Report by Robert Cross Tim and Angie Wilkinson once again opened up Sackville for all to enjoy, working hard with the site preparations, filling up gas tanks, preparing breakfasts etc. Kielder Meats were once again drafted into to help with the catering workload by offering their excellent range of food for lunch and dinners.
Daniel at 19 years of age, who checked out with Dave Court, is studying mathematics at Warwick University. He checked out in Lemoncello, a Cameron Z Richard Penney and Paul Dickinson from Ultramagic UK generously sponsored this year's event again and have kindly said they extend this to for which we are very grateful.
This year we were joined from Spain by the daughters of Josep, the founder of Ultramagic. The company donated many prizes for which they set distance, height and target competitions. Daniel Gregory won the hare and hounds whilst his brother Peter, age 17, came second flying a Lindstrand 35A hopper. Ultramagic also shipped over their sized 'Friendship' balloon. This is flown all over the world always with a different pilot. The balloon is a non-profit making 'peace and friendship symbol' funded by Ultramagic, who ask pilots who have had the opportunity to fly in it to make a donation to the charity.
I was lucky enough to fly the balloon on the Saturday evening. Tim completed his challenge of building and flying his 3 "Sackville" balloons during in time for the Grass Roots event - a remarkable achievement! And they look truly magnificent! Landowner relations were generally positive with all local farmers being invited for a flight from the event.
After eight years I think we're all getting better at identifying undersown rape! This year we had the added cost of hiring a marquee now that we no longer have free use of the NFU marquee.
This has affected our cost model drastically and we are reviewing the way the whole event is run - watch this space! However the marquee does seem to form the social hub of the event and huge thanks to Barry Newman and team for running the bar. I'm grateful for the huge assistance by Team Sackville i. The forecast was kind and the synoptic situation leading to the weekend of September kept improving.
Tim Wilkinson and family at Sackville were kindly hosting the event again, and Richard Penney and Paul Dickinson at Ultramagic UK were again generously providing sponsorship.
The NFU sponsored marquee duly arrived and with over balloon teams expected all was looking good. Along with Tim, the lads from the Chiltern Region had kindly helped prepare the site, Tim had ordered the gas and Barry Newman was once again organising the bar which included some proper keg ales!.
The campsite started to fill as folks arrived from Friday morning. We held an informal briefing for the Friday evening slot which resulted in 47 balloons taking flight. The winds were very light and variable with most balloons just managing to clear the far side of Thurleigh Airfield.
Back at Sackville the bar was open and, with a change to tradition, Tim had invited Kielder Meats down from Northumberland to sell their organically reared food. All four slots were flown over the weekend in very light winds. At times it was a tad misty, and we had a shower late on Saturday afternoon which soon cleared for 66 balloons to fly the slot.
The landowner relations element was as positive as ever. Tim had already invited all the local farmers as usual, many of whom flew in the balloons. Some farmers even came back to help crew on the next slot. As a result of the event some sensitive areas will be deleted. She was so pleased with our conduct and her bottles of wine that she came to Sackville that evening to thank everyone.
Flight training and getting new people involved in ballooning is one of the most important aspects of the meet. A visit from Mike Gunston, flying to the meet in his light aircraft from Fairoaks on Saturday afternoon, was a nice highlight as this was his first attendance at a balloon meet attendance since his terrible car accident from which he is clearly recovering. Another surprise on Saturday evening was the debut attendance of Don and Maggie Cameron who flew the slot and stayed on to socialise.
Richard at Ultramagic UK set some light-hearted competitions, the winners of which were awarded with some excellent Ultramagic-themed prizes.
Ian Chadwick for getting to Old Warden, on their biggest show of the year.
Meet Hot Girls Guys Local Married Women Free Dating Site
William Wood 10,ft and Andy Collett 10,ft. Plus during the prize giving on Sunday morning all new pilots and competition winners were recognised.
I would like to say a big thank you to all of the following: They have agreed to sponsor the event! This was deemed cutting it a bit fine by some but any misgivings were quickly dispelled when the dear old metman promised a fine weekend.
Even Friday looked good so no setting up camp in the rain!! Its what ballooning is all about. Now I always intend to take a balloon to the event but I always manage to get booked up for check flights of one sort or another so it is probably never going to happen and this year was no different.
Saturday morning was a PPL check flight with the slots on Saturday evening and Sunday morning reserved for other thingys! After a valiant tether we flew from Little Bytham, landing heroically in Kelsby some 40 minutes later.
Now to the less well educated Little Bytham sports a fine viaduct under which Chris lives which carries the East Coast Mainline and is where the Mallard hit mph instill the official record for a steam train. There was once pub in the village called The Mallard but that sadly closed but to my joy the Willoughby Arms, just down the road, which was once the terminus building of the Edenham and Little Bytham Railway, was open so all was well, especially with Absolution ale at a respectable 5.
With all that steam stuff going on, and the fact we nigh on flew over the trackside memorial to the event, he passed. Now driving is not my forte unless there is little or nothing else on the road so Jane had already had to chauffeur me up and down the A1 on Friday and so, as she seemed to handle that quite well, come Saturday morning, was summoned by the alarm to provide a similar service to Sackville.
Tea and a fine bacon sandwich with onions helped the shock of being early. Spotting a landing strip just outside Keyston, Adam made a fine approach but was thwarted at the last by a small noisy aeroplane that decided to take off just as we were on finals.
Adam courteously plopped us down in the plough just before the strip and we dragged a short way to the airfield track. All was well and another PPL check out to Sackville! Back at Sackville Jane had returned from walking the dogs so we did a tour of the campsite meeting up with old friends and getting a very fine cuppa from with the Symonds, who have finally decided to sell their lovely little balloon and retire from ballooning and concentrate on their Triumph TR6.
Lunch followed and was a fine affair with a large lump of pig roast, something my dog showed intense interest in! Before we knew it the evening briefing was upon us and Gavin the Chadders was ushering me towards alarge by Sackville standards! We launched in a fine old manner. Approaches, emergencies and all the general passenger flying exercises were completed well and following the most impressive descent and landing in an old ridge and furrowed field, already occupied by Barry Newman and company, that many a crusty balloonist would have been proud to have achieved, he was pronounced fit for purpose.
It was decided the debrief would be best carried out in the comfort of the bar at Sackville so, after collecting Chadders senior and his one-man basket from a field in the middle of nowhere, the course was set for home. I do feel that the route back may not have been that direct as there appeared to be some confusion between the Tomtits and iPhones that had been turned on by the Chadwicks in general to help guide us back.
Jane had at some stage met up with Celia Kunert shortly after our departure and as a result was well down her eleventeenth vodka and tonic. The dogs were patrolling plates of grub and the beer was fast running out. We had to get back that evening as Jane was due to take five horses to a Show in the morning so her remains were poured into the car and we bade a fond farewell until the morning.
Why on earth Bedford does not have an East West ring road defeats me but I only managed to go wrong once in the one way system going back. The dogs were comatose in the back. Once again I took a wrong turn in Bedford but soon recovered after nipping smartly the wrong way down a one way street.
The Loughborough boys had a space in their shiny new balloon and very kindly offered Barry a flight so Dave, Andy Kaye, his daughter Chloe and I wobbled off into the sky. The was a bit wheezy so flying light was a bonus! The farmer was there to greet us and Andy arranged to take him and his kids for a flight in his plane in the afternoon.
The mandatory tea and bacon sandwiches were consumed and we set about completing even more paperwork. Barry returned all beaming smiles and the closing ceremony begun. I managed the same sort of thing but the star of the show was Mike Gunston who had amazingly got at least half a dozen PUTs through their tether training and, providing the wind dropped a bit, was set to do a few more in the afternoon.
To avoid getting lost in the intricacies of Bedford we decided to go home via Northampton and pay a visit to a friend of ours who has a lakeside palace on Billing Aquadrome where we enjoyed the warm afternoon sun and a couple of beers and automatic fishing.
As always The Grass Roots Meet had turned up trumps. A huge thanks to Tim Wilkinson and his family for all their hard work and for providing such an inspiring venue, Rob Cross for his boundless enthusiasm for the event and Peter Gray for generally sorting everyone out. As a postscript, my neighbour, who is a fount of knowledge on airfields, told me that during the World War II the US Airforce set up Riseley Camp, a base for filling and storing bombs for the surrounding airfields.
This was between Riseley and Melchbourne House and was served by the road that now takes you up to Sackville Lodge which is actually the southern drive to Melchbourne House, hence the grand gatehouse entrance. This probably explains the existence of some very military looking huts, roads and concrete bases dotted about the immediate area which are clearly visible as you float out.
Rather forebodingly, Coppice Wood, which most flew over was a dump for mustard gas canisters. There was a scandal in the late nineties when it was revealed that the clean up of the woods in was not entirely successful! Although the format of the event is the same each year, the reality of how each event pans out is always slightly different. Grass Roots is partly about going back to basics, with lots of balloon teams gathering for a big flyout without all the pressures of large commercial meets.
It has now become a well established event and we have found our home at Sackville Lodge airfield near Bedford. Tim Wilkinson and his family host the event and go to great lengths to ensure everyone is looked after and has a good time.
The event is held in late summer so that there are plenty of landing opportunities in the cut fields. Unlike most meets, part of our philosophy is that we will 'roll' the event so that if the weather is wholly unsuitable on the initial planned weekend we will roll it until we have a weekend where flying slots are available.
This is possible through the flexibility that Tim has developed with local suppliers. He also allows everyone to camp on site so there is a very communal spirit and participants don't have to splash out on expensive accommodation.
We invite local farmers to fly from the event in an effort to strengthen our relationship with the local farming community. Thanks to this age of email we provide all balloonists on our mailing list with 48 hours notice as to whether the event is on or not. Planning includes looking at the challenges we had at previous events and how we can make it better next time.
There is lots to sort out including catering, gas, camping, airfield layout, toilets, showers, bar, liaising with CAA and neighbouring airfields, marquee from the NFU, grant from the BBAC, pilot emailing and registration, met forecast, risk assessments, liaising with emergency services and of course what happens if the weather makes all the plans go wrong. We are grateful to Barry Newman who acted as this year's safety officer. This involves making a presentation to the Main Committee at the May meeting in Stratford.
Other parties who are also making a grant request make their pitches. Each pitch is typically followed by an interrogation questions from the Committee which we all try to respond to appropriately, after which we are asked to leave the meeting whilst the Committee discusses the merits and deservedness of each plea. On re-entering the meeting I was told that our grant request would be met in full which was clearly a great outcome for us.
Alan Stillman in front of the first T. Architect Krista Ninivaggi and I interviewed Stillman for the food issue of the New City Reader ; below is an expanded version of the conversation we excerpted in print. In it, Stillman tell us how to create a cocktail party in public, what to do when you get a bad review in the New York Times, and what the restaurant, real estate, and movie businesses all have in common.
I lived on 63rd Street between First and York. Basically, a lot of single people all lived between 60th and 65th and between York Avenue and 3rd Avenue. It seemed to me that the best way to meet girls was to open up a bar. Where were those people hanging out before you opened your bar? At the time, it was all cocktail parties. The cocktail parties were wild, by the way. But there was no public place for people between, say, twenty-three to thirty-seven years old, to meet.
What about other bars — places like P. There were very few women there. That was pretty typical of the New York bar scene at the time. The other thing is that my timing was exquisite, because I opened T. I happened to hit the sexual revolution on on the head, and the result was that, without really intending it, I became the founder of the first singles bar. Explain how you went about recreating that cocktail party atmosphere in a public space.
All I really did was throw sawdust on the floor and hang up fake Tiffany lamps. I painted the building blue and I put the waiters in red and white striped soccer shirts. If you think that I knew what I was doing, you are dead wrong. I had no training in the restaurant business, or interior design, or architecture — I just have a feel for how to use all those things to create an experience.
It took off extraordinarily quickly. In the first six to nine months, T.
Guy's Quality Meats
It was really quite a phenomenon. I believe that the first line in the history of bars, restaurants, and discos may have been at T. Inside of three months, we had to hire a doorman. What do you want me to do? Next thing you know, I came out from behind the bar to get something and I looked outside and there were forty people standing in line.
The next week we ended up buying velvet ropes. There was nothing like that anywhere else. You would either have a reservation at a fancy restaurant or you would just go into a bar or diner — nobody would wait in line for food and drink. Alcoholic slushies at the T. What else did you have to introduce or change in those early months?
We had to change the way we ran the place completely. Straightaway, we went from one bartender to three. We had to change the menu to be able to get food out of the kitchen more quickly. It was a total readjustment, because no one expected to be doing the kind of business we were doing. Inside of eighteen months, two more places opened up within a block. By the summer ofthe police had to come along, put up barriers, and close First Avenue between 63rd and 64th Street on Friday night from 8 p.
Did your strategy work?
Did you meet good-looking girls? Have you seen the movie Cocktail? Tom Cruise played me! I was lucky enough to do it for three years — he only did it to make a movie. Even today, the advantage of being the guy behind the bar is huge. Why do girls want to date the bartender? Tom Cruise in Cocktail, via. You opened up twelve T. How did you make the transformation from bar owner to businessman?
I love watching guys beating their meat JOI
We hired young people with bartending and waiting experience, and they made a lot of money, and a lot of them went out and opened up their own places. But the second actual T. The original bar was two years old, and it had national recognition at that point.
Will you sell me a franchise? People started coming in there from Little Rock and Nashville, and more guys walked in wanting to partner with me, and so I did the same thing again. Before I knew it I had five or six T.
Did changing the size of the restaurant change the atmosphere? Those cities have a very different way of interacting with the street in the first place, but the big shift was that during the day, we started to get families.