Kite Events Pages.

Swindon Kite Festival 8th May 2011

Lydiard Park. Swindon

The Hotel was very nice with a free all you can eat breakfast so made the most of that all washed down by a few cups of tea, the Hotel was a 15min drive from the festival site so is ideally situated for those that want to stay overnight.


The Festival site is quite large but is bordered by mature trees on three sides even so had a good ground wind once you were far enough away from them, the day started off overcast with the threat of rain but it stayed dry all day and the sun came out by 11am with a blustery wind, Layer Marney mkII , entry was free although a collection was being made by the Rotary Club, the stalls, traders were the standard fare found at most festivals.


The only disappointment for me was the displays, three main displayers, Close Encounters - Team Flame - Air Heads plus a Rok fight and Teddy bear drop in one arena and inflatable's in the other, I think they should have swapped the arenas around putting the single line kites nearer the trees, as the single line kites would have been able to get above the height of the trees, this would have given the display teams cleaner wind to fly in.


The public flying area is the other side of the stalls and was again quite large with the wind probably coming from the best direction ( sw ). As I was there about ¾ of an hour before the festival started I took a few pics of the general layout, then got out a Rev full vent, but soon changed it for a Mega vent, had a good fly with some good interaction with the public, had to ring my own dinner bell! so had burger and chips while watching the arena displays.

Had the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone as I had a Saturday off, so went to visit my sister in the Cotswold's on her farm and to see the baby lambs aaah, did that on the Saturday as it was very wet until early afternoon when the sun came out, opted to spend the night in the Holiday Express Inn, Frankland Rd, Swindon as sheep and lambs do not make for a peaceful nights sleep no matter how many you count !

Went back to the public flying area after taking some more photos and the park was rapidly filling up with kites made in the kite workshop or purhased from the traders, by now the park was a hive of activity with people flying kites in the sun, I still had enough space to fly my Mega Vent, and had drawn quite a crowd, don’t think they get to see many quads, answered a lot of questions from young and old, one bloke even originally came from Basildon, small world, would have let people have a go but the wind was quite tricky so thought better of it but a few went away saying they were going to enquire about getting a Rev/Quad, they seemed happy enough to let me fly in and around them especially one young lad who ran himself into the ground trying to catch it while mum and dad watched, with mum coming up and saying thank you he will sleep like a log tonight.

The festival ended at 5pm and I had an uneventful drive home that took about 2 ¾ hours, I would describe this as a friendly show, decent flying area but maybe more for the public than the hardened kite flyer, even so I had a good time and was glad I had taken the opportunity to pay a visit. Colin.

Pictures By Colin.

Jolly Up

April 15,16,17

Having decided to attend the jolly up, I made my way down to the village of Cliddesden, Basingstoke, Hampshire. I have never been to a jolly up so did not know what to expect. After arriving at the venue for the get together, which is the buggy field used by the North Hants buggy club, I parked the car and made my way to the very large tent at the bottom of the field where I was greeted by Roy Broadley, who owns and runs Kites Up, he told me the goings on and took my money for the camping £6.50 for the whole weekend and £7.50 for the bbq on the Saturday evening.


The Jolly up is a get together for kite flyers and kite flyers only (no public). So after setting up my tent and saying hello to a few faces I recognised from various other festivals from past years, I decided to have a fly on the rev with short lines (40 foot). This is the time the wind decided to disappear so it was out with the Wala (zero wind kite) after an hour or so it was time to go back to the large tent and order fish and chips, which are delivered to the field (this is on the Friday) so after a great meal and a few pints it was time to retire and see what the following day brings.

I was awake and ready for a days flying on the Saturday, and guess what zero wind, so it was a day of chatting and trying to fly zero wind kites. The day soon passed and it was bbq time and a few cold ones (complements to the chef) and to grab a seat for the auction, many lots were bid upon and many laughs were had by all. I woke on the Sunday to find the wind had arrived, so it was out with the mid vent rev, by this time a few of the rev flyers from stokes bay had turned up and we managed a small team fly. The clock finally reached 4pm so it was time to pack up and make my way home.


The next jolly up is August 6th,7th 2011,

All the best.


This was another festival I had never been to. So it was a trip round the dreaded M25 again. I left home around 11ish and finally arrived just after 3pm after sitting in traffic for 4 hours.

I was met on the flying field (which is the Basingstoke Rugby clubs field )by a couple of good friends from the kite weekenders ( google kite weekenders ) fantastic friendly people who love to help with anything kite related. I was all set up and ready for a great festival, on the Friday evening there was a meal organised at the local Harvester restaurant.


The Saturday arrived and it was time for a fly, very gusty winds, but nothing I am not used to, after a couple of hours it was time for a walk and take in some of the beautiful kites being displayed by various flyers from all over Europe and the UK.

Basingstoke Festival June 3rd,4th,5th

One of the most impressive kite builders and flyers is Kelvin Woods, he is a kite builder that uses real butterfly pictures as the design and copies them onto kite material. He also builds a beautiful appliquéd kite called an Edo (pronounced eee-doh ) this has to be one of the most intricate kites I have ever seen.


If your at a festival and he is there, have a look at these kites, you will be blown away. There were other flyers entertaining the crowds such as

Team Spectrum

Carl Robertshaw

Chris Goff

The Flying Squad

And many more.

The Sunday arrived and so did the dark clouds, the weatherman got it right and by mid day the rain had arrived, lucky for me I had packed all my gear away earlier in the day, so a dash to the car, said my goodbyes through the window and it was off home.


All the best


Kelvin Woods and some of his superb work.





Dunstable Kite Festival 16th/17th July 2011

( held at the National Trust Gateway Centre )


Daz and myself had decided to go to this festival some time ago and had booked a room at the Holiday Inn that is a 15 min drive away, and although the weather forecast all week had been for heavy rain we still decided to go as it was the first time it was going to be a two day festival and as we had both had such a good time last year when it was only on the Sunday.


We had a trouble free drive to Dunstable, although we drove through frequent showers, and arrived at the Gateway Centre just before 9am after having breakfast at McDonalds to find a couple of lifters already in the sky, after I had parked up we wandered over to the flyers campsite to say our hello's, it promptly started to rain that rapidly became heavy and persistent, thankfully Graham offered us shelter in his motorhome and that is where Myself, Daz, Baz and Graham spent the next four hours drinking tea, beer, wine and eating some nibbles while we talked about all thing's kite related, we even had Graham's Cockatiel to keep us entertained ringing it's little bell when it wasn't sitting by the window watching the rain, thank you Graham for being the perfect host and giving a few waifs and strays shelter from the rain.

Sunday looked better weatherwise as the forecast was for light showers, hmmm, on our way to the festival we again stopped off for breakfast, getting to the gateway centre at about 10am, when it promptly started to rain again, although it was only a passing shower it looked as though more were on the way so we both decided to have a walk around the site and have a look at what was happening in the arena and it gave me an opportunity to take some pictures.

During the rain the flying Squad continued to fly demonstrations to one man and his dog, respect, the heavy rain eventually eased off and became more showery so we donned our waterproofs and ventured outside with about 12 other quad flyers not including the Flying Squad.


Unfortunately for some they found out that their waterproofs weren't, oop's, slowly the day got better even the sun came out and made it quite warm, although the wind was terrible meaning you could have done with three different kites a full sail, a mid vent and a Mega vent all at the same time.


We were all having a good time flying each others kites and enjoying the company of folk we had not seen for a while. Various individuals and teams did their best to put on a display in the main arena, and all credit to them in the trying conditions, at 5pm we joined the Flying Squad for a Mega fly in the main arena and apart for a few minor tangles at the start when folk were flying/walking their kites into the arena all went well.


After the festival closed the Gateway centre provided a bar-b-q that was very nice, after which we went back to the campsite to chat with the others, by now it was a lovely evening although the blustery wind was turning a bit chilly, at around 8.30pm Daz and Me made our way to the hotel to put our feet up, boy were we glad we were not camping.

Click image for more pictures.

Yet another heavy shower came over and made everything wet again followed by a brief sunny spell, and that was the pattern for the rest of the day with the wind getting stronger and stronger, we did get a chance to have some good interaction with the crowd and gave us an opportunity to show what a qaud can do, that led them to asking some questions that we were pleased to answer.


By now we had both had enough getting very wet and trying to get thing's dry so we both packed our kites away and went for another walk around the festival site, we met Pete and Lyn from Skyart and helped take in a bit of their display while Pete was helping someone with their kites, we hung around watching people being dragged along by power kites,Bryan from team Spectrum summed it up when he said this is " ridiculous " Andrew Beattie made a valiant effort to get up a big Dragon kite in the arena but even with the help of others it was just too windy, so we said our goodbyes and left for home, at least Daz was able to say that his " Eyes Rev " was featured on the banners promoting the event, the picture must have been taken last year. It was sunny and dry last year !!! Colin.

Although there was still the threat of showers Daz and myself both put kites together and had a fly, there were a lot more members of the public about today but not so many quad flyers, perhaps they had taken more notice of the weather forecast.


A few spots of rain in a blink of an eye became a deluge, this time the Kiteweekenders came to our aid and let us shelter in their caravan awning, 20 min's later the sun was out so we flew our kites to dry them out, then another instant down pour came through and this time Baz came to our rescue and made us a cup of tea as we sheltered from the rain in his caravan.


With the heavy rain came a very gusty wind that played havoc with the festival displays, then the sun came out again and another chance to dry things out.


Steve and Sue who had come up the Haven the previous weekend were also at the festival both day's, it was a real shame that their two visits to a kite festival coincided with really bad weather, during the weekend a few people came up and said hello and said that they had seen us at the Peterborough festival and had had a go on our kites there and were still thinking about buying a Rev / Quad.

It was while having a break a very nice couple invited us to their 40th anniversary wine and cheese evening so we quickly said YES PLEASE. That evening we all went and drank far too much wine (well I did) and ate far too much cheese (I did that as well).


Later on that evening a few of the flyers went and got their night flying kites and brought them back to the party so they could be seen close up by the steam and traction people who were very impressed by what the saw.

After a while it was time to head back to the camp site but before that we stopped at the beer tent and entertained the public with the kites and answered questions asked by curious members of the public who had never seen kites flown in the dark.

Teston 13/14 August 2011


I had never been to this get together before so when I woke Saturday morning I quickly made some sandwiches a flask and grabbed the kites. On arriving it was raining so I sat in the car for a while pondering the thought of still being in bed and not sat in my car in the rain. The rain soon stopped and as I walked across the field I could see it was not a great flying site (surrounded on 3 sides by very tall trees).


I have been told in the past this is a social event and not a flying event only to be greeted by a few people already flying single line kites. I had a chat and said my hello's to all then decided to have a go at flying. After an hour or so it started to get very crowded on the field with lots of kids flying little single liners (purchased from HYZA KITE) so I spent a couple of hours helping little kids get there kites flying (and getting thanks from there parents) that's what I think kite flying is all about," Getting others involved and interested in kite flying",


I was only there for the day so later in the afternoon I said my good byes and headed for home .I am sorry there are no photos of this event I was soooooo busy helping out I never had time to take any.



It was the first time I had attended the Lingfield steam and traction show as a kite flyer, we had been given our own field to set up camp and fly in. There were already people set up and flying by the time I arrived so I quickly said a few hello's and got on with setting my tent for the weekend.


The Friday soon disappeared and it was time to retire for the busy day ahead I woke early Saturday had breakfast and got the REVS out the forecast was for sunshine and showers but it turned out to be a great day.


After a morning of flying I decided to have a look around the steam and traction site, there were plenty of traders selling all kinds of things and plenty of food vendors supplying food of all descriptions (I went for the German vendor).


After a walk around the steam engines and asking a few questions I returned to the field where the kite flyers were. On arrival back at the camp site I was greeted by the huge Manta ray flown by the Brighton Kite Flyers, soon there were a few more kites being flown (mainly revs) and the odd single line kite.

Lingfield, 6/7 August 2011

It had been a busy day so it was all to bed to get ready for a busy Sunday. On the Sunday the sky was grey and full of rain clouds so I did not get any kites out but there were a few brave people who got kites out and faced the chance of getting wet while flying.


I decided to walk around the site again and take a few photos, the light was very poor so not a great day for picture's. All in all a great time was had by all, so I packed my gear away, said my good byes and headed for home.



Monday 22nd August

East Mersea Youth Camp


The East Mersea Youth Camp is a place for young people with or without physical or learning disabilities to take part in activities together, this is the second year that Rob has been approached to see if he could do a kite show at the camp.


Last year the weather was against us but the organisers were pleased with what we had been able to do, and for the second year Daz and myself had been on holiday so when Rob asked if we could help we both said yes as did " old Pete ".


I arrived just before 10am to find Pete walking along the driveway having gone to find out about the parking arrangements, we were in the same spot as last year, right by the waters edge, when we drove around the corner to park up we found Rob already there with his lifter sitting forlornly on the ground as the wind was very light, luckily I had my Wala with me so I was able to get in some practice with it, if I say so myself I am starting to get on fairly well with it now that I understand the best bridle settings.


Pete flew his very colourful bird and he soon had some youngsters eager to have a go with it which he was very pleased to do, and a young girl was quite taken with my Wala and flew it for a good part of the morning.


As the wind picked up and started to blow in of the sea, ideal direction for us, Mark and his children Chloe, Danielle and Harry arrived followed by Daz, so very quickly a number of single line kites were being flown by some very enthusiastic ( and very polite ) youngsters while Harry and Rob launched their lifters, some of the youngsters stayed with us all day only disappearing when it was lunchtime before they came running back to fly some more kites.


Daz, Pete and me entertained some of the kid's and their parents or carers who were waiting to have a go on the Trampoline or learning Circus skills, some of the kids in wheelchairs were pushing their chairs frantically trying to catch the quads and cheered and clapped when the kites landed on their laps or on their feet, some asked if they could have a go and we were happy to let them have a try on the handles as the wind had picked up, they all did very well, smiles all round, Daz was flying his " eyes " Rev, always a crowd pleaser and one little lad having a go on my Rev insisted on calling Daz the " eyeball man " as we chased him about the sky.


Rob and Harry put on a good display of single line kites including Harry's vegetables and Rob's Cat, Devil, Little Willy and Gecko amongst others, at one point about midday Rob's lifter came down in a tree but Rob managed to pull it free and soon had it back in the air followed by a round of applause from those watching.


It was a pleasure to help today and to see the enjoyment the kites had brought to a lot of youngsters and young adults many of whom have to deal with various disabilities everyday, and we got to try some of Chloe's home made cakes, yum yum.

Portsmouth Kite Festival 2011 & 2012

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