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.
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.
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
The prize winners for the competition days and overall winners are summarised below.
|1st||2nd||3rd||Best Wood||Best Intermediate|
Sun 20 Aug
Mon 21 Aug
Fri 25 Aug
Sat 26 Aug
Sun 27 Aug
|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|
|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|
|16||AL||ASH 25E||Patrice Vandendaele||5||848||19||459||1||0||1||0||1||0||1||0||1307||H|
|18||OZ||Nimbus 3DT||Trev Barnes||12||651||18||481||1||0||1||0||1||0||1||0||1132||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|
|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|
|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|
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:
On flying days you can follow progress of the (Flarm equipped) gliders on the website
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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!
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
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 and medal after an earlier race in the series.
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
but is reproduced and preserved herebelow for the knowledge of future generations.
|Best Wood for yea Team Eagle|
|Sir Pusey's Paella Pan|
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.
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.
The rolling news page for the 31st Two-Seater Competition is here:
The full Daily News Blog is here:
The Daily Tasks are here:
... and the Daily Results here:
... and you can follow progress live on the "Spot the gliders!" website at:
Les Cooper (1929 - 2016)
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!
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
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.
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.
19.00 Saturday 23 July
Taster Day 2016 is winding down with Club members having a flight. About 120 visitor flights including reporter Poppy Kennedy and photographer Paul Atkinson from the Pocklington Post. Last visitor to fly, at about 18.00, was Lucy Pywell from Wilberfoss who flew with instructor Patricia Ridger.
12.45 Saturday 23 July
The Puchacz is in action as well now. Wait times very short 83 booked in and most have now flown.
08.45 Saturday 23 July
Taster Day 2016 is under way. We've flown about 25 visitors so far with about 15 more booked in to fly. The day is warming up....
Our first visitor, Louise Butchar of Bishop Wilton, flew at 05.25. Here's Louise looking cheerful on the way up the launch. Instructor Andy Butler is in the back seat out of sight (honest!)
21.00 Friday 22 July
Less than eight hours to dawn on Taster Day 2016
The forecast for tomorrow is up to 24 C in the afternoon with sunshine, some clouds, no rain and a light southerly wind. It may be hot and bright on the airfield so don't forget the suncream and the sunglasses.
We were flying this evening and hope tomorrow will be the same. Here is one of our two-seater trainers taking off on a winch launch this evening with the Wolds in the background
NB The original proposed date for Taster Day 2016 has had to be changed and it is now Saturday 23rd July
Don't miss this opportunity to exprience flying a glider over the vale of York with one of our fully qualified instructors at this very special offer price! The day will run from the crack of dawn until dusk just for the one day. During the day you will be able to find out all about gliding and flying in general from our instructors and members. You can also try our gliding flight simulator to learn the basics to help you get even more out of your flight. A pre-flight briefing video will also be showing in our extensive clubhouse
You can also learn a lot about the history of Pocklington airfield and it's involvement in the second world war. We have quite a few momentos, photographs and accounts of the people involved and activities carried out here. We also have a memorial dedicated to the men who flew from here in the 1939-45 conflict. Read more....
Taster Day 2016 – Some FAQ s
- Do I need to book for Taster Day? There is no booking for the Taster Day – we will fly people in the order they arrive and book in on the day. During the rest of the year we do offer voucher flights at the weekend with a pre-booked date and time.
- How long will I have to wait? Waiting times are shorter at the beginning and end of the day. Last year the wait time built up to an hour or two by lunchtime and into the afternoon. We will try to keep the blog page http://www.wolds-gliding.com/index.php/taster-day updated during the day with weather news, wait times and photos.
- Are there any age limits? There is no lower age limit but anyone who is very light may have to fly in the rear seat and if they are not very tall they might not get a very good view.
- Are there any upper size limits? Almost all gliders have been designed for many years now with a maximum allowable pilot weight of 102 kg (16 stones, 225 lbs) and for safety reasons this limit has to be strictly applied. The instructor will ask you if you are between the lower and upper weight limits for flying in the glider. People taller than about 6 feet 3 inches (199 cm) may find it difficult to fit comfortably in a glider – the canopy must close fully without touching the pilot’s head.
- Are there any medical requirements? Any condition that would prevent you from driving a car - generally anything that could cause you to suddenly blackout – would mean that you could not fly. Otherwise getting into and out of a glider is much like getting in and out of a bath.
If you can't make it on the day why not come along another day for a trial lesson or get a group together for one of our summer evening visits. Why not give that special person a Gliding Gift Voucher and pre-book their flight time on a day of your choice with winch launch, aerotow or motor glider options.