British Balloon & Airship Club AGM

BBM&L stand at the BBAC AGMThe British Balloon & Airship Club (BBAC) AGM was held on 15th March at the NFU Headquarters in Stratford upon Avon in Warwickshire.

The BBM&L stand at the AGM created a lot of interest. Large photographs of Caroline and Andrew Gibson’s balloon tethers at the Manchester Museum of Science and Technology, plus an article on the event drew a lot of people in.

The Honours and Awards were presented by BBAC President Anthony Smith. The British Balloon Museum & Library were extremely honoured when the Friends Secretary, Peter Lewis-Smith was awarded a BBAC diploma for recognition of his services and contribution to ballooning.

Peter Lewis-Smith receiving the Diploma

Due to social commitments, Peter was unable to attend, so his daughter Jennifer received the Diploma on his behalf from Anthony Smith.

The following weekend, Richard d’Alton, Chairman of the BBM&L, presented the Diploma to Peter at his home in West Wales.

The Citation put forward by the museum read:

BBM&L Citation for Peter Lewis-Smith

November 2008

This citation is written for Peter Lewis-Smith the British Balloon Museum & Library’s Friends Secretary, a post he has held since 1992.

Hopefully Peter won’t mind me mentioning his age as the Museum Council feel this is a significant reason for putting Peter forward for a BBAC citation, he is 87 years young, no mean feat completing his duties as meticulously as he does! Having come to the Museum as a Friend in 1980 (only a year after it’s inception) and for the last 16 years he has been the Friends Secretary. We all know how much progress has been made with computer technology in that time and how much more difficult it becomes to grasp the principles behind the software as we get older. Peter has never been on a computer course to help him keep pace with the developing office world therefore completely self-taught! He produces many membership benefits for the Museum, which are second to none, if you are a member of the Museum you may not know that when your membership card ‘drops onto the mat’ every January it is the craft of Peter, all produced by himself for every individual member.

Peter, over the years has hardly missed a BBM&L AGM, and when attending he always expresses passion as to which way he considers the council should go over membership. Normally council meetings are held in the Reading area, which is a fair excuse for non attendance at these meetings as Peter lives in west Wales with BBM&L Council member, wife Anne, who in years gone by, has been a very prominent figure in not only the ballooning world but the BBAC as well (ex Aerostat Editor)!

However, Peter constantly has the interests of the Museum at heart and is always ‘pushing’ to recruit new members. The demands of modern office life requires him to produce many ‘facts and figures’ for the benefit of the council, all to assist in spotting trends and making appropriate decisions relating to membership. He produces a very professional membership list, which is circulated annually, and to all new Friends upon joining the BBM&L. Peter’s responsibilities are many and varied – he assists with the preparation of dispatch of the Museum house magazine Trailrope – in conjunction with the treasurer he keeps abreast of the latest members joining and those who have not renewed, sending them a polite reminder should they forget, and another should they not respond to the original letter – Peter hates losing members!

Peter, your help and dedication to the Friends secretarial position is greatly appreciated and long may it continue! For all the above I think a BBAC diploma is a fitting tribute to Peter’s efforts over the years – thank you from all within the BBM&L.

Tim Turner
BBM&L Secretary
November 2008