Ninety Nine Acre Wood Gliding Club: what’s
in the name?
Well, it is fairly simply really.
Whilst Neil and I take the skill of building and flying model aircraft seriously, there has to be a humorous
and lighter side to everything. A scale aircraft especially, needs a
pilot to make them look more authentic, however, proper scale pilots
cost a fortune and with our models being stand-off scale, and to have a
little fun thrown into the mix which also presents somewhat of a talking
point at the flying site, we do something a little different.
Indeed, a little while ago whilst I was flying my 1/5 scale Pilatus B4
from Jeffery Hill in Lancashire with a number of Para glider pilots
watching - the conditions were not so good for them, on landing (and a
really good landing it was) one of the para glider fraternity shouted,
“ Hey look, it’s got a donkey in it”.
Well folks, that donkey is no other than Eeyore, who in real life, just happens to
live in the Hundred Acre Wood as one of Pooh Bear’s gang. Can you see
where this is going? Our other models have similar cartoon characters or
soft toys as pilots. Kids and adults alike, as we do, find it a source of amusement
to find a familiar character sat in a model that they have been watching
cruise around the skies.
One could say that we’ve got one wood short of a full one….. in fact
those that know us, reckon that’s true. So the name Ninety Nine Acre
Wood –Gliding Club, a name agreed over a few beers and merry cheer, one
Christmas, if I remember correctly, seems to have stuck.
Most of our pilots have been reborn from a previous life; their first
life, presumably loved and cared for by some lovely young child, but
then later discarded to find its way to the charity shop. This is where
we find most of our squadron aircrew, a motley crew of eager toys wanting
to start a new life. Postman pat for example, was watching the street
from an upstairs window of a charity shop in Buxton, Derbyshire. On passing, my good
lady wife said "we are being watched", a few kind words and a exchange of
a Queens shilling (£2, Inflation!) with a few funny looks form the volunteer shop
attendants, Pat had joined the team. After the journey home, and
before the day was through, Pat had had a bath, put on a strict diet,
given a new beanie hat, and he is now once again, smiling.
Goofy, again was picked up from a charity
shop in Lytham, Lancs. Not knowing what flying machine to initially put
him in, he sat in the workshop eagerly awaiting his new chariot. It
wasn't long before I had the idea of an RC para glider. This would get
the boys talking on the hill. I don't think that Goofy was too keen on
where I Initially put the 2 Large Servos to control the sail, but he
kept a stiff upper lip and continued to smile.
Well, the major surgery didn't start too
well and I eventually put goofy back together and sat him in a gondola
instead, which is where the servos finally came to be placed. You could
almost hear Goofy's sigh of relief on this change of configuration and
really, he seems no worse for wear. Although he still has the challenge of
learning to fly his machine more in keeping with para glider rather than
So to all those young people out there that have lost or given up their
favourite toys, fear not, some are enjoying life to the full and they are once