong, this was back in 1963! Quite what we’ll do next I’m not too sure as the list and icons on the desk top seems to be growing out of control. In the News is a bit about a Chinese chef and an update on Southend’s new airspace. I’m still fighting the Guide to Burners which I can see being a monster publication but I’m not giving up. Those of the more observant type may notice that Colin Boyson’s old NAPS balloon and trailer has gone from its seemingly long-term parking spot. The rather splendid Leo Forde from Ireland, who we checked out in Mondovi, has purchased it and it has gone to live in Dunslaughlin where it will loved.
In the dark shed things are getting sorted and shifted although you wouldn’t think so by simply poking your head round the door. Barry’s Guzzi (and yes he still hasn’t published the article he wrote about it yet) is still confounding him as he tries to come to terms with the previous owners lashed up wiring. We are going to sneak in and cut it all out so he has to start from scratch. All the cylinders for our new little ’56 have now been sorted and the burner has had some tlc so as soon as we get a frosty morning we’ll chuck her in the air, maybe one up to start with. Amongst the stuff that has re-surfaced is a rather large horizontal cylinder that we have tested and seems fine so we’ll put it up for grabs less the valves in due course. We also found the Pickup back full of Trevor’s scrap which included a 1970s Mobylette frame (free to a good home) and a fair chunk of Jet Provost which we aren’t sure what to do with yet. It’ll probably get nicked by the dids mind. The old Golf is now MOT’d and will be back on the road at the end of the month and become the hopper retrieve. Jane’s dog has gone more bonkers and is on vallium apparently whilst Dotty continues to be confused as the pub dog and has now discovered how to climb. Won’t be long before she gets a Yellow Card I fear. Thanks again for visiting and I trust you enjoy the site. Please feel free to pull up a chair, pour a glass and have a laugh or two. All the best John, Jane, Alice, Chris and Dotty.