Balloon Repair Station

Welcome 26.06.2017

Greetings to you all. In case you forget we are really a continuing airworthiness organisation looking after hot air balloons and balloon ride operators but get involved in all sorts of other stuff. Now that’s out the way its quite extraordinary in that we seem to have missed out putting anything up, apart from a couple of updates of an airworthiness nature one of which, Cameron Service Bulletin SB25, affects owners of Lindstrand Titanium Cylinders and has already caused a bit of a furore, more in the latest News 26.06.2017, for a while now. The last time we scribbled was during Amazing April which, as it happened, was. Sadly we leap-frogged Magical May and now are just catching the end of Jolly June which has been full of stuff including John going away for nigh-on four weeks but he is back now and we are pretty busy to be honest. The lovely weather we had also prevented me from sitting indoors writing and now Barry is away next week so I have to get this out asap. Sadly we lost Jane’s dog Daisy after fifteen and a half years but on a brighter note Jane went back to the Border Collie Spot Rescue and returned with Roxy, a rather skinny, very timid tri-colour who, I must admit is coming along surprisingly well. It appears she was rescued from a dog pound in Donegal about 3 December 2016 and ended up in The Collie Spot sometime in mid-March. She was re-homed but was returned the following day so hasn’t had much of good start. Jane got her on the 20th May and a sorry little thing she was. We reckon she is about a year old. She has, in her first five weeks, become reasonably trusting, eaten a fair amount of the large sofa at home, a few socks and shoes, been to the Mid Summer Solstice Celebrations on Coombe Hill and put on two kilos. She is actually coming on extremely well but is still quite wary of strangers so don’t be surprised if she doesn’t greet you in the traditional Polly way and please ensure the gate to the yard gets shut behind you. Thanks. Following our hike down the Ridgeway next adventure is looking like The South Downs Way on account my brother lives in Worthing which is the midway point, more or less, so he can be our Mr Shifter. We actually paid a visit to Worthing to see Hawkwind, who were actually very good and stood in for the support band Dirty Shoes who couldn’t be arsed to turn up. On me return it was, understandably, haircut time. I think we are off to see Rick Wakeman next.

Now for those of you that read all this stuff you may have noticed that two promised articles, one on Chiltern Railways and the other on our Ridgeway Walk didn’t get put up as I haven’t finished them but will. The Channel Crossing turned out to be a huge success for Exclusive Ballooning and DatumRPO with an amazing 82 balloons completing the crossing. Short of a balloon that could carry enough fuel to get across we lent Unipart to Jeff Roberts and Keith Storey who were instructed to not land immediately they crossed the French coast and thus enjoyed a three hour flight. The conditions were spot on yet challenging as, for some, both coastlines were not visible for a while! Jeff and Keith’s account is somewhere I hope. We’ve done another Instructor Day expanding on the subject of Basket Management so hopefully, over the next few months, we’ll publish something on it that makes some sort of snese, whoops, that should read ‘sense’! There have been a few updates in the ‘pages’ including a meet next weekend that sounds pretty inviting on account there is lots of free stuff like propane and its by the seaside. We’ve popped it in the News Section as well. As I promised myself, and driven on by son Pete, we have done a fair bit of flying thus far this year and I have even renewed me examiner ratings for another three years but this will be the last time I fear……unless!!!

Now then life in the Dark Barn has been a bit eventful to say the least. H’s Harley thing had a bit of a gearbox problem so its languishing for a week or two. Not really my cup of tea as I can’t understand how anyone could actually ride it but having said that the paint job is quite remarkable. This is really a show bike but H has always wanted something like this so is riding it. It grounds out on manhole covers and most of the bits that have fallen off have been replaced using copious amounts of Loctite so hopefully it may last a while longer. Baz’s mighty Guzzi had a bad day at the office and developed a rather puzzling electrical fault which may, or may, not be sorted! The old blue Corsa has now gone to the skip. We got £76.50 for scrap which means we have lost £23.50 in five years! I don’t think it has cost anything apart from a ball joint and service items. The planned return to the road of the Sunbeam as an oily rag has had a re-think. Although it kicks over and has compression I think it would be imprudent to just bung tyres on it and return it to the road as it is jolly rusty here and there, but that was a post-war problem, so its going to get a sympathetic rebuild (rather than an restoration) but I doubt I’ll be riding it this year. The Thunderbird has new tank rubbers and the leaking tank has been welded up so I reckon that will be my choice for the Gentleman’s Ride this year. We could waffle on for ages but there are two dogs looking expectantly in the direction of the door so best be orf. Thanks for calling by and here’s hoping that you manage to get out and about in the lovely weather and get some cracking flights and adventures in. main piccie is Daisy Dog with a bucket full of Lorry Dog rosettes and lower down is a recumbent Roxy just settling in on her first day.  The funky spiral is John’s homebuilt model balloon (more in the News). Yep, the bike is a somewhat altered Evolution which isn’t mine so please don’t ask. And finally it always makes me smile what turns up in the bottom of baskets and so this month’s competition is….Whose basket is this then? All the best from John, Jane, Chris, Polly and Roxy, if we can catch her (o: