Rollestone Flying Consortium

History

The original Flying Druids model aircraft club was formed around the mid 1950’s in Amesbury by a group of control line flyers. Meetings were held over the butchers shop , Zebedees in Amesbury, owned by founder member Dennis “Spud” Burgess. Some names from then are the Day family (Bob Day is a current member ) as is Angie Piacentini who was a Southern area control line champion in those early days.

Most model flying was carried out on the Amesbury recreation ground, even today some of us have flown leccy models there. My son Nick amazed me during the summer of 2009 when I hand launched his first foamy and he took the controls and flew it round and landed it, he had been practicing with a simulator at home, what a wonderful modern aid these have become .

The club disbanded after only a short period. Early in the 1960s some of us lads were building R/C model’s, single channel, and we were finding it difficult to find places to fly. Carter Barracks was a popular place but we were being chased all the time by the land wardens. After a battle we were granted permits to fly weekends and day time.

We were then asked by the MOD to form a club and the old Flying Druids started up again. When the club reformed we were then regulated by the Land Warden’s office. We were only allowed weekends and bank holidays but club member Ian Bryant pestered them so much they then allocated summer evenings, but we wanted 24/7 and they just would not grant it. Many happy hours flying has, and still is enjoyed at Carter Barracks. We now have to maintain the strip at our expense and a contractor does the grass cutting. However, damage regularly occurs due to public and Army access, and so club members also carry out running repairs.

In 2002 I approached a local farmer at Rollestone and we negotiated a deal to use one of his fields. This relied heavily on getting enough members to pay the rent, it’s very difficult finding a willing land owner to use a field that is really suitable for us, but he was willing to give it a go and we started on May 1st 2003. To date I have been amazed at the support and we are now in the situation of limiting membership to 100 adults and unlimited juniors.

Tony Bull.