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|Autumn's Golden memories
In John Keats very own words: Ode To Autumn
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
PHOTO of High Grundon Farm, our Autumn Gold meet venue, and Ray Wright's 'Polar Wind' courtesy of Richard Burdon.
|Friday briefing at 4pm meant that only a few lucky people could make it on time to fly, but Neil Beckwith took the challenge and decided to head off south for a better launch site to attempt a fly in - and he was well on target, if only that elusive bit of left had been a bit more left than he managed to get!
Saturday morning and we were all up and at it for 8am, the mist had other plans though and kept us on the ground for a couple of hours but then off went 8 balloons; Alex Smith in G-OATV, Terry Chamberlain and Malcolm Skilbeck in G-WIMP, Graham Hill and Tony Greensides in G-BVPV, Emily Read and Judy Wetters in G-COSY, Mike Bellamy in G-BVDB, Ray Wright in G-CIAY, Duncan Lambert in G-RIXY and Graham Holtam in G-HPEN, into the beautiful blue sky. The competition was set by Linda Crossland Clarke as one of the winners of the trophy last year, and she went for a target competition. As we were in Thornton le Dale, Linda came up with the idea to hand out Thorntons chocolates to the pilots and then, after take-off, the pilots were to throw out their chocolate to one of their retrieve crew; Barnaby missed Alex' chocolate by millimetres, Ray ate his chocolate, Duncan and Graham forgot all about theirs, Martin Read missed catching Emily's throw, Barbara Chamberlain caught Terry's (chocolate orange? No, best Thorntons!), Mike Bellamy threw his chocolate for Elaine to catch, which was only partly successful as it bounced out of her hand on impact, but by far the best attempt was made by Wendy and Graham Hill who threw it once - Wendy caught it, threw it back to Graham, who threw it again, and yes, Wendy triumphed again! (Question is, did you then eat the well handled chocolate Wendy?! ). A nice leisurely flight followed with the balloons heading roughly eastwards, and many stand up landings were seen with the various balloons dotted about the countryside. A lovely sight.
Saturday continued with beautiful weather, a perfect Autumn day, which came as a complete surprise as earlier in the week we could not have imagined we would have such treatment at the hands of Mother Nature.
Saturday afternoon's flight, beautiful weather as it was, was just a bit too breezy for us all so it was off to the various eatery establishments in the vicinity.
Sunday was not the best of flying weather but still quite do-able, so Neil Beckwith and Emily Read (this time with Dad) both elected to fly and set off at a right old lick but gladly both came home safe and sound.
12pm de-brief came all too quickly, and it was with a reduced number of participants as some had chosen to head off early, but enough remained for a jolly little get together. The chocolate chucking contest was declared won well and truly by team Hill with Wendy and Graham not only doing it once but showing off and doing it twice, and for their trouble they take home the Autumn leaves trophy (when returned by Linda who forgot she had it). Alex' cryptic quiz was won by Team Beckwith/Harper with 31 points out of 40, Graham Holtam (who had headed off early) had been given a prize of a money box so he could save up for his next landing fee encounter (the neighbouring farmer advised Graham's landowner that he should charge him a landing fee!). Ray Wright and Emily Read landed in the same field - that's read and write in the same field, so surely that had to elicit a prize, and indeed it did with Emily and Ray both winning a prize of a set of pens (to write) and a note book (to write in, and so to read). Ray was another who had headed off early so his prize will be sent on to him shortly. The last of the prizes was a bottle of wine very kindly given by Terry and Barbara Chamberlain for Stephen, who kindly allows us to base ourselves at High Grundon Farm camp site for this meet. Same time, same place 2016? Yes, we will be there.
So , the round up; we had another successful PRBA meet with a bunch of lovely people. We had 4 out of 5 slots flown with great quality flying. We had a multitude of photographers on site including the amazing Charlotte Graham, Richard Burdon, and Andrew Davies to name three, who have taken fantastic photos for us, thank you. Jess (the nutty Spaniel) Bellamy was not happy with Alex when she saw him with another doggie! We had a chocolate catching contest with the left-over Thornton's chocolates with Elle and Lissa as chief catchers, the three second rule going out of the window of course! Graham and Joan Matthews VIK's came along again, hiding in the hedges, did you see them? What? The 'very important kittens' of course! The intrepid Mrs Paddy Donkin came to join us in her trusty red Transit campervan for the last time this year, she's off on her adventures to South Africa again in a few days time - see you next Spring Paddy. We caught up with an old ballooning friend, John Stables who lives just a stone's throw away from High Grundon Farm, our fab little venue. And finally, Terry had a friendly welcoming party for his landing at Flamingo Land with the comment that if he wanted a free pass in, he had only to ask!
Thank you all for coming along. We had another good one, didn't we?
All in all, golden memories. Autumn Golden ones.
Photos below courtesy of Richard Burdon, Charlotte Graham and others, thank you. Please click on the pics, there are some lovely images!