The 2009 BBM&L Luncheon

This year’s BBM&L luncheon was an outstanding success.

Not only did we have a brilliant speaker, Dr Janet Folkes, who relived the Gordon Bennett flight of GBR2 with herself and Dr Ann Rich, but very generous items for the auction, and more attendees than we have seen for a number of years.

We know that Janet was the main reason for the overwhelming attendance.

The luncheon was held at the Ramada Elcot Hotel near Newbury, Berkshire, a well known venue for

all balloonists from early Icicle meets and now the current ones.

Apart from the speaker, the other attraction of the luncheons has always been the Museum’s President, Robin Batchelor auctioning a few special items which are considered too good for the raffle.

This year Robin raised hundreds of pounds for the museum, auctioning artefacts as well as a very generous offer from one Friend of the Museum in France. She offered her balloon, three full cylinders and crew for a pilot sometime in 2010 in a beautiful part of southern France.

So many people made this lunch a success.

  • Janet Folkes who gave a brilliant after lunch talk supported by slides of hers and Ann’s record breaking flight.
  • Robin Batchelor who yet again proved himself to be a man of diverse talents – even auctioning knickers!
  • Anne Brown who organised the tables with the merchandise on which encouraged people to buy clothing with the Museum’s logos, postcards and books.
  • Martyn Turner set up his laptop with a loop of photographs and videos, and took photographs of everything..
  • Jason Lomax who enlarged and laminated pictures of Janet Folkes and Ann Richs’ momentous Gordon Bennett flight. He could not attend the luncheon as he was in Germany picking up a new Museum acquisition, a balloon from Dr Arno Sieger, so double thanks to Jason.
  • Caitlin Rich and Emilie Butter who sold over £100 worth of raffle tickets.
  • David Hopkins who towed the new BBM&L Exhibition Trailer all the way down from Cambridgeshire.
  • David Liddiard for all the amazing donations to the auction and for donating the Chairman’s award – The David Liddiard Trophy.
  • Richard d’Alton for hosting it and surprising everyone with the announcement of the Chairman’s Award which he presented to Tim Turner
  • The table of ten people who folded each raffle ticket stub in half for the draw – 1500 of them.
  • Everybody who attended, some having driven hundreds of miles, bought raffle tickets or bid in the auction to help make this the best fundraising event of the year.