If you’ve not been here before a very warm welcome. We are a Maintenance Organisation looking after the Airworthiness and general wellbeing of hot air balloons but, as we have rather eclectic interests, apart from balloon information and balloony type articles and information there are some articles various on all sorts of things. It seems to have been a very long time since we updated the site this time round and for that we apologise. The reason is that we have been rather pre-occupied with our fate at the workshop and fighting HS2 and their solicitors to try and ensure we can stay put. It is a long story and one day we’ll write a book about it but suffice to say that for the moment our local MP Mr David Lidington and his good offices have come to the rescue in a remarkable way and for now it seems we may be staying. We would like to thank you all for your support and offers of help which have been most appreciated. Thankyou. Hopefully we can get a bit of normality back very soon. One thing that has to be addressed is that our rent is set to double so we will have to increase our charges which haven’t been reviewed for some considerable time but any increase will be kept to the absolute minimum I can assure you. So, what has been going on in the two months we have been away? We’ve missed a few meets but been reasonably busy but the weather has not been that condusive to ballooning and the industry seems to still be declining if hours flown as entered in the logbooks of the balloons we inspect are anything to go by. A slight rally in the weather towards the end of the season seems have helped the ride operators and remarkably a number of meets have flown all the slots including the One Man Meet. Sadly pressure of a potential move prevented us attending any of the meets apart from Grass Roots so we’ll try harder next year!
The news in this issue is rather messy on account that most of it was out of date and of late we haven’t been keeping notes, however the CAA and EASA have as usual come to the rescue! On the balloon front we have sold Landrover and a few cylinders. Article wise there is a bit about Bekonscot model village, a nice little ditty from Dave Jenks on the wonderful Chatsworth Meet, hopefully (if I can find it) Tim Wilkinson’s latest light-weight adventure and a rather interesting burner built for an American gentleman who clearly called our bluff. I’m hopeful that in the next week or so we will also finally finish the long-awaited piece on Schwabisch Hall and the Me262s that seems to have been in the in-tray far too long. We nearly had Aidan Murphy’s Clown Special Shape to advertise but no sooner than he put it up for sale than its been sold to someone in Germany. The weather has been quite good for mushrooming though and we have had a good feast or two which was a lot better than last year. Grand daughter Holly has taken to stunt riding and has now managed to perfect leaping on and off of her pony at speed and somewhat spectacularly including somersaulting and cartwheeling. Younger sister Nicole is close on her heels riding round the school standing up. No idea where they get it from. We have had some spectacular sunsets of late not least the other day when low scudding clouds and a distant cu-nim resulted in the pinkest light I have ever seen. Did try and take a picture but to no avail.
As for the dark barn. Well its pretty empty. The Hondas and old Standard along with a pile of mobility scoots that had been cluttering up the place have all gone to owners new. The only cars remaining now are the old Standard Companion and ARO my original Standard 8. The Hilux has its new fuel pump on, been MOT’d and no longer drips diesel but does need a bit of fine tuning. Its been back and forth to the scrappy umpteen times now and nearly got picked up on the crane whilst I wasn’t looking. We have ‘new’ (N-reg) Corsa automatic which has about ten miles on it but every panel is dinked as a result of having had one old lady owner. Does drive well though. The cart that crashed through the hedge is now all straight and may well be back in service but with a different pony this time round. Despite the clearout we seem to have acquired a Puch moped which is due some tlc. We nearly sold it but ‘notamesser’ ebay person failed to honour the deal so we are keeping it for the moment. It may actually turn out to be a reliable machine! On the cover today is John the poacher. He mentioned to Pete Brown that he fancied pigeon so Pete told him to help himself. Somewhere near the middle is a rather fine parasol mushroom and finally we have a handstand by Holly on Treasure the Pony. If you spot bad grammar or spelling mistakes keep them to yourself please. Well that’s about it for a few weeks so thanks for visiting and please have a look round. All the best from John, Jane, Alice (for the moment!) Dotty and Chris.