Balloon Repair Station

Welcome to Easy Balloons 04.03.14

Peter Dowlen not the Leap year MeetWell it seems that things are really on the cusp of a change and flying maybe possible in some areas. Two nice days in a row, can’t get better than that and when I phoned Camerons the lovely Mel said it was raining there so maybe not lovely everywhere however, Andy the Spares went flying from ‘Somewhere in the West Country’ on Saturday and having flown for nearly an hour landed back where he took off. We’ve had a couple of good days but the ground is still saturated here so for us its not for the moment, sadly. Whoops, forgot to say a smiley welcome to you and thanks for calling by. Then there is the standard ‘We are primarily a doodah wotsit looking after the continued airworthiness of balloons but interested in just about everything’ line which I’ve now done. We snuck off to a warm and sunny Normandy for a few days and had a fine old relaxing time and will put pen to paper shortly. There is an awful lot to see over there and with this being the Anniversary of the D-Day landings there is going to be a lot going on later in the year. As always, on our return, coincidence chucked up some really interesting stuff but more on that later. The weather has meant that we have continued to struggle with inspecting commercial ride balloons but very kindly Big Jeff from Virgin Balloons arranged the use of Cardington Hangar. Jane had to go and buy some steel toe-capped trainers and the reflective jackets bought for our trip to France came in handy. Seeing John struggle into one designed for a small child (or Chinese person) was quite entertaining. Sadly we couldn’t report or take piccies of the Airlander that was cold inflated but now its gone public (following day wouldn’t you guess) we’ll go back for a look see.

Up on the site this time are a few articles but sadly the burner stuff still isn’t finished. That writer of classic rusty stuff Steve Roake has kindly sent a piece in about cameras and as if by magic we have just done one on Radiograms. See, both defy the belief that pixels and memory sticks are better than wobbly grooves and light produced images. You may notice there is a confusion in the dates this month. It is on account of Peter Dowlen and the possibility that it would have been a Leap Year had Saturday been the 29th February which, clearly it wasn’t so to explain more ‘hot off the press’ comes a quickie on The Leap Year/Not the Leap Year Meet. Hopefully, if he ever gets around to replying to my email is the piece by Don Cameron on the appalling state of ballooning courtesy of EASA and the CAA. He makes a fair point. In the News Nonesuch Balloons, or however you spwelp it, reappear and there is a report of a Go Ballooning balloon that has appeared on eBay. Shock horror. Things are hotting up as the BBAC AGM draws ever nearer with the news that Ed Lubbock, Chairman of the London Region and BBAC Landowner Relations Officer, is contesting one of the five Main Committee members who have to stand down this year and also submitting a proposal to change the time that Committee members can serve for. Should be an interesting meeting but it is a crucial Six Nations weekend not helped by an Instructor’s Day and Examiner’s meeting on the Saturday! After much discussion with the aforementioned Andy I think we’ll be behind a pint in the pub this year. Now, I thought the subject of the clash of dates had been sorted last year? Apologies in advance if everything promised isn’t up, bit of a mix up with bringing the camera home so the Dynatron article will probably go up tomorrow now.

The round to it shed has been quiet since we got back mainly as we are concentrating in getting started on the new workshop. Whether to use blocks or sheets what side to build the extension and where we are going to put the round to it stuff is all a puzzle. I did seriously think about a cob building but time and fire risk probably rule that out despite there being a good supply of straw, horse shit and mud. Add to that head scratching dilemma that Frank the Lorry is probably going to have its last year on account of increasing steel worm in the cab there is a lot of things to get done. My lovely Claud Butler is now back and we’ll get the pedals on it this week and take it for a spin. It is rather splendid and has been left frame-wise as it was but the rest has been sixtied. Not sure how long it will be before I fall down a rather large pothole but it should be fun. I’m looking at building a dog sidecar for it but I fear my dog has more sense. I’ll put in a roll bar. Now do I go for Lycra and a plastic helmet or the more traditional cape and deerstalker? Thanks again for calling in, we trust you enjoy your visit and the stuff you find here at least humorous if not actually interesting!!! The front page picture is courtesy of Olly Tufton and features the intrepid Mr Dowlen sauntering into the fair skies of Wales on the first of the month. Jealous? Moi? You bet. Best regards from Jane, John, Alice (her birthday is the same as John’s mum don’t you know?) Chris and Dotty.