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  • Sellindge Kite Weekend

    This was the first event we had held at Sellindge Sports and Social Club. Unfortunately the weather was to prove the deciding factor on Saturday. Our apologies to those members of the public who came along hoping to see some kites, but we can't fly in thunder storms, hail, rain, etc.

    But Sunday turned out to be a much better day, as had been predicted by the weather forecasters. So we were able to put on a display for the public. The wind conditions weren't ideal, and there was some light rain a couple of times during the day, but not enough to deter us. We did try to keep the sky changing with different kites being flown throughout the afternoon

    Kites

    There were some large inflatables on display during the day, including this rather striking alien monster

    Alien

    And some more decorative pieces, including this Suruga

    Suruga

    And this stack of della portas

    Samurai

    The bearly made it sky-diving squad were enjoying a relaxing day in the sun too

    BMSS

    Thanks to Len for the photos. Next week, some of us will be heading down to Bognor for their second kite festival. Lets hope for some decent weather and smooth winds.

  • Robert Brasington Kite Workshop

    The idea was first mooted in Dieppe 2014 when the Grumpy old Gits invited Robert Brasington to dinner, and persuaded him to come to the UK to run a kite making workshop.Several months later and following lots of email traffic between Sandra, the organiser, and Robert, suitable dates were found, and those who had indicated they might be interested were contacted to firm up. The dates were to be the weekend of 27th and 28th June 2015, the location - somewhere in darkest Epsom, and the kites - a choice of waif trains, butterflies or gothic deltas.

    So started the hard work (for Sandra) of co-ordinating all the interested parties, getting their choice of kite(s), collecting money, paying Robert, organising the venue, arranging food. She did a great job and the weekend was a spectacular success. And at 9am on the Saturday morning 16 enthusiastic kite makers arrived at the Longmead Centre in Epsom armed with sewing machines and all the paraphernalia of kite making.

    Kits were distributed and Robert started with an introduction and brief history of all of the kites. With three different kites being constructed, it took a little while to get everyone started, but pretty soon,the participants were merrily getting high as the fumes from the spray mount wafted through the hall. And before long, the mating call of the lesser Pfaff could be heard as construction commenced. I had chosen a gothic delta to build and the construction techniques for this were by far the simplest, but the size of the kite makes it tricky to handle. A number of participants struggled with the spray mount, something that I didn't suffer from.

    The idea was to get all of the applique done on day one, then put the sails together on day two. And at the end of the day, everyone was pretty close to the mark, though some of us still had a lot of back cutting to do. An interesting idea, that I've not seen before, is to cut a hole into the base colour in the parts that are to be removed, which then allows easy access when it comes to back cutting - no fiddling around trying to separate panels that are glued together.

    IMAG0115

    Day two and time to start bringing it all together, forming pockets for spars and joining the wings and keel together in the case of the delta. One problem was that some of the kits had incorrectly been supplied with 5.5mm ferrules instead of 6mm. I think Robert was able to replace all of them. By early afternon, everyone had just about finished. Kites were being cleaned with white spirit to remove the spray mount. I still had some back cutting to do, but never mind. Kites were put together ready for group photographs. And so, 16 happy kite makers headed off with their new creations, some with some work to finish off, and others with kits to make up trains. We said our goodbyes and thanked Robert and Sandra for their outstanding work. At this point I was paid the greatest compliment I can ever hope to receive when Robert complimented me on my work. There can be no higher praise in my opinion.

    This is a photo of the back of my finished delta. I'll try to get one of it in flight at some point. More photos on my flickr page.

    IMAG0125

  • First bear bung of the season

    On Saturday 13th June the club had been asked to parachute teddies at the Lorenden School summer fete. Lorenden is a preparatory school located in Painters Forstal, a pretty little village just outside Faversham.

    The fete was due to start at 2pm so we arranged to be on site at 12:30. We arrived to discover we had most of the playing field allocated to us. Thet being said, the field was fairly small with woods on 3 sides, so this could be a challenge. It looked like the wind was blowing along the length of the field, which was just as well. Getting a delta into the air was easy in the stiff breeze, and sure enough the wind was blowing straight down the field, so we tied off as far back as we could and used the short rig so that bears wouldn't be taken into the trees.

    Once we were set up and test dropped a couple of bears, we settled down for an afternoon of parachuting all sorts of cuddly toys fo children who were remarkably well behaved, making the whole afternoon a pleasant experience. We were using a new winch system built by Bill and having its first outing. We also had some new parachutes that had been provided for to the club in return for a donation to Demelza House children's hospice.

    The main activity of the afternon over, we tested out a ouple of the new parachutes. Some were packed, and had been packed for a long time, resulting in them not opening properly when first deployed - killing a couple of test teddies. However once the had been opened and dropped a couple of times, they could be re-packed and deployed perfectly, even from a short rig.

    Next Sunday is Streatham Kite Day, enjoy the day anyone who manages to make it there.

  • South Foreland Lighthouse Kite Day

    This has become a regular event on our calendar and this year we were blessed with glorious weather to help us enjoy the day.

    The National Trust own and maintain the South Foreland Lighthouse and every year they hold a kite day in the grounds. THis is aiimed at families who can come along and borrow kites to fly on top of the white cliffs of Dover. This year, the weather was just a bout perfect. A good breeze in the early afternoon, which only started to drop around 4pm, wall to wall sunshine, and a great view across the channel to Cap Gris Nez and Cap Blanc Nez in Nord Pas de Calais.

    The channel was remarkably quiet. Apparently the dicovery of two world war two mines had resulted in the closure of Calais harbour until late afternoon. Once the port opened and traffic started flowing again, we coulc clearly see the ferries arriving and departing from Calais.

    But enough already, what about the kites? Well KKF numbers were down this year because the event clashed with Basingstoke Kite Festival. Even so, we managed to put on a pretty good display, and help children large and small with the kites they had borrowed from the wardens. 

    IMAG0108

    Of course this kite flying can be very hard work...

    IMAG0105

    and one fish was determined to land on the roof of the lighthouse!

    IMAG0107

     

  • Martin Corrie

    It is with a heavy heart that I have to advise the kite world that Martin Corrie lost his battle with motor neurone disease on Friday 27th June. Many of you will know Martin as the chairman of Suffolk Kite Flyers and organiser of Rougham Kite Festival. A supporter of many festivals, including Teston, where he would often help Mike and Linda of Kiteworld with running, setting up and taking down their stall.

    Martin was admitted to hospital last summer thought to be suffering from pneumonia, but was quickly diagnosed with MND. He returned home after a short stay in hospital and his condition deteriorated quite rapidly.

    Another gap on the kite field I'm afraid, our thoughts are with his family.

  • Loop upgrade

    While browsing the world wide web I came across this site. I've come across people using spliceing rather than sleeving before, but this is the first time I've come across a video of the process. Enjoy, and if it works for you, good luck!

  • Unofficially Teston

    Several months ago, Kent County Council decided to abandon the June Teston event because they felt the ground would not be in good enough condition. Well on Sunday the ground was dry and firm and would have been entirely suitable for the event. The wind though was another story.

    On Saturday, the Grumpy Old Gits and a few others flew at Teston to remember Ron Dell. On Sunday, we had decided to hold our fly-in in the park, again to remember Ron. The wind was typically Testonesque. Occasionally blowing strong, at other times flat calm, and always very turbulent. But a small squad of members arrived on the field during the afternoon to attempt to fly kites.

    What was very nice to see was the number of family groups, all of whom had one or more kites with them, and children running about towing kites, usually with the wind. For our part, we tried to fly a few kites with varying degrees of success, but ultimately it was about sitting and nattering - its what we do best.

    Of course the focus of attention was the new banner. When I say new, of course it is a couple of years old now, but it was the first ime out for it, the club having only just acquired a pole to support the beast. I have to say it did look quite impressive.

    New Banner Banner and delta

    So next weekend sees us back at Brogdale. Hope to see you there.

  • Basking in Basingstoke

    Last weekend, saw Basingstoke Kite Festival, organised by Loddon Valley Kite Flyers. Most of our members who were planning to fly had decided to attend either one or both days of the festival. But the weather forecast didn't look that inviting. There was a prediction of torrential downpours on Saturday, mixed with Thunderstorms, never a good thing for kite flying. Fortunately the forecasters got it wrong again. there was heavy rain on Saturday morning, but once that had cleared away, the rest of the weekend basked in glorious weather. This from our roving reporter(s)...

    Great day at Basingstoke. Drove through torrential rain but arrived around 11.00  to wet roads but no rain. Overcast for a while then the clouds moved off and the  sun came out to give us all a wonderful afternoon. Good displays in less than  ideal wind conditions, never seen so many ballet routines finished early due to  lack of wind. Stafford Wallace was his usual exuberant self, Josh Mitcheson  brilliant whether with three kites or one rev, Carl Robertshaw showing off with  highly technical rev flying that went right over the heads of the viewing  public, Flying Fish lvely twinline ballet, Team Spectrum professional as usual,  Flying Squad highly entertaining and some wonderful different kites from across  the Channel.

    Well worth the 2 hour drive and an event that we will  probably visit again.

    Met up with Steve & Sue, Peter & Jacqui  (with their wonderful VW camper tent, ask Peter about the thunderstorm) &  Gerty (you must ask her about her visit to the local constabulary!)

    All  in all an eventful day

    Hope the weather stays fair for those going  tomorrow (Sunday)


     

     

     

    Had a great weekend our first visit to this festival, we arrived early on Sat  am, just managed to pitch tent, before the storm hit us, once that cleared away,  weather was good, very hot sunday, wind still fickle, but the invited flyers put  on a good display. We all managed to put on a display of led night kites, 9 i  believe, joint effort from KKF and Brighton. We were able to use facilities of  the hockey club, although the showers were cold!!. Very well attended by the  public especially Sun, we will certainly attend again. loved the banners  Gerty

     

     

    Well the coming weekend would have been Teston little festival, had the event not been cancelled by Kent County Council due to the ground conditions. However several flyers will be on site during part or all of the weekend. Lets hope the weather holds good.

     

     

     

  • Blown away in Tonbridge

    Saturday saw a couple of us attend Tonbridge school as part of their community programme. We were there to fly kites with local children who had made the kites in a workshop in the morning. When we arrived the wind was gusting and very strong, which didn't bode well.

    We did manage to launch a couple of kites, but they were flying pretty eratically in the conditions. It was a shame, last year we had very light winds and strggled to get anything to stay aloft, this year it was almost too dangerous to keep the kites aloft.

    At about 1pm we could see the children making their way from the school, accompanied by teachers and helpers, and clutching their packed lunches and kites. We were soon getting them flying, but the conditions meant their little sleds were getting terribly tangled or torn to shreds. One became detached from its line and was still climbing as it flew over the buildings towards Shipbourne. So we broke out the clubkites and anyone who wanted one had a go. 

    The time passed very quickly, and soon the children were packing away and heading back to the school for their next activity. A thoroughly worthwhile time. All the children seemed to enjoy themsleves, as did their teachers and helpers. Thanks to Bill Burnett for inviting us along to participate

  • Windless in Faversham (again)

    This is becoming a bit of a theme, but once again we were stuck with little or no wind on a club day in Faversham. However the day wasn't a total loss, for me anyway.

    I got there about 1pm and there were a few cars on the field, but none that I recognised. However one of them turned out to belong to long time KKF member Alvin Hill. Shortly Bill and then Matt turned up, and as it was trying to rain, we all decided to seek shelter and coffee. After a good natter, and catch up with Alvin, we headed back to the field. The rain hadn't quite stopped, but had eased. While Matt attempted to launch something that looked like a chicken, Alvin told us that he was clearing out many of his kites. He had a roof box containing the first load and didn't want anything for them. They were put into Bill's car for safe keeping and are available for members to investigate next time you catch up with Bill.

    So to business. I decide to try to launch an 8m flowform. Try being the operative word. It probably took about half a dozen attempts before we got enough breeze to keep it aloft, and then it was very iffy. No pull at all. But as it seemed to be staying up there, I decided to try a slo-mo spinner on the line. I've had it for ages, having part exchanged it for a Rev2, but have hardly ever used it. I remember why now! It completely failed to take advantage of the gentle breeze.

    When the kite finally decided it had had enough and started drifting towards the car park, I brought it all down and decided to try out one of the kites I had wanted to test. this is a Jest of Eve Talon which I acquired second hand from Jamie Lund during the week. Even though the wind was almost non-existant at this stage, I seemed to connect with the kite pretty quickly and enjoyed it. Can't wait for a day with a little more breeze to it.

    Unfortunately I didn't get to try out any of the other kites I had brought along to test. i need a bit of breeze, but preferrably not too much. Maybe next month.

    Great to see alvin after a long break, and sorry Syd if we missed you, but you should know by now that some of us aren't very good at mornings.

  • Teston, Sumners and Peterborough

    It was quite a busy weekend for Kent Kite Flyers all in all. There was a club fly-in at Teston Bridge Picnic Site. Some members were taking part in the Kite Weekenders' bash at Sumners Ponds. And a few went off to Peterborough Kite Festival.

    Starting with Teston, Malcolm reports...

    As I had missed dear Ron Dell on Saturday, I made up my mind on Sunday morning to go over to Teston in the hope that he would be coming again to the field. Arrived around 11.30. Keith and Alan from the Old Gits were already set up, along with Archie and Chloe Daniels, Peter Hulcoop, Andrew and Sandra from BKF, and Richard and his other half. The wind was even stronger to-day so as the war wounds were playing up a bit decided to do KKF thing sit in chair and enjoy the atmosphere. Ron and his partner/carer arrived just after midday, which was really good to see him. He is definitely not a well man, but still had his wry humour and Tina hoped that being at Teston would help to lift his spirits. He has booked the hotel for the August event.

    Dave C and Beverley were were there for a little while, but the rest of the troops mus have known in advance the weather situation, as it was bitterly cold and every-one put on whatever layers of clothing on they had brought with them except for Peter H who bravely wore the summer outfit of shorts and sandals. Nice blue colour legs you have Peter. Difficult day for kites.

    Just hope the weather has not had a bad effect on Ron's health as he was out in the cold for about 4 hours, well wrapped up.

    ...Meanwhile at Sumners Ponds...

    What a weekend we had. Wind at sumners Saturday was very gusty we did put a good show on for the public. We had one of the weekenders BBQ in the evening and the hats were out. Sunday was not as bad but the wind was up and down. We had plenty of public coming up to see us and the boats in the lake where amazing.

    ...And finally Peterborough

    A good turn out from KKF at Peterborough Kite Festival. What originally was thought to be four attendees, reduced to three, then became five. Always a pleasure to meet up with friends from Essex Kite Group and Great Ouse Kite Flyers and make new friends with Thorpe Bay Kite Flyers amongst others. The wind was a little tricky throughout the day, but we all managed to fly kites this year. A very knowledgeable commentator kept the crowd informed, though I will have to tell him that the dragon is nothing to do with Essex Kite Group! Its a wonderful venue, I'm just wondering if we can hijack it and fly it down to Kent.

    Lots of colour in the sky throughout the day. There are some photos available from Len here and some from me here.

    See you all next week at Brogdale, Streatham or Southampton - another busy weekend :(

  • Sunday 2nd June

    Sorry I'm a bit late with this blog post, but life has kind of passed me by for a variety of reasons. But there was a fair amount of kiting activity with members involved one way or another last weekend. The main event that was reasonably local was Basingstoke Kite Festival, and we know at least one member was there. We know this because we have a video of him resting.

    Well not really resting. Apparently international kiting superstar,Collin, was messing about playing rugby. A tackle went a bit wrong, resulting in our intrepid kitist being laid out, quite literally. Paramedics attended and Collin was carted off to hospital. Apart from a complete loss of memory of the incident, no permanent harm was done and Collin is out kiting again this weekend I believe. So welcome back and take care Collin. Here is a video posted on Youtube of the paramdeics in attendance.

    Meanwhile, on Sunday KKF members headed off to Woodchurch for a club fly-in. Situated in teh wonderful village, which is reputed to be the darkest place in Kent and therefore popular with astronomers, but thankfully not during daylight hours. So we had a pleasant afternoon in the sun and lack of wind. Not the largest turn out we've ever had, but we were pleased to see some non-members lurking in the background playing with a Rev (1.5SLE?) and an HQ Obsession. For my part, I spent a good couple of hours completely re-bridling my edo. I felt the original bridle was far too heavy, so had managed to source some 1.2mm braid and was determined to get the job done. Having finished the bridle, we moved the kite into the wind, and the bridle completely knotted itself up. I'm not sure how as both ends were secured. But it wasn't coming apart in a rush, so we released one end, pulled all twenty strings through then retied it. Thanks to Matt and Len for their assistance in this task. Even though the wind was light to non-existant, we did manage to get the kite airborne, and thanks to Len for sharing a couple of photographs.

    Gareths EDO Kite at Woodchurch 2.6.2013. 009 Gareths EDO Kite at Woodchurch 2.6.2013. 010

    So that's about it for this weekend. Next weekend there is again a lot of activity. Some will be at Teston Bridge Picnic Site near Maidstone. There is no "Little Festival" this year, which would normally take place this weekend, but some members and others are planning to go along and just fly kites for fun. If you can make it, it is sure to be a fund weekend. Meanwhile some will be at Sumners Ponds RC weekend in Sussex. Organised in conjunction with the kite weekenders but open to all who want to attend. Meanwhile Yours Truly will be popping up at Peterborough Kite Festival, weather permitting. Hope to make some new friends there.

    Tight lines.