18/02/2015 Back to News
Brass Monkey makes some brass...
Photo: Elaine Smith handing the cheque to the ladies from the Yorkshire Air Ambulance at their head office in Elland.

As the weekend approached the weather deteriorated so it looked as if it was going to be a balloon meet without balloons and so it was, as no-one brought one along (although the arrival of Neil Beckwith's trailer on Saturday sent a frisson of excitement around, only to find that he was just delivering a basket to Mr Court Junior!).

Four of us had taken advantage of the on site camping, and at just £12 a night it was a bargain. We decided to move the meet back into January so we could utilise the Rudding Park holiday site (it is closed for the duration of February which had been the usual month of our Brass Monkey meet in the latter few years). The pitches are all 'serviced' pitches which means no carrying full water containers, no taking waste water to empty etc… all 'en suite' as it were, and talking of en suite, the facilities were extremely clean and very warm with unlimited hot water in the showers.
All perfect it seemed, and what was the icing on the cake? It was all in very close walking distance of the Deer House!

Friday evening we had invited anyone who wished to join us to meet at The Kestrel on the A661, Wetherby Road, and we had a lovely meal there despite the service being rather slow.

Saturday dawned cold and not flyable but we had a great turn out so with other plans made and the afternoon briefing cancelled it was on with a day of leisure.

Our traditional Saturday evening dinner was held in the Deer House and following this we awarded our trophies for the Trans-Pennine Challenge and the ahem, adorable Brass Monkey.

The TPC shield was awarded to Alex Court for his Long Jump attempt with Graeme Church and Nichola Roskell and lots of tanks; his write up is very funny and well worth seeking out in Scoop.

John Till was the recipient of the infamous Brass Monkey and deservedly so for all he does for ballooning and balloonists in our region (and beyond) - John wasn't at the dinner but emailed Phil afterwards to say he thought there were more worthy winners than himself, but a resounding no was returned as the committee all agreed that John puts so much time and effort into keeping us all flying safely that he is a most deserving winner (or was he just trying to avoid giving the ugly ape house room? Who could blame him!).

Following the prize-giving we held a small auction, but with the lots coming in thick and fast on the night we hadn't had time to compile a catalogue, so Phil donned his porter's brown overall coat and Alex used a pound coin as a gavel and the auction got underway. Hannah Cameron had kindly donated a number of Cameron items to add to our goodies on sale, as did the BBAC with a number of T-shirts and sweatshirts.

Phil paraded the lots around the room, and we even had a new super model in our midst as Malc Skilbeck tried on one of the Cameron jackets (he bought it too!).

Bargains were had and almost everything was sold. Don't believe the old saying that Yorkshire folk are tight - all the sellers donated their spoils to either the club or the Air Ambulance and we raised a total of £208.20, split up as £143.55 to the club and £64.65 to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Thank you everyone! (Further info on what we may spend our money on to follow later, following discussions....)

Flying wise, Sunday morning was even worse than Saturday with the trees now bouncing about merrily so briefing was cancelled again, just leaving the get together at midday. The quiz winners 'The GreenHills' unashamedly admitted to being sponsored by Google, but hey, that's all part of the fun! The one entrant who was absolutely and obviously not sponsored by Google was 'Brian', AKA as Alex Brian Court, at it again with a partner in crime, Barnie Smith, with a very funny set of answers and aiming to score 'nil points'. He actually scored 1/2 point for one of his answers so then 'stole' his submitted quiz back and changed that particular answer. You may find this published in Scoop, if not and you would like a giggle, please email social@prba.org.uk and a copy will be dispatched. It seems that according to Messrs Court and Smith Jnr, that a Btec in hair and beauty was one of the qualifications necessary for the Priestesses in the Temple of Vesta, and it was Sir Bruce Forsythe who was the 'who am I' in 'I have been around since the dawn of time, I can be used a percussion instrument and I was bent in the film 'The Matrix'.......

For all those of you who do not normally make it along to our meets, why not make 2015 the year to join us? You would be made very welcome.

Hope to see you all soon.

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