BBM&L AGM & Annual Luncheon

Richard presenting trophy to John BakerThe British Balloon Museum & Library AGM and annual luncheon was held at our regular venue The Elcot Hotel, near Newbury, Berkshire on 31st October. Nearly 70 Friends of the Museum were able to attend.

At the AGM, chaired by Richard d’Alton, the treasurer Bill Teasdale announced his intention to stand down at the next AGM. Bill has been the treasurer for 25years and his dedication has been constant and consistently thorough. John Crawford was elected onto the council as treasurer designate and will shadow Bill during the next year.

David Bareford was re-elected onto the Council, but sadly Andrew and Caroline Gibson stepped down. They had been great ambassadors for the BBM&L over the years, and had edited and published the Museum’s journal, Trailrope for seven years. They will be missed.

After the meeting came the luncheon. Despite a few snags, we had managed to persuade our own star of television and basket to come and be our post prandial speaker. His agent had kindly agreed to release him from filming for the day to come and be amongst us. Robin Batchelor is the BBM&L President and Chief Auctioneer and well known balloonist.

Robin has been a professional balloonist for 35 years and has flown in 33 different countries. He owns his own hydrogen balloon but lists his best experiences flying hot air balloons over the Alps, across the Channel and over The African Wilderness

We had asked him to talk about filming his latest series, Australian Balloon Adventure, in which Stephen Tomkinson was the star but Robin as the balloonist shone through. Allegedly, some footage being returned as having ‘too much of the balloonist, and not enough of Stephen Tompkinson in it.’

Robin auctioningThe popular BBM&L Auction followed Robin’s talk. Items donated by the Friends for the event were auctioned with great panache by Robin, and resulted in a good donation to the museum.

Chairman Richard d’Alton presented the Chairman’s David Liddiard Trophy to John Baker. It is awarded annually to the Council member who has excelled through working on behalf of the BBM&L. This year John, who is the museum’s archivist and historian, has spent time answering over 200 queries from all over the world, helping with displays, exhibitions and sourcing the history of John Mackenzie Bacon.

Photograph of Robin Batchelor courtesy of Richard Cardy