Balloon Repair Station

Welcome 25.07.2020

Well now, before we realised, its nearly not July but nearly August and although things seem to be improving all is far from well and there is an increasing concern that their will be a bit of a resurgence which is starting to occur elsewhere as the easing of the measures takes place so please continue to take care. Apologies, I did start writing this out first week of July but got waylaid somewhat. Our village has a couple pubs open the rest are leaving it to the end of the month to see how it goes! Our local is unlikely to re-open until September earliest which means Paul the Tallest Man in Wendover can concentrate on his allotment. So, greetings to you all. Trusting you have been fine and well and that those who have braved the skies have enjoyed it. There has been another missive concerning the return to flying including the Ride businesses but I have to say bits of it reflect the continuing confusion of Covid legislation and advice. Thing is that hopefully the sight of a balloon has heralded a bit of the return to normalish now things have opened up a bit and put smiles on faces but please do remember that things are far from normal for a lot of people so please continue to take great care and plan your flights carefully.

Easy Balloons & Covid update
Having considered all the options we are planning to re-open, on Tuesday the 4th August. Opening hours will be 10.30 until 17.00, Tuesday to Thursday. Despite this we will be open for repairs on a drop off and collect basis from the July 28 by arrangement. We are already quite booked up for inspections until 20 August. Our inspectors are available and we are processing paperwork. Currently we are trying to sort out a suitable site for inspections as we have lost the use of the back field as they are busy counting badgers ahead of building the railway and the Black Horse field remains closed with concrete barriers across the entrance. Very sad to see. That said there is a new landlord in the offing so hopefully it will re-open soon. It is looking like we will be able to use a couple of our Mary’s and Jay’s fields down at Worlds End (great film) once the hay is cut. Best thing is that there is a splendid road-kill café round the corner which is very good and run by Danielle who nearly got stranded in the Far East during her winter round the world trip! We still remain very cautious having our Pete at home with the Chemo continuing with four sessions left plus Jane’s dad next door who seems to be making regular trips to Huddersfield and the local fairs! Yesterday he apparently walked up Coombe Hill and Jane is his sister. He’s well happy.

Stuff that we hope will be in this edition (o:
Well that’ll be easy then. Pretty much everything that didn’t get into the last edition! Our Barry has bit of a back-log of real-world stuff so is pretty busy at the moment but as the pressure eases he will, I’m sure, stick stuff on which means that despite a quick flurry into the inner workings of the website you will be spared lopsided or upside down text or just missing text that would occur if I tried to do it! Having written ‘Edward’s Dunkirk Story’ I went to give it a last once over only to discover that half of it had disappeared. Lost the will but I am re-doing it so hopefully that will be up soon. Must press the ‘Save’ button more often. There has been another major update of the ‘Events’ page which just adds ‘Postponed’, ‘New date’ or ‘Cancelled’ with most now sadly put off to next year. The casualties recently included Albuquerque, Bristol Balloon Fiesta and the County Shows including our local Bucks County Show. Very sadly the Irish Meet has now also been cancelled. The very popular Longleat Meet is under review with the possibility of Night Glows and Oswestry Balloon Meet organisers have indicated they are going ahead. See the Events Page and News Section for more details. What with currently trying to get all our procedures and stuff updated ahead of becoming a Part ML organisation, other worthy causes and it being not raining and warm writing for fun has been put back a fair bit. Don’t understand how time is managing itself at the moment! Then, as I sort this it is now pouring with rain which will great for the lottie.

In the Dark Barn (or not)
Thing is this. With the main workshop not full of mending balloons it now has quite a few round-to-it jobs in various states of getting done plus we are still binning and sorting. This madness has extended to the home shed which has also had a big biffa-out resulting on the discovery of two lost bikes, the Yamaha Jog Style Sensation and me Sunbeam. Somewhere about is the Piaggio Hexagon. Hmmm? After umpteen years of being idle the little Jog raunted into life remarkably quickly and, once the two-stroke smoke cleared, ran like a sewing machine. Was going to sell it but I reckon it will probably be claimed by a grandchild in due course. What is being built in the Dark Barn is a cover for the gas meter which people seem to reverse into with monotonous regularity. This means that its old plastic cover is no more and despite being wrapped up it often stops working especially if it rains. The new cover is metal framed. Shame I didn’t have any Armco. Sadly we reckon the Corsa Breeze with the lovely drifting balloons logoed company car is probably not going to pass the MOT this time round. So many bits have fallen off it recently I’m afraid it has to go but fear not, it will be replaced by another blue Breeze but a petrol one this time. Unfortunately it has a problem with a serious battery drain. With the date of the MOT of the old one fast approaching it was dug out and jump leads applied (correctly before you go oh arr!) What happened next was a wonderful meltdown of the jump leads and the electrical death of the ‘new’ Corsa. Fortunately the loom seems to be OK and the removal and checkover of the alternator shows it isn’t that but once removed did allow the dashlights to start working again so we may be in with a chance. Fortunately Huggy Bob has given us the Hyundia in lieu of five years of storage and maintenance so that is now the company car! Of all the things I’ve been doing rebuilding my old lathe is just brilliant and getting close to being finished I do have huge smile on me face. Must get a T-shirt. Even found some proper paint for it. Its green like the trendy green that goes on window frames of grey pubs! You know the ones with sofas, wi-fi and hand crafted beer! Who would have thought.

In the Lottie
Reckon we have to add this as a new section. First runners, courgettes and cucumbers eaten with the salad tomatoes coming along well. The small greenhouse is ram-jammed full and the rather super blackberries (we think they are Navajos) very moreish. The fat-boy-fet-shoie or whatever they are called bolted as soon as they were planted followed by the spinach, something very common this year however Shannon’s pumpkins and the marrows are going great guns. More later in an article!

Best get back to sorting the office that seems to have filled up with leather seats from a Rover destined for the Standard Companion, me lovely Claude Butler and a selection of tables. Above this is a layer of well out of date paperwork due for the skip on account all the current stuff including the computer is now in the kitchen at home! That’s a pleasurable sight not. So for now, our best wishes to you all. Take care and see you soon (at a distance of course) regards John, Jane, Chris and Polly.

Head up piccie is the workshop lottie mid July, ate most of the blackberries! Middle pic is one of our favourite beech trees on the hillfort which took a tumble in the wind the other week and finally Polly, having drunk four bottles of Old Rosie and eaten the pork pies.