Lasham Trust

Brief history of the background to the Lasham Trust

Having been very closely involved in the move to Lasham and the security of tenure battle, I was convinced that one day we might be able to purchase Lasham. Regretfully I was a lone voice, much derided by Lasham members and HMG who categorically stated that they would never sell the airfield as they had great plans for the site.

Having secured the second 21 year term, after making a great nuisance of myself at AGMs and SGMs, I was able to persuade the then Committee of Management (Ben Watson was Chairman, Roy Cross Deputy Chairman) to create a ‘Special Reserve Fund’ into which, hopefully, up to £10,000 per year would be transferred. At the same time I created ‘The Lasham Trust’ designed to collect gifts and donations from members and friends for the eventual purchase of Lasham airfield.

It was a total act of faith. No one other than me believed that we would ever buy Lasham but agreed that a fund should be supported to be spent on buying land elsewhere in case we were expelled in 2003 at the end of our lease.

I started the fund by selling empty cigar boxes at 10 and 20 pence each and by 1992 we had sold over 100,000 and raised £15,000. By dint of very hard work, total dedication to the task and the generosity of members and friends to date (Nov 2010) the Lasham Trust has amassed the great figure of £402,247.
(written and compiled by Walter Kahn)

A brief background history of our gliding at Lasham

When the Surrey and Imperial College Gliding Clubs joined the Army Club at Lasham in August 1951, after a great deal of huffing and puffing our then Landlord, The Ministry of Aviation, granted us a one month’s security of tenure license. After an enormous running battle with HMG (read the full dreadful story ‘The Battle for Lasham’ in ‘A Glider Pilot bold…’) in 1961 we secured a 21 year lease with the right to further 21 year term. We were able to insist on the vital ‘pre-emption’ clause which gave us first refusal to purchase if ever HMG decided to sell the airfield. In 1982 we exercised our right to extend the lease for a further 21 years.

Future aims and desires

Clause 6 of the Trust Deed states “The Trustees may at any time or times pay to or apply for the benefit of the Society (Lasham Gliding Society Ltd) the whole or any part or parts of the capital of the Trust Fund……”.

The original Trustees were Walter Kahn, Michael Gee an Accountant, Patrick Garnett a Solicitor and Ben Watson the then Chairman of LGS.  
The current Trustees are Graham Garnett, Mike Clarke, Nigel Mallender and Mike Philpott.

Our hope is that we, with the help and generosity of our members and friends can continue to fund various items which will improve, enhance and add to the pleasure and comfort of all who fly gliders at Lasham, be they members, gliding visitors from other clubs and countries or members of the public who wish to sample the joys of gliding. Even a monthly small donation helps to swell the fund, however the more the better.
THE LASHAM TRUST helps make Lasham even better!


Making a donation to Lasham Trust

Donations to Lasham Trust can be made in a number of ways

Regular Donations:

Call the Lasham Office and ask for a Standing Order Mandate. Even a small monthly donation helps swell the fund,

One off Donation:

Place cash or cheque in a sealed envelope and hand it in at the Office or if the office is closed place the envelope in the night safe located in the wall by the office hatch.  If sending by post please do not send cash.  Cheques should be made payable to"LASHAM TRUST"


Items funded by The Lasham Trust

 The first major contribution was over £498,000 towards the purchase of the airfield in 1999 


The Lasham designed and built gliding simulator – in constant use for training purposes.  Located in the Gerry Jones room.


The first John Deere six wheel buggy for moving gliders on and off the field.




 The two Lecterns sited in the public enclosure which explain our activities.



The Lasham weather station and web cameras –


The modification to one of our two-seaters which enables handicapped and disabled pilots to fly.


Two Portakabins for use during competitions as ‘Control’. A new permanent fixture at Lasham.

The Kronfeld Memorial Orchard