Handover 2008 On
July the new Melton Mowbray Rotary Club President Mike Rowe took
office from Pam Wiggins, who became the Past President of the club in a
hand over ceremony at Sysonby Knoll Hotel. Other notable incoming
officers are President Elect David Ward, and Vice President Geoff
In the photograph on the back row left to right are
Vice President, David Ward President Elect, and Pam Wiggins Past
seated at the front is the new Melton Mowbray Rotary Club President
Mike Rowe. The second photo is of our new
sergeant-at-arms, Pam Wiggins, really looking the part. Thank
goodness husband James isn't a member of our club, otherwise, I am sure
it would be a completely hopeless situation for him, with fines flying
at him from all directions.
Theobald was inducted into Melton Mowbray Rotary Club on Monday 14th
July 2008 at
Sysonby Knoll Hotel. Kate is the fourth new member this year, and joins
growing band of Lady members, who will now number twelve.
Mowbray Rotary has a distinguished history dating back to 1928, and is
changing to meet the demands and challenges of the modern world. That
the club is so attractive to forward thinking professional people like
wish to put back into the community and make a real difference to the
the less fortunate, as well as providing opportunities for
young people to
improve and develop their skills.
Mike Rowe invited professional
people who would like to find out more about Melton?s oldest
service club to
attend a meeting and see for themselves why it is still going strong
years. Michael Osborne is the Membership Chairman and should
by phone in the first instance on 01664 564581.
photograph shows, from left to right: Geoff Theobald, Vice
President; David Ward, President Elect;
New Rotarian Kate Theobald; and Mike Rowe President. Kate's husband
the current Vice President of the Club.
Rotary Young Designer Congratulations
to Rebecca Jenkin, daughter of Melton Rotarian Charles Jenkin, who has
won the final of District 1070's Rotary Young Designer competition.
Rebecca, who is a pupil at King Edward VII school, was
for the competition by the Rotary
Club of Melton Mowbray Belvoir .
Her winning design was to create a board game to teach young
children about the weather. She was presented with a trophy
cheque for £100 for her school.
Governor Iain Vernon's Visit On
1st September 2008 we had an inspiring presentation from the District
Governor for District 1070 2008-2009, Iain Vernon. He covered
very clearly and concisely the topics of the Polio Challenge, child
mortality, support for Leonard Cheshire Disability Education for All in
Africa, the Rotary/MacMillan partnership, membership, and RI President
DK Lee's citation to clubs.
to Braemar Games 30
members of the club, partners and friends spent the first
weekend of September 2008 in Scotland, with the main activity
supposedly being to visit the Highland Gathering at Braemar.
It was unfortunate that we were unable to do this until we
had visited several distilleries and been forced to taste the various
whiskies they produce. But the club pulled together as usual,
survived this ordeal, and had a splendid day at Braemar on the Saturday.
The games were as big a contrast as imaginable from the
Olympics, and all the more enjoyable for that. There was
always a variety of activities going on to hold the attention, and
impressive feats of strength, endurance, speed and skill to
By coincidence, yet more whisky was to hand when we
Rotary Club of Banchory-Ternan. They had the splendid idea of
setting up stall at the Gathering and inviting any visiting Rotarians
to join them for some fellowship during their visit -
this fellowship included a certificate of attendance and a
gift of a miniature of whisky with the Rotary wheel and club name.
They have followed this up with a news item on their club website;
please have a look. As noted by Dennis, "what a generous
gesture; one that completely destroys the myth about Scottish
tightness." Dennis also noticed that of the twenty
photographs of visiting Rotarians on the website, eight are of Melton
Mowbray Rotarians. It just goes to show what a scrounging lot we are!
We stayed at the Nethybridge hotel a few miles from Braemar,
services of our chauffeurs, Bob and Duncan, were very welcome.
They did a great job ferrying us around over the weekend -
thanks to them. In particular, they took many of the
party over to the west coast to visit the Kyle of Lochalsh and the Isle
of Skye on the Sunday, where they found some beautiful sunny weather,
much in contrast to the rest of the UK that weekend. Some of
the group traveled over to Kyle by train from Inverness.
Others took the slower rail journey on the steam train from
near Nethybridge to Aviemore, combined with a forest walk
on the journey home. Walks local to the hotel - with
sights of the red squirrels in the local woods - occupied the Monday
morning before the flight back to the East Midlands.
It all made for an extremely enjoyable weekend.
thanks are due to Bob McCord who pulled the whole weekend together,
resolved a number of problems that arose, and stayed sober (mostly) to
drive us around as well.
Many pictures of the weekend were taken, a few of which
Foreman was inducted into Melton Mowbray Rotary Club on Monday 15th
September 2008. Jenny is the fifth new member this year, and
growing band of lady members, who will now number thirteen.
was introduced by Linda Moore, a long time friend and work colleague,
having worked at Long Field High School until recently. Jenny
a range of interests and hobbies, including walking and reading
(presumably not at the same time). We welcome her into the
and look forward to much fellowship and friendship to come.
Cancer Research Support On
14th September 2008 members of the club were pleased to help
Cancer Research UK with marshalling a fund-raising fun run at Belvoir
run around grounds/land of Belvoir Castle, 400 plus runners, many
running in memory of loved ones who had suffered from
Cancer, and raising money for Cancer research.
organised and supported event, the Melton team of Bill Glancy, Janet
Shortland, Steve Jeal, David and Pam Ward, John Redwood, and Richard
Haines (not in picture as stewarding an
outpost) undertook marshalling duties and the handing
out of finishing medals and gifts.
Rotary Club of Grantham also assisted with five persons, so good
fellowship and friendly banter.
Lincs was present providing a running commentary, interviews, and
quartet played throughout the morning and then positioned themselves at
finishing post to play in the last four runners / walkers.
Bursary News In
2007-08 the club sponsored two local students with bursaries towards
the cost of their gap year travels, during which they planned to do
humanitarian work in the third world. The following are
emails from them that illustrate ho worth while their visits have been:
Dear Mr Powderly,
I am sorry it has taken me so long to write to you.
was a bit manic before I left and before I knew it I was on a plane to
South Africa! The plane journey was very long as we went via
Dubai. Walking out of the plane at half three in the morning
Dubai was like walking into a wall of heat, if it was that hot in the
middle of the night I wouldn't like to experience the temperature in
the middle of the day!
We spent three days in Johannesburg with all the volunteers, which was
great as it gave us a chance to settle in and realise that we were
actually here! We visited some of the museums, and also Soweto where
the student uprisings of the 70's happened. It was interesting to see
the huge difference between rich and poor, the rich living in western
style housing whilst others were forced to live in shacks, waiting for
On the Monday me and my partner, Lousie, were picked up by a member of
the Cotlands staff. Cotlands is the orphange I will be
for the next year. It looks after children who are aged
and 14, it is extreamly well run and all the children are
gorgeous. The staff have all been very friendly and welcoming
I am setteling very well. Me and louise live in a very
comfortable flat above the flat where the 11 older children livewith
their house mother. They are all so much fun and are very
keeping us entertained during the evenings.
We help out in all areas of Cotlands from changing the babies nappies
to helping in the fund raising department. I cannot decide
enjoying doing the most, although I have already become very attached
to some of the babies. Last week we had two new arrivals, a
day old boy named Banag and a six month old boy nameThabiso.
Unfortunatly Thabiso did not make it, he was severly malnourished and
very sick and after ten days with us he died. The staff were
upset as due to the fantasic care here and the ARV program this was
only the second death this year. On a better note, Banag is
very well, he is feeding well and is a healthy size.
I just want to thank you for supporting me and your generous
contribution towards my trip. I am having the time of my life and
truely believe this will be a year that I will never forget. I am
trying hard to get the most out of everything and experience South
Once again thank you for your generosity and support.
Dear Mr Powderley
The Melton Rotary Club has been on my conscience as I know that in
return for funding towards my gap year volunteering in Nicaragua I
agreed to come and talk about the experience, which was truly
fantastic. I was home for 4 days in April before starting a job in
France and I have had just 5 days to get ready for starting my Law
degree at Durham; I am now up there until December so I feel I have
hardly been at home at all!
the work site
water flowing at last
I hope that we can arrange a time for me to come and talk after
(!) at the District Quiz District
1070, Area B Quiz
Annual Rotary Quiz competition held on Wednesday 22nd October was a
resounding success for the nominated 'intelligentsia' of the Club,
playing against 8 other teams who must count as some of the
intellectual cream of the District, your nominated foursome of Linda
Moore, Jenny Foreman, Mike Rowe and David Ward, exceeded all
expectations to take the coveted second place.
second place spot ensures the Club's 'intellectual' standing for the
year, without the need to progress to the District Final to have the
status tested at a higher, more visible plateau - a wonderful and
successfully performed strategy by the team.
Beacon were the winners on the night, obviously driven to victory to
try to avenge the 'trouncing' that the fully rounded Melton Club
inflicted on them in the Minor Sports competition the previous week.
to the team for the awesome performance, and to David Ward for this
Izaak Walton Weekend, December 2008 A
group of 12 from the Rotary club, partners and
enjoyed a super weekend of refreshing walks and good company during the
club's annual visit to the Peak District, staying at the Izaak
Walton hotel in Dove Dale. Photos courtesy of James Wiggins.
Card from the Philippines Dear
Rotarians and people at The Rotary Foundation
I am so blessed.
Now that I no longer suffer the pains of hunger because of your feeding
program, I am ahead of 500 million people around the world, and the
addicts in my neighborhood who have to sniff glue to forget
Now that you have sent me to school, I am luckier than the 2 billion in
the world who cannot read or count. Many kids in the neighborhood have
never been to school, choosing to work the streets as beggars or
scavengers to help their parents .
To be alive and in good health because of your Medical outreach
programs, I no longer count among the 60% of the Filipino poor who die
without ever getting to meet a doctor in their lifetime.
As I count my blessings this year end, I am amazed at how small my
troubles seem. There are many people in my neighborhood worse off than
I am. I pray that I will be able to share my blessings with those who
can?t even hope for them.
Thank you for all that you have given me, and I pray that you be doubly
blesed this Christmas and always
On behalf of all the poor kids in Cebu
Noeme G. Mabute
IV-B Abellana National High School
PS: Thank you for the Computer lessons at the Blessed
Christmas Presentation of Sitio
Crossing kids , Cebu, Dec. 11/08
Medical Supplies to the Philippines A
dozen or so Rotarians from the Melton club turned out first thing on
the 29th December 2008 to load a container with medical and other
supplies destined for the Philippines. We were pleased to be
ultrasound machines for use in the Filipino maternity hospitals.
These were donated by the Queen's Medical Centre of
nearly complete dentistry surgery including
the dentist's chair which
we were able to obtain when a friend of Rotarian Richard Fisher updated
of cartons and boxes containing all sorts of medical supplies
as syringes, blankets, catheters, dressings, autoclaves and so
Michael Rye, in Cardiff, Rotary district 1150,
source these for us through the organisation of the Order of Orthodox
of bicycles; which the Filipino health care workers will be
able to use to get to patients in outlying villages;
local sailing club was clearing out its sail store and gave
us dozens of sets of old dinghy sails. We're hoping
will be useful as tarpaulins or emergency shelters.
were also able to include a small amount of computer equipment.
were delighted to receive so much equipment from generous organisations
Lord has asked for a big thank you to go to those who helped with
the loading. Of course an even bigger thank you is due to
and Sasha for their work and support in this project too.
their professional expertise it would not have been so readily possible.
The club visit to the Philippines in February is timed to
the same time as the container, so we hope to be able to see the
equipment being put to good use.
Young Chef competition, December 2008 On
December the Melton Final of the Rotary Young Chef Competition 2008-09
took place at King Edward VII Upper School. During the previous four
weeks, competitions had taken place at each of the three High Schools
in Melton with a total of twenty eight students taking part. The first,
second and third place winners from each school entered the final on 6
The competition was to prepare a healthy two course meal for two people
in two hours within a budget of £5 per meal. The food
each of the contestants was fantastic!
The winners of the Melton Final were Esme Keyworth (1), Beth Warner
(2), and Jess Greaves (3): all from John Ferneley High School
The judges for the Final were Steve Conway, Head Chef from Stapleford
Park Country House Hotel, and one of his assistants David Ellams. They
were very impressed at the standard of food prepared and said that they
would never have produced anything remotely similar to what the
contestants had produced when they were the same age. The judges
invited the three winners from each school to spend half a day being
shown around the kitchens at Stapleford Park. they also invited us to
hold the Melton Final next year at Stapleford Park.
The first two winners, Esme and Beth, will now go to the District Final
In Leicester in February. As this competition was an
of Rotary in Melton - i.e. two Clubs, each Club is permitted to enter
one winning contestant for the District Final.
Visit to The Philippines, February 2009 Eight
members of the club and spouses visited the Philippines for
two weeks in February 2009. The visit covered: -
A review of the existing
we are supporting in the Philippines
of possibilities for future projects
- Visits to local hospitals and
- Visits to local schools
- Visits to the health centres
and other areas affected by the Guinsaugon
- Review of preliminary
arrangements for the GSE
exchange between our districts
- Visits to Cebu,
Boljoon, Bohol, South Leyte
Fisher's article below captures the essence of the trip. To
see Diana's diary click
(it's a large file, with pictures added, so it may take a while to
Filipinos certainly put
the flags out for us. From the Philippine flag waved during their
anthem and played on numerous occasions during our visit, the Rotary
banners hanging outside every project venue, through to the patrol
flags of the
newly formed scout troop for street children. Our group of 6 Rotarians
spouses were given a rapturous welcome at every opportunity and our
John Dehnel, was promoted to "Sir" and afforded
royal treatment. Abundant
supplies of delicious food awaited us everywhere we went so our
under pressure the whole trip!..well it would have been rude
to refuse, would
stop in Manila to see the sights of Intramuros, we
arrived in Cebu city, where we
representatives of District 3860 who were welcoming a GSE team from the
Beverley Hills Community Centre (yes there really is a Beverley Hills
was an appropriate venue! The next morning we ignored our jet lag and
Sister Anne at the Blessed Sacrament aid centre situated in the middle
slums around the port area. We were humbled by this modest woman, who
support of Rotary, a skeleton staff and some volunteers was running an
operation: feeding over 1200 malnourished children every day, caring
children in a nursery so that their mothers could learn to sew and
earn a living, providing therapy for severely disabled children and
one but two schools covering classes for underprivileged children as
children with autism and Downs syndrome. There was even a computer room
teenagers who had dropped out of school for alternative learning with a
reintegrating them into the school system. Sister Anne seemed to take
everything in her stride, even the ten muggings she has been subjected
could we not offer to help her?
attended a lunch meeting
for the signing of a Memorandum
of Understanding between
District 3860, PRISM (Private Sector Mobilisation for Family
Health, US Aid and the Association of Midwives with the purpose of
reducing infant and
maternal mortality. Every day 12 mothers die in childbirth in the
Rotary Club of Melton Mowbray was asked to officially witness the
keeping with the
morning?s event we moved on to a midwives clinic in Lapu
Lapu, Mactan Island.
One of the two ultrasound machines we shipped from QMC Nottingham had
installed here the previous day with the help of Kathryn Manderson.
handover ceremony, the first scan was attempted on a pregnant mother
a brief glimpse of a healthy baby?s heart the machine shut
down. We suspected
problems with the heat and humidity (we weren?t functioning
too well for the
same reasons) and the rather dodgy electrical feed to the clinic (20
from a set of wires you would be reluctant to use for a reading lamp).
second ultrasound machine
had been shipped to Bohol Island and we followed it by ferry with some
trepidation after the experience in Lapu Lapu. We needn?t
have worried; the
machine worked a treat and scans by sonographer Kathryn revealed two
babies. One was definitely a girl and the other kept his or her legs
together?. to be revealed at birth. The welcome given to us
at Tubigon, Bohol,
both by the newly formed Rotary club and the midwives, was second to
we witnessed a very tearful thank you speech from Corazon Paras, head
midwives association, for the help given to the clinics by Melton
slowest ferry imaginable
took us to our next stop, our third island, Southern Leyte. We were
to be invited to the 3rd. Anniversary Commemoration of the Guinsaugon
in which 2000 people were buried and died in 2006. After the memorial
people crossed over the river, wading through the water to Ground Zero.
stainless steel monument inscribed with all 2000 names was blessed by
of Maasin. The scarred landscape loomed as a backdrop to the ceremonies
served as a reminder of the harsh reality of what had taken place at
moment exactly three years before. The fortitude of the people in the
Bernard region in which the village of Guinsaugon once stood was very
and we were all struck by the fervent will to rebuild and move forward
horror of what had happened. However nothing could have prepared us for
courage shown by a group of orphans from Guinsaugon who performed the
the day: an outdoor re-enactment of the landslide and the ensuing
the aftermath and the two and a half years in the evacuation centre. We
awe of these children and there wasn?t a dry eye in the
group. We will do what
we can to help them and the whole school system which has emerged run
group of dedicated hard working women, very worthy of our support.
to the midwives
clinics and community hospital in St. Bernard brought our trip to a
staff at all of them were truly grateful for the beds and supplies
been sent from Melton Mowbray previously, shortly after the disaster,
proud to show us the beds from St. Mary?s hospital being
fully utilised. They
had prepared simple hand written lists of the most basic supplies which
couldn?t get, and which hopefully we can do something about.
very memorable trip, charged with emotion, and a truly humbling
Young Musician - northern
March 2009 On
Saturday 7th March 2009 almost seventy talented young musicians from
across the East Midlands gathered in Melton?s Baptist Church
take part in the Northern District semi final of this prestigious,
Rotary sponsored, annual competition. Each one had
come through their local heat.
A wide range of musical skills represented the time and
only of the young musicians but also of their schools and
teachers. The musical talent, so professionally presented,
included not only impressive vocal skills but impressive instrumental
skills from piano and violin to clarinet, cello and
There were soloists, ensembles, choirs and a jazz band.
The difficult role of adjudicator was taken on by James
playing career as a trumpeter includes working with the London Festival
Ballet, CBSO, Royal Shakespeare Company, D?Oyly Carte, Welsh
National Opera and the Orchestra de Camera.
Presentations were made to all winners and participants by
Governor Rotarian Chris Knight.
The pictures show:
Georgina Roberts: Winner
of the Senior
who sang ?I?d Give my Life for You? -
Schonberg and ?Adelaide?s Lament?
Emily Fionda, Danielle Grange and Sara Hall who together
?Clariti? a clarinet ensemble. They
the Senior Ensemble instrumental section ('Serenade to the Holy Family'
- Berlioz and 'Leaps and Bounds' from the Nutcracker suite -
Plays piano and entered the Senior Instrumental section ('Notturno
Op54-4' - Grieg and 'Sonate II' - Soler).
Solo vocalist who participated in the Junior Solo Vocal
Glorious Food' - Bart and 'here is Love?' - Bart).
Flora Slorach: Solo vocalist who also
participated in the Junior Solo Vocal section('Doll
on a Musical Box' - Sherman and Sherman and 'Chim Chim
Cheree' - Sherman and Sherman).
Jennifer Greene: Solo Vocalist who participated
in the Senior
Solo Vocal section('Oh,
Mr. Porter!' - Le Brunn and Le Brunn and 'The Wizard and I' - Schwartz).
Gaddesby School Choir:
Participants in the Junior Choir
Mr. Miller' - Machell and 'Many Shads of Blue' - Williams).
winners of each section, including Georgina Roberts representing
the Rotary Clubs in Melton Mowbray, will go on to the final of the
Young Musician Festival for Rotary District 1070 (which covers broadly the
East Midlands), on Sunday 3rd May at the Melton Theatre.
The final of Rotary
District 1070's Young Musician of
the Year Festival
took place on the 3rd May at the Melton Theatre. The
audience was treated to a feast of good music
across the age ranges, with all the musicians performing showing
Congratulations to Georgina
Roberts, who won the Senior Solo
section and also took the title as overall solo vocalist.
Georgina will now go on to represent Rotary District 1070
(broadly, the East Midlands) at the Britain and Ireland multi-district
final in Chelmsford Cathedral on 30th May.
Entrants to the
District 1070 final each played in front of an audience
numbering up to
360. They each performed at least two pieces of varied style,
and of a
length depending on their age group (Junior 4 minutes, Intermediate 6
minutes, and Senior 8 minutes). They were judged by expert adjudicator
Alijch Blackett-Howe. When the results were announced the
Melton Mowbray Rotary
Club was delighted that Georgina , one of the competitors entered by
the club, did so well. She
sang Boublil and Shonberg's "I'd Give My Life For You" and
Loesser's "Adelaide's Lament" - both songs that the
pointed out are difficult songs to sing so well.
members and friends
of the club took the opportunity of a fly-in to Lee-on-Solent
by the International Federation of Flying Rotarians (IFFR)
in May. Lee-on-Solent is the base for the Hampshire Police
surveillance plane and the coast guard rescue helicopter for
south coast from Brighton to Weymouth. It
is the site
of a museum housing hovercraft of all sizes. The airfield
also hosts an active gliding club.
from Leicester on
sunny day the flight to the Solent took just over an
around Portsmouth harbour and town, seeing the naval base, HMS Victory,
and the (in)famous spinnaker tower on the final approach into the
Lee-on-Solent airfield. Once there we had a traditional
breakfast at the gliding club, then on to the police base.
enthusiastic to tell us of the way they operate, covering all of
Hampshire and beyond, providing surveillance services in the
pursuit of law and order. They gave us several intriguing
insights into the benefits of aerial surveillance - law-breakers
beware! Hampshire is one of very few police aerial units that
a fixed-wing aircraft, and it was interesting to hear about the
benefits and drawbacks compared to the more usual use
equally keen to tell us of the work they do, and showed us over the
helicopter in some detail, including the maintenance work on a second
machine. All fascinating to see, and reassuring to
us who sail in and around the Solent to see such professional and
well-equipped rescue services.
of the cross-channel Hoverspeed machines, long out of service
now, of course, and many, many machines down to the smallest, specified
for "one small adult". Although somewhat randomly displayed,
there was plenty to marvel at in this part of transport history.
Housed in one of the buildings of the museum was a
display by the Gosport Aviation Society of the history of aviation on
the Gosport peninsula, dating back to the first World War and with a
long-standing link particularly to the naval air services.
the meantime one of
our party went
back to the gliding club and had two glider flights (with an
instructor) all courtesy of the Lee Gliding Club.
are owed to
Barton who organised the whole splendid day out for the crew and
passengers of the 10 planes that joined the fly-in - a busy day, but
well worth the effort. Thank you Malcolm.
part of Rotary
International's Convention 2009, held at
Birmingham NEC, on 22nd June 2009 several Rotary clubs in the Midlands
hosted various events to greet and meet our visitors from around the
world. The Melton Mowbray club, in conjunction with 9 others
district 1070 invited Rotarians and friends to join us at Rutland
Water, near Oakham, for an evening of fellowship and
entertainment. As well as a great hog roast, there was a
of musical entertainment, including the Ono Band from Grantham Rotary
club and the Leicester City Male Voice Choir.
The Event was
sponsored by the Rotary
Clubs of Rutland, Uppingham,
Stamford Burghley, Stamford St Martins, Melton Mowbray, Melton Mowbray
Belvoir, Grantham, Grantham Kesteven, Spalding Welland Centenary and
Boston. Members of other Rotary Clubs in the immediate area
attended also came from Stamford, Oundle, South Holland,
Loughborough Beacon and Peterborough Werrington.
354 persons attended the Event. There
were 84 guests from 52 Rotary Clubs in 11 countries: United States,
Canada, India, Ethiopia, Australia, Japan, France, South Africa,
Finland, Denmark and Egypt.
Other guests from less far afield came from Torquay,
West Wirral and Llanfairfechan in Wales.
of the UK, June-July 2009
Convention in June 2009 several of the International Fellowships of
Rotarians arranged get-togethers of their members. The
International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians organised a fly-around
of England and Wales.
John Dehnel describes the event:
a wonderful example of
a new member of
IFFR and a relatively new pilot I was delighted at the immediate
support that prevailed throughout the IFFR group at the post-convention
fly-around of the UK.
Firstly we all met up for dinner
at the Motorcycle Museum on the Sunday before the flying began.This
was my first
opportunity to meet Tom
Johnston, who was to be my close companion for the flying tour.I
had been pleased to hear
earlier in the
year of Tom?s wish to join me in the fly-around, hoping both
to enjoy his
company and to benefit from his considerable experience.These were both well borne
next met on Thursday 25th
June in Coventry airport and (as was to be the case several times
fly-around) drank several coffees while waiting for the skies at our
destination to clear.Eventually
were on our way and, being in my local area, I was able to route
home in Saxby and show Tom some of the classic English countryside
straightforward flight up the
River Trent to the Humber and towards York kept us out of the Doncaster
airspace, into the Church Fenton MATZ, and we had plenty of the 3000m
spare as we landed at Elvington AD.The
base was home to RAF Halifax bombers and the Free French Air Force in
Second World War, and was designated by NASA in its list of possible
sites for the space shuttle ? so we felt in good company.
We were last to arrive, but found
as the days progressed that was to be a common occurrence.Tom seemed to be coping
with my flying
ability, and was pleased to start getting the feel of the plane.We
both were enjoying
seeing the sights and
flew, whenever reasonable, at low levels.
event was not just about
flying from A to B.At
opportunity the IFFR committee had made sure that there was interest on
Elvington we visited the
aircraft museum, with a wide mix of war-birds and aviation history.And
by now it was late
final for lunch in
hotel, dinner, prepare for
Friday the weather over the
Pennines up to the Lake District in the north-west looked flyable, so
off, initially at about 1500 feet.It
soon became clear that passing close to the eastern edges of the RAF
at Linton, Dishforth and Leeming we would be better at higher levels.I
was able to make use of
the unique British
IMC rating to climb above cloud for the transit over the Pennines.There
was much discussion
in the plane and
in the bar later about this sub-IR rating - not designed for
and landing entirely in cloud, but certainly allowing us Brits to do
those legally where safer flying is the result (albeit with more
minima than with a full IR rating).
clouds cleared as we broke
into what we were later informed by incoming IFFR president James
Alexander is "God?s own country", and Tom and I were
both able to see the delights of
Lakeland flying (my first time, although I have tried and been defeated
weather a number of times before).
was most impressed by the
idea of parking the planes in
the pub car park.
concluded later that afternoon
that it was our good fortune that the weather closed in.We all had such enormous
lunches that we
would all have challenged our weight and balance calculations on take
off.The coach back
to York was the safer option,
and allowed a few Lakeland beers to be sampled before departure.
leave our visitors from
overseas to comment on the delights of York that we saw on the Saturday
Minster, the Jorvik Centre and the railway museum each showed some of
Britain's heritage has to offer.
Sunday the flyers were ready
for some more, and coached back to Kilbride.Again the weather cleared
just as we broached the top of
into Cumbria, much to James' delight.As there was no fuel at
Kilbride (other than some very
diesel at the truck pull taking place on the edge of the airfield)
calculations led many to plan re-fuelling stops; the next leg to
Gloucester looked a challenge.Tom
I planned a stop at Manchester Barton, but 20 miles north of there the
of the Grob team's thinking skills came through.We realised, and
double-checked each other's calculations, that
we could make it to Caernarfon with just one hour's fuel to
spare.So a quick
right turn took us over the
Liverpool docks - again a first for the
"local" boy (I will admit I've never
even been to Liverpool on the ground) - and a flight along
the north coast of
Wales into Caernarfon.
here was rather late, but
it was good to see everyone getting in to the AD safely having had good
were last in!But
we still had time to enjoy lunch and
have a look around the small aviation museum there.Saturday evening saw a
beautiful flight down the Welsh
round to Gloucester.The
character of the British countryside held Tom in awe.There's no prairie
farming in this part of the
what Monday morning brought
right: "Let's wait and see
if the weather will clear".And boy,
did it clear.But
not until we
approached Bodmin moor in a descending cloud base and ascending ground. "Let's
get over this" - my IMC rating again
came to the fore.At
FL50, just when
thinking about how to let down for Perranporth I suddenly saw a break
cloud and a large airport through the very first hole; we
minutes the clouds
completely disappeared and we had a straight in approach from 5 miles
next part of our journey was
the highlight of the fly-around for me and, I think, Tom.The assembled crews piled
into the coach for
a visit to the Eden Centre horticultural displays.Splendid though they are, Tom
and I felt a flight over
and on to the Scilly Isles 25nm further on was a more attractive option.So,
had no fuel we
realised we had enough for the flight.The Scilly Isles comprise
about 18 islands with one fixed
wing AD, one
heliport, and a number of harbours.We
had lunch in the sun overlooking the old town harbour on St.
Mary's, then a
couple of hours to walk around the main island, round the headlands,
town centre, and back to the plane.
short flight back to Land's End
saw us overfly Svend Andersen's plane rounding the headland
below us after he
had returned from the Eden Centre.The
stop for fuel had only one drawback - they refused to
discount a hefty landing
fee even though we took on a minimum-to-full-tanks load of fuel.
south coast east from Land's
End is glorious, so we could not miss the opportunity to fly, often at
quite low levels, to see the beauties of the Cornish coast, Dartmouth,
Jurassic Coast, and many others.A
quick diversion inland by couple of miles allowed us to overfly the
Eden Centre, so we didn't miss out entirely.
were rather quiet on our
arrival back at Gloucester, other than my mobile phone beeping to tell
Rodney was looking for assurance we were safely back (we were very
feature of the whole
event was the care for a safe fly-around shown by all the organisers.
was a second break day
from flying, and we took the coaches to Bristol.The SS Great Britain display
has developed way beyond how
when I saw it 20 years ago, and remains as impressive as ever.Having
to various sites
such as the Clifton suspension bridge adds a lot of colour even to
seen it all before.
Wednesday dawned bright enough
for no major delays, so we all got away for the flight to
due south, past the white horse at Westbury, via a helpful Bournemouth
out towards the Needles.Both
Tom and I
are sailors, so the Solent and its many harbours and racing buoys were
sightseeing at Portsmouth, a
landing at Goodwood
took us to another lunch in the sun.
Goodwood eastwards there
seemed to be a stack of IFFR aircraft at about 5 different levels at
all heading over Shoreham AD and towards Beachy Head.We took the route from the
Detling beacon up the Thames
QE2 Bridge, with sights of Canary Wharf before we had to skirt around
and Stansted Airport zones, overhead Duxford into Cambridge.We
this time (but those we beat
did try to claim they'd stopped for tea with friends on the
this time we were all getting
a bit bored of our aircraft, so the IFFR team arranged for us all to
fly up to
Gamston, near Nottingham, to place orders for our club fleet of Diamond
everyone did sign the
order forms before departure? The next IFFR fly-in will be
an impressive sight
routes were taken home;
Michael Graves and I (Tom had deserted me in favour of spending his 49th
wedding anniversary with Anna) took in the famous English seaside
Skegness, over the Wash (carefully avoiding the bombing range danger
and overhead the north Norfolk coast before heading south to Cambridge.I
had been doing well with
the radio calls
to then, but was glad to have an interpreter when we flew over
Lakenheath - a
absolutely could not tell
whether the instruction was to remain clear of their MATZ, or that MATZ
penetration had been approved.Michael
came to my assistance, and we were able to descend into Cambridge
third and last day off from flying.We
all went into Cambridge where guided tours had been laid on in the
even those who had connections in Cambridge learnt much from the guides.We
managed to avoid having
anyone fall into
the Cam during the punting in the afternoon.
whole event was brought to a
splendid close on the Friday evening when those participating in the
fly-around, many who had been at the first Sunday dinner, and several
members and friends of the IFFR met for dinner at Jesus College.The
fellowship was great
after so many
reminded us of the highlights if the tour in what I understand is a
of course thanks
were given by all to the organisers, primarily by Colin, Ian, Rodney
but assisted by a good number of others at the various points on route.I
should like to add my
thanks, as the
newbie, for a truly memorable 10 days.All we need now is some even
newer members (but
don't tell them until
the end that it is down to them to write up the trip for the bulletin!)
the Saturday coaches and
planes departed in all directions, with friendships made and renewed.