December proved another busy month with 69 & 105 envelopes G-OABC & G-BZAG and 90 & 350 complete balloons G-ROSK and G-CDDL all finding new homes, along with a basket, several tanks and smaller items.
New for this list is Roy Battersby’s well used Cameron V-56 envelope moving over from ‘Stop Press’ whilst Roy at the same time is looking for a newer version of the same – obviously a fan of the Viva like your scribes ! Also new is the last minute addition of David Usill’s ‘World Map’ balloon G-WOTW and an extremely ‘clean’ looking Indespension/Staffordshire trailer from David Hartland, Flytec 3040 and manifold from Peter Dowlen, plus a foldable ‘pallet box’, 2 quick releases and a pilot restraint here at Zebedee.
This List is running late so the annual ‘Icicle Refrozen’ meet will be over by the time you read this. The following week, on Saturday 13th January is the BBAC Special General Meeting at the Holiday Inn, Northampton (NN4 7YF), which concerns the Pilot Licensing review underway between the BBAC and CAA. Some lively discussion is assured ! Delivery of smaller items is possible here but please order pre-Friday.
January also sees the regular meets at Filzmoos, Austria and Chateau-d’Oex, Switzerland, attended by a number of UK pilots in search of snow and scenic sunshire instead of the horrible wet and windy UK weather endured almost continually for the last couple of months. January 10th is also the start of the ‘standby period’ for the Andrew Holly organised Channel crossing event which runs through till April.
Sadly we have to report the recent deaths of several well known UK pilots – Dave Ling in October and Barry Newman in November, both well remembered in the December ‘Aerostat’.
Also in December we heard that Terry Adams had died in South Africa. Terry goes back all the way to the beginning of modern hot-air ballooning in the UK, flying the ‘Hot Air Group’ built ‘Bristol Belle’ G-AVTL. It was during his Royal Navy days in 1970 that he flew this balloon off ‘HMS Ark Royal’ in the Mediterranean, landing on Malta. Later he flew G-AXJB ‘Jester’ then G-AZOO ‘Carousel’ before moving to South Africa taking with him Western 65 G-BCDV where he set up Flamboyant Balloons building many envelopes, initially to the Western design for local use and rebuilding many others. Terry was an avid aero philatelist collecting many flown covers & stamps from around the world together with books and other balloon related items. Dogged by ill health in recent years he died on 9th December 2023 aged 82.
We then heard of the untimely death of Martin Read, shortly after he returned from the Qatar Meet. Martin, one of the Read twins from Manchester was a regular at meets in the UK, Ireland and Italy combining flying with his long term hobby as an aircraft enthusiast. He was here at Zebedee a few weeks ago having a reg change on one of his balloons. Condolences to Trevor and all the Read family…