Inflation Day – 24 April 2021.

Well, here we go again, exciting times, as we start the process of preparing for the next BBM&L Inflation Day – here is hoping we actually get one in 2021!
David Hopkins has kindly, and very much come to the rescue, by offering his land at Pidley for the BBM&L Inflation Day 2021 event! It will not be as we have known it for the last ten years when located at Lakeside Golf Centre, with its perfect driving range area – but we must move on! However, I am thrilled that it will be at Pidley again but located on David’s land at the back of his house, on one of the original golf courses!
The area is away from the public road, has a hard track to the planned parking area with the inflation area on one of the old fairways – and tree-lined! If the wind is blowing in the ‘wrong’ direction, there is an additional location, within the area, offering alternative shelter!
Early days, but with the venue selected it needs a date, so put the 24th April 2021 into your dairies at the first opportunity! There are a number of logistical arrangements for us to ‘put together’ with additional costs to take into account (not from David I might add), but hopefully they will be comparatively straightforward compared to the problems our worst enemy Covid has thrown at us in recent months! The Covid ‘rules of the day’ will have to be complied with however, and assuming we have ‘come out the other side’ of the rules we currently have, and the restrictions by April have been relaxed somewhat, all will be well!
Watch this space for further announcements!
We were exceedingly disappointed having to cancel this year’s BBM&L 40th Anniversary event, but the plan will be to make the 2021 occasion exceptional to make up for it! See you there!

Renee Thornton, 1931-2020

Vice President of the British Balloon Museum & Library.

     We were saddened to hear that Renee had died in her sleep. She was a friend, a balloonist and an artist, and her art group meant a lot to her in the last few years.

    David Barker had known Renee longer than most of us and he kindly wrote the following. 

      ‘After crewing for gas balloons for several years Renee (born 15 July 1931) became a founder member of the Southern Balloon Group, latterly with myself as the only other continuing member.  The group bought Carousel in 1972 and then, after Renee had gained her licence, Carousel 2 in 1976, then Renee bought her own balloon Diadem in 1980.  

    We went to Carate Brianza in 1975 to train Piero Porati,  where Renee made a hit with the local press who called her La Prima Donna Montgolfiera.  


    I’ll never forget the sight of Renee marching down the road when she landed there after a solo flight, followed by some half a dozen Italians carrying the basket then even more of them carrying the envelope.  

   I made many flights with Renee, both for her training then the World Championships in 1977 where we were placed 8th, the highest placed UK team.  Together we twice won the Irish Championships, we flew in Spain in 1978, in Morocco, Belgium and France, and took part in the first Château d’Oex meeting in 1979 and the first flight over London for 40 years, in 1978. 

   Renee worked in the personnel department of The John Lewis Partnership up to her retirement latterly in Bristol, where she lived. She was a founder member and later vice president of the BBM&L.’

David Barker 

     Very sad news to receive Jenni, she was a big supporter of the Museum in times gone by and I have her down as Founder Member number 2, she was the first treasurer (1980 to 1984) and retired from the Council in 2009 when we appointed her as a VP! A sad loss to the ballooning world!

Tim Turner, BBM&L Secretary


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The *virtual* Inflation Day 2020

The balloons pictured below all registered to attend the Inflation Day and we take our hats off to all the pilots and crews who had the date firmly written in their diaries.
It is seldom we get the chance to see these historic balloons and we send our thanks to Sandy Mitchell and Tim Turner for the photographs.

We had ten Hoppers registered up to the date of cancellation, otherwise you may be sure we would have seen many more on the day.

We were looking forward to celebrating 40 Years of the Museum Line-Up – balloons registered in the Museum’s birth year 1979, mostly Museum balloons plus one or two others …

The Inflation Day is traditionally a good day to raise funds for the Museum so we are thinking of ways of boosting the kitty whilst still having fun.
And of course, there is always the DONATION PAGE 🙂

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