There are times when I feel proud and privileged to be part of Shalbourne Gliding. Tuesday 25th July was such a day. A day of flying young people that will be remembered fondly both by our visitors and our members who generously gave their time and expertise to make the day happen.
Members of the 1st and 4th Newbury Girl Guides were camping at Linkenholt and had decided to include gliding as one of their activities. They certainly picked a good day to trek the 4 or 5 miles to the club, fly and trek back. All 27 of the group (girls and leaders) flew and learnt about powerless flying – including 3 who were very apprehensive about flying. With gentle encouragement and support from the guide leaders and our members they took to the air and returned happy. One of the 3 was a young leader I flew with from whom I heard a sharp intake of breath when we changed wings on the ground. Approaching the top of the launch she declared “I would have been a fool to miss this”. The way the girls kept safely clear of the launch point, patiently waiting their turn to fly and keeping themselves occupied was a credit to themselves and their leaders.
There was terrific support from club members enabling the day to happen. Ken H, Alan S and Paul B kept the cables coming; Mary B and Martin S provided exceptional launch point organization; Stan O, Alan B and Jonty H ran around launching and retrieving gliders; Bob B, Peter E, Ken R and Colin B got the best job flying our visitors (though it took great determination to pass on some great lift in the interests of getting everyone flown). With such a good turnout of club members we were able to get the K8 out and some members enjoyed some soaring. After the Guides had left we continued flying as the sky still looked great but nobody managed to connect with anything.
44 launches in total with 27 of those being trial lessons