Exciting New Ballooning Exhibition at Cameron Balloons Ltd

Early DaysOn 1 April 2011 staff and guests gathered at the Cameron factory in Bedminster, Bristol UK, to celebrate the company’s 40th birthday.

The British Balloon Museum & Library were invited to create and install a permanent Museum exhibit to mark the occasion.

The Boards and display cabinets the museum created, not only tell of the history of the first flights, and ballooning from Bristol in the early days, but also shows old photographs from the early BBAC days. It takes skill to recognise some pilots, but others are still instantly recognisable even after 40 years!

Although he built his first balloon in 1966 it was a further five years before Don Cameron incorporated the business that has become the largest manufacturer in the world of hot-air balloons. To mark the anniversary of the company’s foundation the Lord Mayor of Bristol was shown around the factory where he was able to watch many of the staff at work.

Later he cut two birthday cakes that had been made by Cherry Richards which were then shared among guests and staff, who toasted the success of the business in champagne.

The cake has gone, but the BBM&L exhibition and the Cameron exhibition is still there, and in fact there are plans to change the boards every 6 months to a year to keep it fresh and interesting.

Hannah Cameron, Cameron’s Company Secretary, said she would be delighted to show Friends of the Museum around the displays. Please say why you are there when you arrive.

The Chairman of the BBM&L, Richard d’Alton, said he was honoured that Cameron Balloons had given the museum an opportunity to put on a display at the factory.

“It enables us to show just a fraction of the many artefacts we hold as a museum, we have many more and look forward to changing the boards and the items in the display cabinets over the years.”

“I would like to thank Archivist John Baker for all his time and hard work sourcing facts and items, and helping construct the display with myself and Tim Turner.”

John Hannah and RichardThe newly refurbished reception area of Cameron’s shows not only the history of ballooning from the BBM&L, but an extensive display of Cameron Balloon’s achievements over the years, plus the history of the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, posters and trophies from all over the world. The whole area is a delight to visit.

Photograph: John Baker – BBM&L Archivist, Hannah Cameron – Director & Company Secretary Cameron Balloons, Richard d’Alton – Chairman BBM&L