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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.