August 19, 2014

Ceremony of Dedication - Kronfeld Orchard

You will be aware that Squadron Leader Robert Kronfeld AFC, the greatest gliding pioneer, was killed on 12th February in 1948 having been towed off from Lasham behind a Halifax four engined bomber, flying the General aircraft experimental tailless two seat glider GA56 Mark.   The glider developed an inverted spin and although his flight test observer was able to bail out, Kronfeld did not and was killed a few miles from Lasham at Lower Froyle.  

His son William (Bill) himself a long time flying member of Lasham sadly died recently and in his will bequeathed a sum of money which the Trustees of the  Lasham Trust have spent on twenty Apple, Pear and Plum trees , planted them in front of the clubhouse and we have created the “The Kronfeld Memorial Orchard”.   There is a memorial to the great man in Austria, the place of his birth, there are three in Germany where he did his pioneering flights but none in the UK where his contribution as an aviation inventor, test pilot and Farnborough boffin is itself well documented. Until now when we have put it right!   On Saturday afternoon, the 23rd August at 3.30 pm which happens to be the last Saturday day of the British Junior’s Championships, Bill’s widow Helen, her son Simon like his father himself a Lasham Gold C pilot will officially dedicate the Orchard to the memory of Robert Kronfeld and his son.   We will ask Helen to pick an apple, the first for many years to come.  We do hope that she will be well supported by Lasham members and friends.

The Royal Air Force Association are sending an honour guard with colours and requests that medals are worn.

July 29, 2014


I was too polite to ask the Ladies in the photo to partake in the "Guess the Age" competition!

Notables flanking Wally are both holders of the DFC.  Left is David Ince and Right is Hugo Trotter.

Back Row L to R:

Ralph Hooper, Roy Cross, Barry Nicholson, Dennis Johnson and Bob Ward.

Ladies L-R:

Valerie Sharpe, Margaret Johnson, Yvonne Ward and Kathy Phillips

July 23, 2014


This from the Basingstoke Gazette:


HOMES and businesses in villages to the south of Basingstoke will be the latest to benefit from a superfast broadband programme.

Phase three of the multi-million project will see superfast broadband delivered to an area that stretches from Winslade to Lasham Airfield, as well as either side of the A339, by the end of the year.

The scheme, run by Hampshire County Council and BT, aims to provide quicker internet access for homes and businesses in rural areas.

The latest phase, announced today, will see a total of 11,000 premises from Hampshire benefit.

Councillor Roy Perry, leader of the county council, said: “The roll-out of superfast broadband is fully on-track and I expect at least 95 per cent of homes and businesses in Hampshire to be able to access these services by 2017.

“Coupled with the recent announcement that Hampshire secured £1.2million to explore innovative solutions to take superfast broadband to some of the more remote and hardest to reach places in the county, we hope to see these services being available to even more of Hampshire’s residents.”

Peter Cowen, BT’s regional director, said: “Today’s announcement is another important milestone for a partnership which is making real progress.

“Working with our partners, we are able to bring this game-changing technology to locations where the economics and engineering challenges are that much greater.”

Areas in The Gazette area that have benefited from the scheme so far include Hook, Oakley and North Waltham.


July 21, 2014


I have a voucher that will entitle the bearer and a guest to a Grandstand and Paddock Admission Badge at Exeter Racecourse for any race meeting for the 2014 season (except 4 Nov 14).

I am auctioning it for the GHC.  Highest bid will win.

Closing date is Mon 28th and so contact me with your bid either direct ( or via the office.





July 15, 2014



Due to very poor ticket sales this even is postponed until early October 2014; date will be confirmed ASAP.


June 17, 2014


Air League Gliding to Solo Day at Lasham sponsored by British Airways. What a delightful, intelligent and enthusiastic crop of youngsters. You are welcome here any time.
Well done Andy Perkins for getting this going.
 (4 photos)


June 17, 2014


Well done Adam Hoskin - nice trophy on becoming BAeA Advanced Champion held at Saltby 29 May - 1 Jun 2014.

June 16, 2014


Celebrate Summer Solstice Dawn To Dusk

This is the first Longest Day event at Lasham for 3 years so get some cheap flying in on Saturday 21st Jun 2014.

First Launch available from 04:17 and last Launch available until 21:54.

Winch Launches are only £5 (£3 for youth) from dawn till 10AM and from 6PM till dusk.

After 6PM there is an additional bonus in that you can have 1000’ free on Aerotow!  Aerobatics anyone?

Volunteers are required (before and after “normal” flying times) to do the normal stuff, winching, retrieving, instruct/supervise and to generally help out.  Offers of help to Peter Baldwin 07885 750942.  Hangar doors will be opened at 03:45 hrs and so first shift required at that time – set yer alarms.

The “Bruvvers” will be doing breakfast at the Launchpoint from first launch.   

This year we are supporting Naomi House Childrens Hospice Nr Winchester and £1 from each winch launch and £2 from each Aerotow will be donated towards their fundraising efforts.

June 12, 2014

Wally Kahn's Opening Speech at the 2014 Nationals

After Wally was awarded his BGA Gold Medal he opened the 2014 Nationals here at Lasham with an emotional speech in which he donated his Glider number (4) to LGS.  The speech is reproduced here for your information:


Thank you very much last year’s BGA Executive for this great medal.


I am especially delighted because it is a reward for putting in more than you take out.  We are a self help sport and rely on each other to work for our clubs and the BGA to make gliding the great activity we all enjoy. Do please encourage all, but certainly the young to take this on board and they too should win medals.


My publicity slogan used to be “gliding is a unique sport – team work on the ground, individual effort in the air, brawn on the ground, brain in the air”.


Break Break – Our wonderful Manager, the Colonel Stroud ordered me to wear a tie or else and round here we obey!  Back in the dark ages we all wore sports jackets and ties when going gliding, then came the flying suit era and now happily it is comfortable clothing known as ‘gliding’ scruffy chic.

In 1944, just 70 years ago since I first came to Lasham, posted here in the RAF before we went over to France.    The following year I fell in passionate, all absorbing everlasting love when as a member of a small team was ordered to restart Oerlinghausen as an RAF Gliding and Rest centre and I started gliding.


I am able to boast that I have now been actively involved non stop in gliding longer than anyone else ever in the UK in the history of our sport.


Now forgive me, here comes an emotional bit.  At a BGA Council meeting in

1955 Philip Wills suddenly announced that from then on we would have competition numbers and without a pause said ‘I’ll have No.1 for myself, Nos. 2 and 3 for the Newcastle Club I represent’ and he stopped to take breath – I jumped in and claimed No.4, others followed suit.  Poor Philip, he was going to dispense more largesse to other friends but we beat him to it.  It was the first time we stood up to him and he did not like it!


Thus I have ‘owned’ No.4 since then, it has been on every glider I have owned. But the time has come and I have offered and it was been accepted by Lasham Gliding Society hopefully to adorn our flagship.


At the same time my daughter Christine who has ‘owned’ No.3 since 1976 when she and her husband bought Andy Coulson the Newcastle Chairman’s Kestrel has also ‘given’ it to LGS.


Now to the important bit – the comps!  How I miss them. Since my first in 1947 I have crewed, competed, task set, directed and tugged and pranged twice!  Now they are slightly different compared with my early days.  30 to one was the top L/D, mainly downwind dashes and when the first electric vario appeared followed by the Bohli compass so great in cloud we thought modern technology was magic.


So I wish you all a super comps, have fun, fly safe and may you all win!! It give me great pleasure to officially declare the 2014 Nationals and the Lasham Regionals open. 

June 09, 2014