BBM&L AGM & Luncheon Report

by Tim Turner

2011 Chairman's TrophyAs usual the last Sunday of October (the day you get an extra hour in bed) was the BBM&L AGM and Annual Luncheon at the Elcot Hotel near Newbury (where the Icicle trade show takes place).

Once again it was a very successful event, not only a very sociable one but financially beneficial for the Museum – all due to the generosity of the Friends of the Museum and appreciation to Jenni for setting it all up.

We had the usual raffle and auction of donated items, plus an ‘auction of promises’ which turned out to be very successful. Amongst the many ‘promises’, was a gas balloon flight to take place from Germany (donated by Colin Butter) successfully bid for by Terry Adams over from South Africa!

A well attended AGM discussed many subjects including a disappointing announcement from Chairman Richard d’Alton that the hoped for new museum for the BBM&L in the stable block at Boughton House will not happen. The BBM&L were ‘ready to go’ on the project but the Boughton estate opening days have been restricted to only one month in 2012 thus not making the museum idea viable, or applicable for a grant. Richard & Jenni had put a tremendous amount of effort into the project, not all being lost however, as the experience, ideas and contacts can be activated should another opportunity be forthcoming in the future!

The Chairman’s annual award of the David Liddiard Trophy is awarded to the Council member who had gone that extra mile in the past year. For the second year running, Richard awarded it to John Baker. John being the BBM&L archivist is a fountain of ballooning knowledge and had been a significant ‘side-kick’ to Richard in the setting up of the BBM&L display at the Cameron factory earlier this year.

As a tribute to 40 years of ballooning manufacture, Don Cameron had been invited as guest speaker to the luncheon and many people had attended just to hear him. Don gave a fascinating presentation of his, and his company’s achievements during the last 40 years. you wouldn’t believe the development of balloons and their equipment during that time – thus the reason for the BBM&L being set up – to preserve the history of the sport.

So if you think you have an artefact that could represent something within ballooning history the BBM&L would love to have first refusal.