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  • Calling all kids

    I've received the following from a researcher at a children's TV program. If anyone is interested in finding out more, please contact Natalie directly.

     

    Hi there,

    I hope you are well and it’s ok that I am contacting you. I’m emailing from the CITV show Scrambled! which airs on Saturday and Sunday mornings and we are looking for children to participate and I thought it may be of interest to the visitors of your kite club.

    We are looking for children aged 6-14 to contribute to the show by uploading their own videos to our website:

    http://www.itv.com/citv/send-us-your-stuff-unduxfxs-c7yww2vs

     

    We are looking for videos that fit with several different themes so there really is something for everyone. It’s an exciting opportunity for kids to do something a bit different, have some fun and feature in the show!

    The attached flyer explains how they can get involved and it would be brilliant if you could pass it on to anyone who might be interestedand/or share on your social media channels or noticeboard.

    All the information is on the website, there’s also a video which gives tips on how to create the perfect upload and you can watch clips from previous shows. If you would like more information or have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me, and feel free to pass my details on to others. My contact information is  below.

    Kind regards,

    Natalie

    Natalie Marwick | Researcher

    Zodiak Kids | Gloucester Building | Kensington Village | Avonmore Road | London | W14 8RF t. +44 (0)20 7013 4063  Natalie.Marwick@zodiakkids.com

  • Frustrating times at Capstone

    A frustrating day was had at the Capstone festival on Sunday. Despite the weather forecasts, the expected rain and showers never materialised, and we were treated to a warm sunny afternoon, with brisk wind. But, as is usual for this site, the wind coming over the trees was extremely turbulent making flying tricky.

    When I arrived there was a good selection of inflatable kites already in the sky. Having been given the "you can't park here" message, and moved to the designated parking for kite flyers, I got out the club flotails. I tried to fly 6 of them for a couple of hors, but eventually gave up as tangles, downdrafts, etc. just meant they couldn't be left alone for any time. That and the intermingling of Jo Public was making life very difficult for everyone.

    So here is the problem. There was an area marked off for "professional kite flying". But the area that was meant to be given over to public flying was now occupied by hovercraft rides. Very exciting I'm sure, but it meant that Jo Public had nowhere to fly the kites they had either borrowed, bought or brought. This meant they spilled into the arena space, making it rather difficult, especially as the larger kites were dancing! Ultimately, a small public flying arena was constructed in one corner of the main arena, but this wasn't enough for the average JO who deiced to meander into the main flying space trying to tangle with the larger kites. And we didn't need any help, we were getting in enough of a tangle ourselves!

    Anyway, in the end I decided I'd had enough of moving, untangling, relaunching and decided to pack away the kites before they got damaged, or damaged someone flying underneath them. Meanwhile one trilobyte ended up in the trees, and a skeleton wrapped itself around a 10m candytwist spinner and got in a hell of a mess. I decided to sit and have lunch, then chat with people as flying conditions were so bad, and not at all condusive to a relaxing afternoon.

    Late afternoon, when the wind had subsided, I decided to give my dragon kapfoil an outing. Launching was a problem in the conditions, and trying to get as far away from the trees as I could meant I was right in the middle of Jo Public. But eventually we got up into the breeze. But before long the wind had picked up again and it became a struggle to tie the kite off, so I needed some assistance. Then, bang on the nail of 4pm a lady in a hi-viz came and invited us to take the large kites down as the event was over. Bit officious I thought! Kite flyers don't do strict timing! So we packed away and went home.

    Will I go back next year? Rather doubtful at the moment. It reminded me of all the reasons I haven't been for the last couple of years. Still, hopefully next weekend will be a lot more relaxing as we head off up to Frinton to fly with the East Anglian Kite Flyers to commemorate the life of Martin Corrie. The weather has been kind to us the last few years, so I suppose we are due a bad one, but lets hope not as it is a wonderfully relaxing day and will allow me to recharge after a frustrating weekend.

  • Dieppe 2016 closing notes

    Sunday was a completely different day to Saturday, thank God. An early morning shower soon cleared, and M. Becot informed me that the weather would clear, we would have good onshore breeze for the rest of the day. And he was right. By 10 am we had all the flotails flying and drying, and they stayed there until gone 5 pm, and I don't recall a single tangle. I'm told they made a magnificent display on the webcam, and there are several aerial photographs of them.

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    Whilst the sun stayed behind dark cloud for most of the morning, the weather was warm and we were visited by Gary Mark of the Canadian delegation, who came over for a chat.

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    Of course, its not all about the flotails, nice as they are. We also managed to fly some of our own kites during the day. Unfortunately it is not always perfect. Ernie's stack of crows was cut out of the air, and disappeared towards the arena. Fortunately they tangled in the arena barrier. Unfortunately, some helpful person untangled them and let them go, so they drifted across the arena only to tangle on the barrier on the other side. So Ernie and Sandra spent most of the afternoon unravelling the birds nest!

    P1000552

    Meanwhile Mike and I flew hexagons. I'm pretty sure Barbara was flying one too.

    P1000585

    And of course, there were other kites to see too. Including this rocket ship complete with Canadian Space Agency astronauts.

    P1000578

    Eventually after a day standing on the beach enjoying ourselves, we retired to the hotel, where one kite flyer sat to watch the fighter kite world cup finals. Unfortunately he has no idea what happened, but he did wake up in time for dinner!

    This kite flying is hard work

    And along came Monday, our departure day. Having settled our bills with the hotel we made our way off to head home, stopping off at the Somme service area for coffee before boarding the ferry and then heading our different ways. Thanks Dieppe for another great festival. We will do it all again in two years time.

    P1000593

  • Dieppe Saturday

    I've never heard the tails on flotails crack like a whip before. But the wind was strong on Saturday morning that that is certainly what was happening. We had hoped to dry the kites out after they got soaked on Friday. But unfortunately, soon after we had put six in the sky, the rain came, and decided to persist. So we eventually gave up and packed the kites away soaking wet. Hopefully we will get some dry conditions tomorrow so we can fly.

    Drying kites

    As a result of the rain, there was very little flying activity. Though some of the invited flyers carried on stoically. But with the conditions as they were, we decided to head back to the hotel for coffee (or beer) and make friends with the hotelier's dog. He likes gravy bones by the way

    KKF New Friend

    And then, as is now a tradition for us, supplies had been bought from the market and we enjoyed a wonderful picnic, with additional items generously provided by Isobel at the hotel. We really are very grateful to all the staff at the Hotel de la Plage for taking care of us during our stay with them.

    Kite Picnic

    The rain persisted throughout the afternoon, so there was little opportunity for us to go out. So we try again tomorrow, the final day of the festival.

  • Dieppe Thursday and Friday

    Thursday in Dieppe. Weather pleasant, wind rubbish. We tried to fly the flotails in the morning, but were largely unsuccessful. The offshore breeze made it a struggle as the wind coming off the buildings was full of holes. Eventually we gave up, there is only so much you can do. But whilst the flying conditions may have been poor, the food was excellent.

  • Dieppe Wednesday

    On what felt like the hottest day of the year, the journey to Dieppe was uneventful. The drive down from Calais taking just over two hours, we arrived in the town at about midday to discover complete chaos - parking wise. All roads seemed to be closed, with "Route Barree" signes everywhere. So we decided to be French for the day, and park on a verge, not too far from the hotel. Whilst too early to register at the hotel, we made our way there and made ourselves known, and sat in the shade for a while before heading into the festival to take in the sights.

    At the start of the afternoon there was no wind, A few rollers were in the sky, bu tthat was about all. There were some magnificent creations in the delegates tents. Then we settled at the festival bar for a while, chatting with a couple of old gits before heading back to the hotel. Just as we got back, the roads were re-opened, and we took advantage of the situation to move the cars. At this point we dicovered that had we said we were staying at the hotel de la plage we would have been allowed through the barriers anyway! Hey ho, you live and learn.

    Finally out for an excellent meal, though finding a resaurant to accommodate 10 of us could become a challenge later, and to round the evening off, a glass of Calvados back at the hotel. Thunder and heavy rain overnight may spoil our fun tomorrow, but not really!

  • Pre Dieppe Test Flight

    Sunday 10th September saw us flying at Palm Bay in support of the Coastal Paths group. During the week, one of the many pavillions along the coastal path had been "dressed" as a kite pavillion, from which volunteers were making kites. On Sunday, the pavillion on Palm Bay had been decorated and contained an exhibition that was open on Sunday. We were there flying kites, which gave us a good opportunity to test some kites before going to Dieppe on Wednesday. The weather was glorious, brilliant sunshine all day, coupled with a good steady wind.

    The most impressive display was the mass flotails. These were originally made by Premier Kites, though I'm not sure whether they are still in their catalogue.The ones we fly are orange and red and look particularly effective against the blue sky. If you happen to be looking at the Dieppe webcam, the background image is these kites being flown on the beach at Dieppe kite festival two years ago. They are a particularly poignant item for us, as we fly them in memory of Martin Corrie, ex chairman of Suffolk Kite Flyers and good friend who sadly died two years ago. They were probably his favourite display. They certainly managed to attract attention from the local population, who came out to photograph them, be photographed with them or just sit or lie underneath them relaxing.

    Of course, lots of other kites were flown, including the full flight of swallows, again which received positive comment. And towards the end of the day, a rather large octopus made an entrance, much to the pleasure of adults and children alike.

    This was possibly one of our best fly-ins for interacting with the public. Lots of positive comment, a few people borrowed kites to fly, many kites were photographed, and we may even have picked up a couple of new members. Well done Malcolm for organising. Well, next stop Dieppe. Ten of us head out on Wednesday, hoping for good weather, but we won't be downheartened if it is not so bright. As my laptop is broken I may struggle to post updates, but will do my best.

  • Fair wind at Woodchurch

    Sunday saw a troop of Kent Kite Flyers enjoying blue skies, bright sunshine and fair winds at Woodchurch village green. In fact, several commented that it was possibly the best days flying ever at Woodchurch.

    However it looked a bit busy as members arrived. The local pub was hosting some form of harvest event with several sides of morris men in attendance. the result was that the car park adjacent to the green, and most of the surrounding roads were pretty busy. And it wasn't long before sides of morris men, complete with sticks, silly hats and jangly bells paraded along the road adjacent to the green. But nothing distracts a Kent Kite Flyer, and our fun wasn't to be spoilt by some noisy people.

    The wind was in an almost perfect direction, which meant that for once it wsa blowing almost down to the ground. And everyone was taking full advantage of the conditions flying a variety of kites. I did hear one member of the public watching describe one of our members as a world champion kite flyer! I won't say who the comment was directed at as he gets a bit big headed, but suffice to say it was the only one flying a two line sports kite.

    Next weekend, many of us will be off to Frinton to celebrate and remember the life of Martin Corrie along with our friends from East Anglian Kite Flyers. THis is always a pleasant day out looking out over the North Sea from the greensward atop the cliffs of Frinton. If you happen to be in the area on Sunday, why not pop along and say hello.

  • Season's End

    The weekend of 5th & 6th September saw Kent Kite Flyers participating in the Bewl Water Kite Weekend. Unfortunately, due to another commitment, I was only able to attend on the Saturday. As in previous years (going back a long time) the kite field was the top one, just about as far away from the reservoir and public as can be, on top of the hill. Satruday morning was greeted with a heavy shower, but after that, whilst the skies never really cleared, the rain stayed away, but largely so did the wind.

    The event was well supported by regular kite fliers, particularly from the Kite Weekenders who turned out in force. Unfortunately the public were less well represented, though we did see a number of children making kites at the kite workshop run in aid of Slide Away, and also managed to sell a few kites. I'm told that Sunday, whilst a bright sunny day, had even less wind than Saturday, and the public completely failed to turn up. Maybe everyone had gone to the beach to soak up the last of the summer sun.

    Saturday 12th September saw a few of us supporting the Will Adams festival in Gillingham Park. The brief was to bring along and fly kites with an oriental flavour. Due to the Japanese connections, there was a good turn out of rokkaku, sode, suruga, sagura and edo kites. Unforuntately the wind conditions were aweful. The park is surrounded by large trees, and the wind was swirling below the tree line, so on launch a kite would suddenly be blown back into the face of the pilot. After several attempt, we did manage to get one rokkaku above the trees, which stayed there all day. However even at height it was very unsable, and towards the end of the afternoon, it took a death dive into one of the highest trees. Forunately, it wa nestled high in the tree, and not embedded in branches, and a few stiff tugs saw it pop out and float to the ground, remarkably undamaged.

    With flying conditions as they were, we dediced to put on a static display of kites, which several people commented on and photographed. The marquee next to us was occupied by a troup of drummers who were giving lessons, so it was destined to be a fairly noisy afternoon!

    And that, as they say, is that. The season is rapidly drawing to a close. We havethe Martin Corrie Memorial Fly, One Sky One World and Light up the Sky to come but apart from that there is very little in the kite world to keep us occupied unless heading off to warmer parts of the southern hemisphere to participate in thier kite festivals. But before we all pack up for the winter, there is just one little event being organised at Bognor Regis. Yes the First Bognor Kite Festival. Dave Mitchell of Kite Weekenders has taken over the reigns of trying to get some kite flyers together to support the event, and seems to be doing a pretty good job. Whilst it is a bit of a trek, I may well make the day trip.

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  • Busy Bank Holiday

    Wow, that was  busy weekend. We had been booked to provide a kite making workshop and teddy parachuting at Brogdale's Cider Festival on Saturday and Sunday and teddy parachuting at the Sellindge sports club fete on Sunday. That coupled with many of our members being otherwise engaged over the bank holiday weekend meant that help was in short supply. But we coped.

    Saturday at Brogdale was relatively quiet. Saturday always tends to be a quiet day as family shopping, chores, etc. gets in the way of people going out to relax and enjoy themselves. The kite making workshop made about 15 kites and the teddy parachuting was likewise quiet. The wind was a little intermittent, which meant that keeping a kite in the air to parachute teddies was a bit of a challenge. But I understand the weather held off until after the event had finished.

    Sunday was a much busier day and the weather meant that people stayed inland rather than head for the coast. So we had a steady flow of children at the teddy parachuting that kept us busy all day. Unfortunately, parents certainly semed to be keeping their pennies in their pockets to spend on cider, so the kite making workshop was very quiet. Though that being said, there was a lot of coin going into the Slide Away collecting tin at the teddy parachuting.

    Meanwhile, over at Sellindge, I understand that there were few children interested in parachuting bears, so they had a fairly quiet day of it.

    And on Monday it rained! A good day for repairing kites and thinking about that winter project...

    Next weekend is the Bewl Kite Mela. If you don't know what a kite mela is, your in very good company, so the only way you will find out is to come along to Bewl Water and have a look around. The event is on both Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately you will have to pay the Bewl Water admission charge, over which we have no control.

  • Dieppe Festival 2014

    This year, Kent Kite FLyers not only attended the festival "en masse" but also made our longest stay ever. A couple of our members were there right from the beginning of the festival, but the bulk of us arrived on the Tuesday and stayed to the end. 

    The weather at the start of the festival was a little unwelcoming. generally dull, windless and dank and misty days didn't bode well, but on Monday the wind picked up, and come Tuesday, the sun came out as well. So the main party of KKF flyers settled into a routine of heading to the beach behind the AKA delegation marquee for a morning of flying, then finding somewhere for lunch and returning to finish the afternoon off with mroe flying. The weather whilst we were there was excellent. Usually starting the morning with very light breezes and then the breeze picking up to give good flying conditions for the rest of the day.

    Our display of flotails (on loan from Kiteworld and flown in memory of Martin Corrie) received a lot of attention and favourable comment.

    Here are some pictures to give you a flavour of our visit. We'll head back in two years time to be excellently looked after by Isable and her team at the Hotel de la Plage.

    Gulp of swallows

    Flying Squad

    Gyrocopter

    Chapel

    Flotails from the side

    Next Sunday (5th October) several of us will be heading off to the greensward at Frinton-on-Sea in Essex to join our firends from East Anglian Kite Flyers in a Martin Corrie memorial fly.

  • Sellindge Fete

    Sunday 31st August saw us flinging all sorts of furry fauna at the Sellindge sports and social club fete. Whilst we do a lot of teddy parachuting, this was our first time at this particular location. We were blessed with a billiard table like field with plenty of space. The fete was taking up about a quarter of the available space, which left us with plenty of room to fly kites and parachute cuddly toys.

    The sports and social club had provided some toys for children to borrow or buy, and in addition, we had a stock of our own to supply if needed. Arriving at the field, there seemed to be quite a stiff breeze, but it wasn't behaving all that weel. It seemed to be reasonably smooth at ground level, but at about tree top level, it was flat. Once we've broken through this we maanged to find some breeze up above again. Though it was to cause us some problems later, and we had to change kites and altitude a couple of times.

    But a reasonably pleasant and successful afternoon of having children old and young chasing all sorts of cuddly toys kept us and them entertained. Meanwhile we were also selling some kites to help boost club funds. Towards the end of the afternoon, the sky seemed to fill up with assorted easi-fly deltas and small parafoils - great to see.

    Next weekend, some members will be flying at the London Beach Hotel at Tenterden. Apparently we will be using the golf driving range which will be closed to golfers (I hope).

  • Hop Farm Family Park

    Sunday 29th  September saw Kent Kite Flyers filling the sky over the Hop Farm Family Park at Beltring, Kent. The park used to be the centre of the hop growing industry in Kent, and has some wonderful oast houses and malting lofts. When owned by Whitbread, it was also used as a holiday and retirement centre for their dray horses. Now it is a "visitor attraction".

    The Hop farm Family Park The Hop farm Family Park

    A good turn out by club members saw the sky loaded with kites of all shapes, sizes and colours. Heather put up a very good display of flotails. The wind was in a perfect direction to try some KAP over the roundels, but it was decidedly frisky at times. Later it settled down and I managed to get some nice photos.

    The Hop farm Family Park The Hop farm Family Park

    More can be seen on My Flickr photostream.

     A good turn out seemed to be had by all, and we even had a couple of visits by Joe Public. Next Sunday several of us are heading up to Frinton in Essex to participate in Rob Brixton's "One Sky One Martin" fly to pay our respects to Martin Corrie, ex chairman of Suffolk Kite Flyers who was recently diagnosed with Motr Neurone Disease.

  • Wet and Windy

    Well summer certainly seemed to end with a bang rathr than a whimper. From glorious warm sunshine to cold wind and rain in a weekend, and it looks like summer has just been banished to become just another memory. Meanwhile, while most of our members found other things to do, 5 hardy souls turned up to try to put some colour in the sky. It was difficult, very difficult. the wind was measured at 11mph average, gusting to 25 mph at ground level!