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Wolds GC Annual Dinner 2018

The Wolds GC Annual Dinner was held on Saturday 08 March in the clubhouse with more than 80 members and guests attending.

Club CFI John Norman reviewed the year and presented the trophies.

Bob Holroyd Cup (Ist 100km of the year) – Will Blackburn, for 185km on 09 May 2017

2018 Dinner Will 4x3

Most Progress – Jonathon Richardson, bronze and silver badges and BI rating

2018 Dinner Jonathon 4x3

Most Meritorious Flight – Derrick Roddie and Gordon Basey, Sutton Bank and Masham in a gale

Longest Flight – Derrick Roddie and John Norman, 463km

Barbara Walker Cup (best two-seater flight) – Lloyd Finlay and Sam Roddie, winning the day in the two-seater competition in a K21

Club Ladder – Will Blackburn, with 50 points more than last year.....

“The Rock” (for notable retrieves) – Andy Melville, for an (uneventful) retrieve of the new K21 trailer from Germany

2018 Dinner Andy 4x3

Al McWhirter Shield – Graham Wadforth and Steve Wilkinson, for services to the Club in the previous year

2018 Dinner Steve Graham 4x3

Les Hooper Cup – Eddie Room, “we have decided to award the trophy to people who have had a long term input and.... as the first recipient there isn’t anyone with a longer sustained input than Eddie Room.”

2018 Dinner Eddie 4x3

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GASCo Safety Evening 2018 - Save the day!

Save the day!

Saturday 17 February 2018 19.00 at the

Wolds GC Clubhouse,

The Airfield,

Pocklington

the 2018 GASCo Safety Evening

“Aware Today – Alive Tomorrow”

 

GASCo Flyer 2017 lr

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"... there's no upper age limit."

As the BGA says “... there is no upper age limit for gliding”. This year our visitors at Pocklington have included Doug, 93, Harry, 90, Alice, 90, and, most recently, Jean, 88. They had all received gliding vouchers to celebrate their various birthdays. Harry and Alice were also doing it to support good causes – Harry raising almost £1,000 for Lupus UK and Alice more than £1,500 for Arthritis Research UK.

No age limit names 2

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32nd Two-Seater Comp – the last post...

When the dust settled after the 32nd Two-Seater Competition there was one major trophy still to be awarded, the Pete Redshaw Trophy, donated by Lakes GC, for the Most Meritorious Flight during the competition. For 2017 it goes to Steve Nock for the Janus TV’s day winning flight down the Trent Valley to Belvoir Castle. The trophy will be personally delivered to Steve by Wolds GC chairman Steve Wilkinson.

TSC 2017 Winners Steve Nock

Devon and Somerset’s team have again produced their own account of the competition, much influenced perhaps by the application of the “waters of Jura” which flow liberally in their narrative which can be read at

http://devonsomersetgc.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/

The prize winners for the competition days and overall winners are summarised below.

  1st 2nd 3rd Best Wood Best Intermediate
Day 1
Sun 20 Aug
563
Chris Fox
94
Bob Bromwich
TV
Kristina Samuels
BBB
John Pursey
Z35
Colin Metcalfe
Day 2
Mon 21 Aug
TV
Kristina Samuels
CUS
Mike Weston
XX
Brian Scougall
BBB
John Pursey
JAX
Mike Jordy
Day 3
Fri 25 Aug
TV
Kristina Samuels
CUS
Mike Weston
494
Christopher Aldiss
BUR
Bob Playle
JAX
Mike Jordy
Day 4
Sat 26 Aug
KAX
Tom Pavis
94
Bob Bromwich
CUS
Mike Weston
FYR
Chris Boyle
Z35
Colin Metcalfe
Day 5
Sun 27 Aug
GBV
Sam Roddie
XX
Brian Scougall
HNA
John Collins
BBB
John Pursey
GBV
Sam Roddie
Competition 94
Bob Bromwich
TV
Kristina Samuels
XX
Brian Scougall
BBB
John Pursey
JAX
Mike Jordy

TSC 2017 Winners 94

TSC 2017 Winners 2nd TV

TSC 2017 Winners 3rd

TSC 2017 Winners Best Wood

 

TSC 2017 Winners Int

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Preliminary totals DAY 2 21st Aug Updated and corrected

Position CN Glider Pilot Pos Day 1 Pos Day 2 Pos Day 3 Pos Day 4 Pos Day 5 Pos Day 6 Total Class
1 TV Janus A Kristina Samuels 23 1579 1 1031 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 2610 H
2 94 DG 500M 20m Bob Bromwich 2 1632 4 830 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 2462 H
3 563 Duo Discus T Chris Fox 1 1633 5 802 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 2435 H
4 XX Duo Discus XLT Brian Scougall 13 1372 3 862 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 2234 H
5 BTR DG 500M Mal Gibson 15 1525 10 680 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 2205 H
6 CUS Arcus T Mike Weston 34 1273 2 900 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 2173 H
7 HNA DG 500 20m John Collins 20 1260 6 732 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1992 H
8 GJB Duo Discus XLT Gordon Basey 27 1232 8 717 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1949 H
9 Y44 Nimbus 3DT Bob Grant 9 1213 12 614 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1828 H
10 DD3 Duo Discus XLT Philip Morrisson 6 1106 7 720 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1826 H
11 X97 DG500-22 Nick Kelly 24 974 9 716 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1690 H
12 JAX ASK 21 Mike Jordy 33 1012 11 648 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1660 I
13 A26 Nimbus 3DT David Bell 27 1041 12 614 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1655 H
14 DS2 DG 1000 John Carter 17 1006 21 395 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1400 H
15 BBB Eagle John Pursey 7 926 22 390 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1316 W
16 AL ASH 25E Patrice Vandendaele 5 848 19 459 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1307 H
17 Z35 Marianne Colin Metcalfe 11 1058 27 173 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1230 I
18 OZ Nimbus 3DT Trev Barnes 12 651 18 481 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1132 H
19 KAX DG505 Tom Pavis 14 512 14 573 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1085 H
20 J50 Janus C David Wheeler 21 501 15 543 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1044 H
20 52 Janus C Nick Peatfield 29 501 15 543 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1044 H
22 HB1 Duo Discus John Inglis 25 496 17 537 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1033 H
23 LRP Janus B Ian Hall 30 1025 31 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1025 H
24 GBV ASK 21 George Morris 18 780 28 126 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 906 I
25 EF DG 1000T Clive Groves 22 612 25 244 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 856 H
26 JAV ASK 21 Graeme Cooksey 8 710 29 66 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 775 I
27 494 Duo Discus Christopher Alldis 27 496 24 247 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 743 H
28 FYR Blanik Chris Boyle 19 353 23 364 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 717 W
29 TFJ Janus B Tom Sharpe 25 271 20 445 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 716 H
30 HZR ASK 21 Adrian Giles 10 593 31 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 593 I
31 HCJ Grob103 Twin2 Ryan Millen 16 328 30 64 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 392 I
32 BUR Capstan Bob Playle 3 112 26 239 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 351 W
33 258 Twin Astir Alistair Gillson 32 301 31 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 301 I
34 JSM Nimbus 4DM Alistair Cook 4 0 31 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 H
    8/21/2017                            
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32nd Wolds Gliding Club Two-Seater Competition

Sunday 20 August 2017 sees the start of the 32nd Wolds Gliding Club Two-Seater Competition.

Daily news about the competition can be found through this link:

http://www.wolds-gliding.com/index.php/tscdailynews-2017/entry/32nd-two-seater-competition-rolling-daily-news

On flying days you can follow progress of the (Flarm equipped) gliders on the website

http://live.glidernet.org/#c=53.92821,-0.69991&z=10&s=1&u=i

 

 

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ERYC rejects development of POC 1 (again)

On Thursday 20 July 2017 the ERYC Planning Committee unanimously REFUSED the resubmitted application for a housing development on land just beyond the threshold of the main runway at Wolds GC’s Pocklington airfield.

In refusing the application ERYC reiterated the local and regional importance of Wolds GC as a recreational and economic asset.

Decision 2 POC 1 lr

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New threat to Wold GC's Pocklington airfield

Barely a year ago East Riding Council of Yorkshire Council rejected a planning application to build a housing estate just beyond the threshold of runway 18 of Wolds GC’s airfield at Pocklington. The same application has now been resubmitted (as application 17/01421/STOUT). If this application is approved it will almost certainly bring to an end national competitions like the annual two-seater competition at Pocklington. It might even lead to the closure and loss of the airfield, after 50 years of development to national importance in gliding. It is the East Riding’s only gliding site.

If you don’t think this is a good idea and you want to see gliders continuing to fly in East Yorkshire please make your objections to this planning application (you will need to register) at 

https://newplanningaccess.eastriding.gov.uk/newplanningaccess/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=makeComment&keyVal=OOYHD5BJ0T600

or you can write to the case officer, Mrs Susan Hunt at  East Riding Of Yorkshire Council, County Hall, Cross Street Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire HU17 9B, quoting the application reference.

TSC Grid 2016

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Wolds GC goes national on BBC Yorkshire Wolds Way programme

Viewers throughout the country will have an opportunity to see gliding at Pocklington on tv when the second part of the BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire programme about the Yorkshire Wolds Way airs nationally on BBC 2 at 20.00 on Saturday 20th May (England and Scotland, other times Wales and NI). The programme will then be available on iPlayer.

Find out about ten Hidden Treasures of the Wolds, including our airfield at Pocklington, on the BBC website at

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3X0xHw17dyqstFXB1rZBtRJ/hidden-treasures-of-the-wolds-way

Paul Rose BBC

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Can you help Joel get to Zbraslavice?

Joel Hallewell, 15, a junior member of Wolds GC, and parents Andrea and Neil, were interviewed on BBC Radio York this week. Joel learned to glide at Pocklington and flew his first solo there on his fourteenth birthday. Since then he has developed a passion for the very specialised sport of glider aerobatics – so much so that he is aiming to be able to compete in the 2018 World Glider Aerobatic Championships in Zbraslavice, Czech Republic. It was his glider aerobatics and ambitions to get to the World Championships that he was being interviewed about.

You can hear the interview on BBC iPlayer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0512dkz#play at 1h 49m into the programme.

Joel aeros

You can see a short video of Joel flying aerobatics on the BBC York Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BBCYork/ and more on YouTube - search for Joel Hallewell_Aerobatics.

Joel is fundraising at the moment to be able to get to the World Championships. If you would like to see more of Joel’s story and help him get to the 2018 World Glider Aerobatic Championships go to the crowd funding page  at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Joelhallewellaerobatics

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A flying start for 2017 gliding courses

A bright and breezy Monday in April saw the first course of 2017 underway at Pocklington. This year’s courses are being run by instructor and tug/motor glider pilot Steve Wilkinson and instructor and winch driver Bernie Svenson. There’s a course every month during the summer and a course is the ideal way to get a flying start if you want to take up gliding.

And to show how gliding appeals to people with a wide variety of experience and backgrounds this course has members who are a student, a teacher/youth worker and a retired bank manager respectively.

For more information on gliding courses at Wolds GC, Pocklington see http://www.wolds-gliding.com/index.php/holcourses

Course Apr 17

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"It's a fun event.... and we like winning" says Gordon on TV

Wolds GC featured in BBC North's Inside Out programme on 20th January. Two days filming during last year's Two-Seater Competition produced seven minutes on screen with cameo appearances by Chairman Graham Wadforth and also Eddie Room but the new star was Gordon Basey. Interviewed by presenter Paul Rose about prospects for the day's racing Gordon, who has flown in the competition for many years, said "We always fancy our chances. It's a fun event... and we like winning". You can watch the programme, which will be shown again nationally on BBC 2 later in the year, on BBC iplayer at

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08bbmyb/yorkshire-wolds-way-episode-2

Graham Wadforth glider instructor

Eddie Room tug pilot

Gordon Basey glider pilot

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BBC North ‘Inside Out’ at Wolds GC

Cast your mind back to the warm summer days of last year’s Two-Seater Competition at Wolds GC, Pocklington. You’ll remember that a BBC North crew with presenter Paul Rose was making programmes about the Wolds Way and some of the things that go on along and around it for the ‘Inside Out’ series. They spent a couple of days at Wolds GC filming on the ground, in the air and interviewing competitors and Club members during the Two-Seater Competition. The programmes are scheduled to air on BBC 1 Yorkshire and Lincolnshire at 19.30 on Friday 13th January 2017 and Friday 20th January. The gliding features in the second programme on Friday 20th January. A national transmission on BBC 2 is anticipated in late February or early March. So take your seats for 20th January and find out who becomes a tv star and who gets left on the cutting room floor from all the footage that was shot!

Final Adjustments 03

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Annette's big day - it's the Yorkshire Marathon

Sunday 09 October is the big day for Annette Bendelow, wife of Wolds GC member Mark Bendelow, because it is the Yorkshire Marathon in York. Annette has been running in the series of races – two half marathons and three 10K s already - through the summer. Annette is supporting Wolds GC’s favourite charity the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and you can sponsor her on her Just Giving page at

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Annette-Bendelow1

To help Annette towards her target Wolds GC has made a contribution from the Taster Day flights earlier in the year through Just Giving. There is also a complimentary winch flight voucher for the winner of a draw for everyone who donates to her fundraising. The Just Giving page will be open until early November so there’s plenty of time to show your appreciation for Annette’s efforts, support a very worthwhile charity – and maybe win yourself a glider flight!

Annette glider

Annette and medal after an earlier race in the series.

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Yea Story of yea Tournament of Pocklington AD2016

We have been fortunate to receive word of a manuscript of great historical importance relating to events in the recent Two-Seater Competition at Pocklington. Unlike many heroic sagas of old recounted in the great halls it is believed that the scrivener, one Sir Pursey of the S Hams, himself witnessed many of the events related, rather than relying on the ale befuddled memories of ancient combatants.

The original document may be viewed at source at

http://devonsomersetgc.blogspot.co.uk/

but is reproduced and preserved herebelow for the  knowledge of future generations.

 

Yea Story of yea Tournament of Pocklington

AD2016

 
And so it came to pass that the noblemen of the lands of Yorkshire did summon their heralds to proclaim the annual two seat tournament of Pocklington. Word reached the southern estates of Lord Jones of Hemyock and he did call upon his Faithfull knights to give service in the quest for glory in forth coming contest.
It was with good heart that the Lord and his band of Sir JB of Taunton, Sir Phillip of Exmouth, Sir Pursey of the S Hams and the enchanted man known as Magic Malcolm trekked north in a cavalcade of wagons taking with them many and various vittles with which to endure in the forth coming battles. Precious caskets from the lands of Jura did sit prominently in Lord Jones’ wagon as he navigated the pilgrims’ route known as the M18. His fortress established with dining hall, kitchens and knights’ quarters, a flag was raised and feasting commenced. Much merriment was had and foods from exotic lands prepared in the kitchens and consumed along with much ale and wines. The precious caskets from Jura were broached…

Best Wood for yea Team Eagle
Suitably prepared and emboldened, the knights started the first round of the tournament.
Strong winds from the NW brought much turmoil and excitement to the air, with clouds showing varied forms and heights. Sir Phillip took with him the wizard as he prepared the mighty Albatross, his faithful steed. Sir JB and Sir Pursey brought forth the noble Eagle and sat in trepidation as the men of the north readied their craft. The day proved a challenge too far for the more venerable craft with all but the Eagle retreating to the land of Pocklington as the demons in the sky showered rotors and eddies to tear the craft from the sky. Sir JB with much skill fought to keep the Eagle aloft but skimming a magical forest and with wild hogs adjacent, a field recently cleared by local peasantry was a welcome refuge.
Yea giant fields of gold
Meanwhile with enchantments from the wizard, the Albatross prevailed and rode to lands beyond the Banks of Sutton and back down the glorious Vale of York. Sir Phillip came unstuck when a wicked weather goblin filled the sky with clouds and cast the mighty Albatross down into a field near the parish of Wetherby. Lord Jones sent knights and local serfs with the loyal Disco 4 to retrieve for the Albatross had endured a weakness in it's main gear on settling. Sir Phillip tended his steed and all was well. Lord Jones decreed that feasting should commence and all manner of fine foods procured from a guy operated by a maiden from the East. Ale was consumed and the caskets from Jura broached.
The next day brought rain but the heralds summoned the combatants and proclaimed Sir JB the day winner for venerable craft. Lord Jones announced that a banquet should be held and sent word to the visiting knights with craft of Wood. Fires were lit and Paella was served, much ale and wine consumed and all was good. 
Sir Pusey's Paella Pan
The weather demons retreated the next day and in doing so left few markers of atmospheric excitement. Hot winds from southern regions made the knights sweat as the craft were readied. Sir Pursey took the Lord Jones on a mission of folly and exhausted all his energies low over the Planes of Elvington. A cruel trickster of a buzzard led the Eagle to where grains had been recently harvested and day was over. Sir Phillip and Sir JB made light work of the demons work and despite the chastening of the previous graze, took brave passage to Knaresborough and beyond returning triumphant. Lord Jones decreed that a feast be held and the band took to a tavern, joined by the fair maiden, Linden of Knaresborough. Many tales were told and all was good. 
Yea mighty Albatross of Sir Philip
The following day the heralds revealed that through knavish trickery the venerable craft were also to compete with the white beasts from the land of Puchacz! Sir JB sought the skills of the wizard and Sir Phillip took Sir Pursey on a quest across and up the Vale. Lord Jones’ knights prevailed and returned safely so he decreed that feasting should commence and the caskets of Jura opened. 
 
The rains arrived and so the Lord ordered an inspection of the northern lands. The Lady Gill of Exmouth prepared a feast for the Lord’s return and much merriment had. On the advice of the maiden Linden, a magic potion known as Gaviscon was used to supplement the waters of Jura. 
 
Friday brought the news that the wise elder of met had had visions of great joy in the sky and so urged the knights to be ready to visit the whole realm. Sir Phillip took on Alan of Essex, a loyal footman of Sir Pursey and the Lord of Hemyock challenged Sir Pursey to leave the Vale. And so came the mighty deciding battle. Fresh winds made the melee at first castle North of York a challenge and brought much urging of the venerable Eagle to prevail. From almost tree roosting height, below the tops of the Wolds, the Eagle endured and brought it level with the venerable craft of dastardly Baron Fox, the king’s own ambassador for flying tuition. From here varied routes were taken under the clouds but both craft crossed the Humber together heading south to the Vale of Trent where legend has tale of dragons breathing fire from monstrous nostrils that line the Trent. 
Nostrils of the Trent?
Sight was lost of the by now lower Baron and Lord Jones declared it a sign that his forces would triumph! The untouchable Albatross romped down the Vale to Grantham and then out west before sailing home. However much flying was being exerted to take the Eagle to the parish of Newark and then to head north. Word was received that those knavish folk of Puchacz were in a mighty quest and indeed one was sighted as the Eagle sought refuge round the dragons nostrils. Sadly the dragons did not breathe on that day and Sir Pursey had to resort to enchantments and holy recitals to survive. One mighty climb over the hamlet of Scunthorpe to the pair to 5000’ but the sky demons had added high cloud and removed all traces of usable lift. Sir Pursey took Lord Jones to another area cleared by locals and only 15k from the Land of Pock. By careful manoeuvring the Eagle took down with its talons a goblin disguised as a hare. The lord summoned his Disco 4 and in act of pity the dead goblin placed in a magic Tesco “bag for life” but alas the poor creature had already gone to enchanted lands. With 230k recorded the Lord declared it time for feasting and rejoicing. Fires were lit and the young squire Williamson sent for vittles. Late into the evening went the tomfoolery and japes before fatigue hit all. 
Yea goblin hare struck down by giant eagle
The next day the herald’s cry brought news that Lord Jones’ and Sir Pursey’s efforts had brought the most slender of leads. With poor weather forecast Lord Jones declared it a holiday, promptly drank a flagon of wine and went to sleep. That evening much merriment was had. 
Much merriment!
 With rain to follow the nobles of the North declared the tournament over and proclaimed the Eagle as the best wooden craft. Sir Phillips efforts were valiant but by knavish twist the size of his steed was made to count against him and more nimble craft prevailed.
Lord Jones then issued orders to return to the southern land and the flag was lowered. So ended the 2016 Tournament of Pocklington. - Sir JP
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Wolds GC Summer Draw 2016 Winners

The winners of the Wolds GC Summer Draw 2016 were expertly drawn by Amy of Team BUR at the close of the 2016 Two-Seater Competition on Sunday 28 August 2016 from club bucket "Lancelot"  which was equally expertly held by comp director Steve Wilkinson.

Z summer draw

The winners were

1st Prize – Evening Visit for 10 - R. Wallis, Melbourne

2nd Prize – Gliding Voucher Plus – L. Jagger, Wakefield

3rd Prize – Gliding Voucher – J. Sleigh, Millington

All winners have been contacted.

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Opening of the 31st Two-Seater "Olympiad", 2016

Geoff Sheasby, Pocklington Town Crier & Official Ale Taster to Brass Castle Brewery opened the 31st Two-Seater Competition at Wolds GC on 21st August 2016

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31st Two-Seater Comp, 2016 - Daily News, Tasks and Results

The rolling news page for the 31st Two-Seater Competition is here:

http://www.wolds-gliding.com/index.php/tscdailynews16/entry/31st-two-seater-comp-2016-daily-news

The full Daily News Blog is here:

http://www.wolds-gliding.com/index.php/tscdailynews16

The Daily Tasks are here:

http://www.wolds-gliding.com/index.php/tasks2016

... and the Daily Results here:

http://www.wolds-gliding.com/index.php/results2016

... and you can follow progress live on the "Spot the gliders!" website at:

Spot the Gliders!

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Les Cooper (1929 - 2016)

 

Les Cooper (1929 - 2016)

 

Les 05 crop 5Les at the opening of the "new" clubhouse at Pocklington, 1984

by Jon Smith (Wolds GC Club Manager 1993-1994, CFI 1998-2001)

It is with a heavy heart that I write this news of the passing of Les, one of the most popular, inspirational, influential and important members in the history of the Wolds Gliding Club.

An entire book could be written about Les. We now only have a couple of members remaining who were around when he joined the club - we believe it was in the mid 1960's. Many of our more senior members and instructors nowadays who joined in the early '70's were instructed by him.

From the early '70's Les served in various roles on the committee, including a very successful period as chairman. He was extremely motivational in the decision at that time to purchase the freehold of our airfield thus securing the club's permanent tenure. In those days our current position must have seemed out of reach to most people but it was Les's vision that drove this ahead and is allowing us now to reap the very rich rewards of his policy, the loans for the land having been paid off many years ago. He was also very practical and indeed responsible for much of the club's existing infrastructure. Our first club house was originally a wooden bungalow in South Cave that had reached the end of it's natural life. Les was the prime motivator in organising large working parties to collect and re-erect it on the airfield; this served as our club house for another 25 years and was only superseded by our current luxurious brick-built club house, the financial foundation for which can largely be attributed to Les's careful guidance years ago.

Oh - he did actually have a proper job too, his career was in the police force and for over 20 years was an officer in the traffic division as a patrol car driver. His driving skills were sufficiently above us normal mortals' such that a trip in a car with Les could be strangely unnerving in an oddly very calm way! There are rumours from the old days of on the odd occasion, out of necessity a patrol car being put to very good public use by towing out the winch cables down the runway!

In his (supposed) retirement in the '80's Les saw the opportunity to successfully develop the club further with a professional dimension - he became our club's manager and employed staff to run the airfield full time including the provision of holiday courses. There were only one or two of the very biggest clubs doing that then and it was almost unheard of for a club of our size to do so. As a holiday course provider we needed a bunk house, so Les built one - and very good it was too! This was when I first met Les - he employed me as a youthful 19 year old to be the summer holiday course instructor. That period of the late '80's/ early '90's was the heyday of gliding holiday courses and Les capitalised on it fully; we ran courses for six months each summer and every one was always fully booked in advance. For me, Les quickly evolved from employer to gliding colleague to close family friend.

Many of our current members joined during this period. Les was "always there" and was usually the first person a new-comer to the airfield would meet. Such was his infectious enthusiasm and genial personality that for any member of the public setting foot on our airfield it was rather like entering Aunty Wainright's shop in Last of the Summer Wine (but in a very nice way!). They would always leave with something, usually having experienced a flight in the K7 and more often than not would leave as a fully signed-up new member!

Les was a very talented pilot. He was the first person to complete a Diamond Goal from Pocklington, finally gliding home after a number of very low scrapes!   On 18th April 1980 during a club expedition, he started and finished one of the most memorable day's flying from Portmoak. An early morning of beautiful wave bars over the loch encouraged Les to round up a tug pilot and launch at 8.0am and achieve his Gold Height, returning to allow his syndicate partner to have a go, whom along with others achieved their Diamond Heights. On this same day Dave Benton climbed his Nimbus from Portmoak to break the British height record. During the afternoon the wind strength and turbulence made ground handling unsafe so launching was stopped for the day. Late in the afternoon however the wind eased a little and Les persuaded the winch driver to give him a launch. In the gathering gloom he contacted wave over the Loch at 700' and nipped up to get his own Diamond Height, returning for supper with Audrey. When his successful Diamond Height claim was returned it was annotated "By the skin of your teeth...."!

Other legendary memories abound. As mentioned he was practical; his syndicate DG100 needed a new trailer so he built one, a considerable amount of angle iron was involved as with many of Les's projects but it would have survived a nuclear attack and towed beautifully (with a big car!). We all remember the fantastic story of when during a club expedition to Portmoak one of our K7's "landed" on top of the Bishop (hill). The locals said "burn it, you won't get it down". The word "impossible" was not in Les's vocabulary so he arranged a working party to collect it, driving his Vauxhall Cavalier plus trailer as far as possible up the mountain then carrying the K7 long distance in pieces across moorland and stone walls!  

K7 retrieve cropLes and pipe supervise the K7 retrieve

 

Many members remember learning to thermal with Les in the K7 - you knew you were doing well when pipe smoke started to drift forward from the rear seat! So many of us have fond memories of the hospitality and wonderful meals provided by Les and Audrey in the club house over the years during club events, holiday courses and their fantastic barbecues for evening groups - barbecues cooked on a converted oil drum in a converted garage, all of which Les built of course!

Of the many many tributes to Les on our club's Internet forum, members describe him as the "father" of our club (Audrey of course is our "mother"!) and nearly all said that they were "introduced to gliding" by him. He was superbly articulate, a true wordsmith, with his own endearing style of writing that benefitted the club enormously, especially with his successful way of dealing with all forms of external officialism! He had forged a unique relationship with most local landowners, businesses and dignitaries during his police service which was also of much benefit to our club. He was the master of the one-liner too; I always remember Les - who enjoyed an "occasional" glass of red wine saying one day he'd heard that American scientists had statistically proven that drinking two glasses of red wine a day would halve the risk of health problems in later life. So he would therefore drink four glasses a day and eliminate the risk altogether!

Whilst no single individual should ever be regarded as being bigger or more important than a club itself (we have had and still have quite a few very significant and valuable people over the many years), I truly feel that without Les having been there the club would certainly be very much the lesser and poorer today.

Our deepest sympathy to Audrey and all the family.

An abridged version of Jon's obituary of Les will appear in Saliplane and Gliding, October 2016

 

 

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Busy Start to Week at Pocklington

It’s been a busy start to the week at Pocklington. Will Blackburn has been flying East Riding school pupils as part of the East Riding Councils “School’s Out” programme of summer holiday activities for local schoolchildren. Here’s Will (he’s the one at the back – well he is also a school pupil after all) preparing to launch with Jack Coulam, 10, of Bridlington while Tony Snowden lends a hand to keep things running smoothly.

 

Jack Coulam 1 comp

At the same time there has been aerobatic training with advanced aerobatic instructor Paul Conran. Paul (standing, second from right) and the other pilots donned their dark glasses for this photo with the ASK21 they are using, but can you spot Eddie Room? Don’t forget the 2nd Pocklington Aerobatic Competition which is taking place later this week, Thursday and Friday, and we’ll find out what they have learned.

Aeros training 25-Jul-16 comp

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