The BBM&L’s biennial Inflation Day at Lakeside Lodge, Pidley suffered from the worst weather for the event in many years. It rained on and off the day before, through the night and was still grey with rain at the 0830 briefing on Saturday 28th. Fortunately the winds remained reasonably light, the rain eased and three enthusiastic “inflation teams” worked hard all day to inflate 26 envelopes for the many enthusiasts and photographers who had braved the weather to be present. Highlights of the day were the appearances of G-BBCB, Mark Westwood’s Western 65 from 1973 which has rarely, if ever been seen at a balloon meet before, Kevin Hendry’s lovely “Amethyst” G-BFLP, a homebuilt design sewn by Kevin’s Mother and first free flown by your scribe on 12/1/80, and the late Joe Philp’s 1972 Cameron O-56 “Dream Machine”, brought to the meet by Heather and Joe’s first wife Jean. Well done Tim Turner the organiser and his many helpers.
Sales during April include Ian Bridge’s UM105 and Nic Amor’s Cameron Z-90 envelope, whilst two more balloons have been withdrawn from sale. Zebedee has sold all 4 quick releases in the April issue and offer a good selection of new items for these pages for May. These include two small baskets, suitable for 42s, one Annexe II and the other EASA, a rare if not one off Cameron Mini Mk4 Super Double burner (again Annexe II), a couple of Barnes style Worthingtons with cut down guards. These are basically in good condition but need PRV/PPT before use, albeit they are probably only approved for use on a Barnes.
Having cannibalised 2 Cameron Mk4 single burners recently for their coils we find ourselves with ‘the rest’ for disposal. So, along with others raided in the past we are now offering what is left at the end of our burner section. See pictures on the website and let us know if you spot any components you wish to buy – frames, blast valves, gauges etc. Happy to give a price for individual bits ….
Two additional books appear in Zebedee’s Box this month. First is a fascinating look at Concorde by balloonist and former Conc Captain Tim Orchard and engineer Pete Finlay, described as a companion guide to lectures given by Tim on this iconic aircraft. It includes a nice history of the type together with opinions on the Air France accident which trash the official report – gripping reading!
The second ‘Fly Every State’ is Andrew Holly’s illustrated report of how he free flew the same balloon in all 50 US states (including Hawaii!) in 44 days. Wanting this feat to be recognised by Guinness World Records, he saddled himself with some pretty onerous conditions for each flight to ‘count’. The book describes the planning, the friends visited and made, the driving (over 20,000 miles!) and dodging the weather – all of which must have been a logistical nightmare! Luckily he had Louise at ‘Mission Control’ back in Blighty to book hotels, provide information and chase permissions. Lots of nice photographs in a hard back book – a worthy tribute to a massive challenge …. A DVD is also available with over 4 hours of filming made on this extravaganza!