The Wire April 2001

The Newsletter of Stratford Gliding Club

Issue 19, April 2001


The News Letter

The Club is currently closed because of the Foot and Mouth epidemic. We’re planning to issue small frequent editions of The Wire until we open again.

Up to date news is on the web site, and there’s a message on what will soon be the Club Information number, 07951-781765. Please use these to keep in touch with what’s happening.


The Spring Meeting

The meeting was held in Snitterfield Village Hall on 22nd March, and was attended by about 65 members. Most of the business of the meeting was inevitably concerned with the Foot and Mouth situation.

The Chairman reported that, after discussion with Richard Hobbs, he had closed the airfield on 28th February, the day before Warwickshire County Council closed the footpaths and nature reserves, and imposed movement restrictions on farms. The BGA had since imposed a ban on cross-country flying at all clubs.

The situation was changing daily, and it was impossible to predict when we would be able to fly again and under what conditions. We had, the day before, been granted access to the site, for us to carry out some essential work. This was a special arrangement, and it is not possible to allow general access to the airfield.

Richard Hobbs attended the meeting, and spoke of the situation from his point of view as a farmer and as a County Councillor. During his report, he announced that he would be waiving the rent for the time that we are closed for flying.

The CFI reported that Bidford were happy for us to go there to fly, and perhaps to take an aircraft, but that there is no hangarage available. Shenington were flying but with unknown restrictions.

Enstone were willing to allow us to move there as an interim measure. The plan was to take our aircraft and the Skylaunch there. Many members at the meeting expressed an interest in this, and would be prepared to travel the extra distance regularly. There are a lot of things to sort out first, though, in that CAA permission for winch launching has lapsed, and there’s no LPG there for the winch.

There was a long discussion among the members about the situation, what we could do to keep flying, and what we could do to keep the Club together. There was full acceptance of the position we find ourselves in, and lots of good ideas were aired, which will be further explored.

The conclusions of the discussion were: That the Enstone option should be pursued; That the committee should organise an informal meeting of the Club a month after the Spring Meeting; That we should organise lectures and talks; That we should find ways to meet socially.

As a measure of the support for the Club among the members at the Spring Meeting, well over half those present paid their subs on the night or by post immediately afterwards.


A Visit to the Airfield

The Saturday after the meeting was our first visit to the airfield since it closed. We derigged CCT and CBW and sent them away for CofA, leaving just HSM out of action. We derigged GAG and took it and the winch off the airfield and into Richard’s spare barn, giving us some options if we decide to go and fly elsewhere.

Eight or ten syndicates also took their aircraft away, for C of A or to fly elsewhere.

We’d expected the vehicles to be difficult to start, and we were hoping that at least the Skylaunch would start so we could use it to jump-start everything else. As it turned out, everything started by itself, except that the main switch had been left on and the Skylaunch batteries were completely flat.

By the way: The airfield is completely waterlogged, like many others.


Other Sites

This information is the best we have at present. Please check before you visit any of these clubs.

Bidford are not flying because they’re waterlogged, but in principle they are flying 7 days a week. Shenington is flying 7 days a week, but may close shortly because of their cattle. HB are flying normally. Shobdon are flying, and are hosting the Midland GC as well.


Subs are Due

It is with a certain amount of trepidation that we have to remind you that subs are due on 1st April. Fees this year are:

Full Membership £180

Senior, Family £100

Junior £70

If you joined during the previous year, you are due for a rebate from these fees, and you should by now have received a letter containing the details.

Although the Club itself is not flying, you’ll need a current membership card if you want to fly on reciprocal membership at another Club. If you pay your subs promptly, we’ll post you your membership card equally promptly.


Informal Meeting

We’ve booked Snitterfield Village Hall for Thursday 26th April, 19:45. The purpose of the meeting is for the committee to keep you informed of the situation, and to run a general discussion on all relevant matters.

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