Amazing. Fanatastic. Glorious. Unbelievable. That was the comments from members and guests to the annual Slim Gregory Fun Day. With full sun, blue skies, a gentle breeze blowing down the runway and all coming together on the planned day. What more could you ask for? The annual Family Fun Day in memory of Slim Gregory, a past president of the club is a great day out for members and their families. Full blown BBQ followed by an excellent array of naughty but nice gateaus.
On the days leading up to the annual event the organising team led by David Tappin gets preparations underway. The grass is mown and the airstrip checked and rolled if necessary. Friday the team erect the safety fence which covers the main area from the patio fence up the flight line to a few meters past the pilot box at the eastern end.
Saturday the team are up very early, no lay-in for them. Marquees and gazebos need erecting. Kitchen is set up under the club house awning. Early arrivals and helpers were treated to a bacon roll carefully grilled by Graham Tarrant. With the marquee set up as a cafe and gazebos erected for childrens garden games, mPa system up and running it was time to get any models unloaded and set up for flying. By mid morning the flightline had grown considerably from the club house end and past the pilots box. After the pilot's briefing and the flexible schedule by David Tappin it was time for some of us to get some flights in.
Around late morning there was a sudden rush of wind from the westerly direction, similar to a mini tornado. It past the kitchen area but completely wrecked one of the gazebos, picked up light models and parasols and carried them down the flightline. Fortunately there was no apparent damage to cars, models except for Graham's gazebo which is a write off.
The flight line was still growing until it virtually reached the far end of the field. I have to say that this was only the second time I can remember since my time with the club that the line has been packed. Lot's of faces not seen for a while meant lots of catching up, discussions, banter and checking out new or refurbished or just "dusted off" models.
Christchurch Club MembersIf you are a regular to Bygone Days then you will know Phil Holt who is full size flight director authorised by the CAA and commentator for the event. He was invited to come and visit us last week and he duly came and was amazed at WimborneMAC's setup and field. He also gave a thank you for the club's support of Bygone Days ove the years. He was later given a trial flight via the buddy box system to get an insight into RC flying. Other invited guests were from Salisbury MFC who came with scale warbirds, their signature I think. It was also good to see four visitors from Christchurch Club.
Whether it was just the glorious weather not sure but unusually for this event a lot more pilots flew. Also given flying slots was some helicopter owners, Chris Morris for one who gave another outrageous display as he had done th eweekend before at Bygone Days. The Family Fun Day is the only time that rotary wings are allowed at Cashmoor. With so many pilots taking advantage of the airstrip and blue skies there had been no time to actually have some friendly competitions or fun flys.
Meanwhile lunchtime saw the kitchen in full swing with BBQed burgers and sausages with a multitude of choices of sauces and side salad. Tea, coffee and soft drinks were also available. Phil Coupe and Graham admirably running the kitchen, it must have been hot there because by this time the sun was peaking at max temperatures. Later the ice cream van arrived and queues formed quite quickly in the bright sunshine.
Later in the afternoon David assembled many of us there to present the award for the best model. Yours truly was very surprised to have won with my B25 Mitchell bomber. It only having been maidened a few hours earlier by Jon T and then flown again after some trimming adjustments. I had only brought it along at Jon's bidding after he saw it at Bygone Days the previous weekend.
With such a fantastic day, good company, excellent flying conditions and members gradually leaving no-one had noticed the hours passing, suddenly we realised it was nearly six and time to pack up, dismantle canvas, clean up kitchen area and generally tidy up. Although a long day it was well worth it and with so many great comments from members and guests.
Lets hope we can match or better it next year. Thanks must go to all the members who have worked to make this event a success.
More images can be found in the Gallery here: Slim Gregory Fun Day