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  • Light up the Ground

    Sometimes its just no meant to be. We did our best, but the weather gods were determined to beat us. But fortunately they failed!

    Saturday 29th October saw us on the sea front at Walmer lighting up the sky for Children in Need. But unfortunately, despite the predicted wind, there was absolutely none. So we set up a ground display instead and lit up the ground. try as we might, there was no way we were going to get a kite aloft. We tried a couple fo times in the afternoon, but it wasn't to be. So everything staid firmly on the ground getting damp.

    But despite the lack of wind, I think we managed to put together a reasonable show. And I guess the people of Walmer and Deal thought so too as those driving by stopped to see what was going on and put spare change into our collecting buckets. So by the end of the evening, we had managed to raise over £60 for the charity, which really isn't a bad effort given the conditions.

    Here's a short video of the evening, which was, of course, rounded out with fish and chips from the shop next to the Marines club. This really marks the end of the flying season. We don't have any more arranged activities, so will just be meeting up when the weather and home life permits to fly kites in a park near you. See you next summer.

  • Up Milton Creek - bring your own paddle

    Kris used to be a ranger at Capstone Park, and also a keen kite flyer (before Children came along).Since last year he has been green spaces ranger for Swale Borough Council, and one of the parks he is responsible for is Milton Creek Country Park. It's a strange little place, hidden behind houses, you wouldn't know it was there unless you knew it was there! But once you find it, its a fabulous open space, fairly flat, and opens out onto the creek and the Swale estuary. So with the winds coming off the estuary, they're alsmost guaranteed to be pretty smooth.

    Kris has been trying to promote greater use of the park and invited us along to try to attract public in. Sunday 23rd October was agreed as a suitable day, being the start of half term week, and clearly the weather gods had been suitably bribed as conditions were just about perfect. The wind in the morning was a little brisk, but it settled down in the afternoon to give a goo day of kite flying in glorous sun.

    We succeeded in getting some people into the park who would never normally step out, just because they had seen the kites and wondered what was going on. We even managed to put some strings in the hands of innocent bystanders to help get them started on the road to enjoying the hobby. There are a lod of photos from the day on the Friends of Milton Creek facebook page here. In addition, we have our own album on our facebook page here. And to roun dit off, you can find some more on my Flickr stream here.

    But for those of you who can't be bothered with all that clicking and linking, here are a couple from the day. Don't forget that, weather permitting, we will be invading the green by the bandsand in Walmer on Saturday afternoon and evening to raise money for Children in Need by lighting up the sky with kites.





  • Successful Test Flight

    The opera masks had arrived on Monday and I was itching to give them some air. So on Suday afternoon I headed off down to Sellindge sports and social club early afternoon to try them out. The wind conditions at home weren't too bad, but at the last minute I decided to through a powersled 36 into the car, and I'm glad I did.

    When I arrived at Sellindge the wind was gusty and turbulent to say the least. I put up the powersled 36, which struggled to get aloft until it got to about 50 feet, when it caught the breeze and took off, nearly taking my hands with it.

    To the main business of the day. The first kite out was the blue one. It took a little while to inflate in the conditions, but was soon flying quite happily.

    Beijing Opera Mask

    I was thinking about stacking the masks, but decided against it. Given the conditions, and being on my own, I felt that might prove dangerous. So bringing the blue mask down, I replaced it with the yellow one.

    Beijing Opera Mask

    Again, after a while I took down the yellow and replaced it with green. It was aboout this time that I was joined by a couple of other flyers.

    Beijing Opera Mask

    To round off the afternoon, I took down the green one and put the yellow one back on the line, but let it go a little higher this time to fully catch the gusty breeze. It perfomed really well in the conditions

    Beijing Opera Mask

    First test flight successfully completed. Next weekend we are off to Milton Creek on Sunday. 

  • One Sky One Wet World and other stuff

    As is traditional in kite flying circles, the second Sunday in October every year is used to celebrate One Sky One World. Its a celebration of the fact that we all share the same air, no matter what part of the world you live in, and we fly to promote peace.

    As usual we held our day at Radnor Park in Folkestone. But unfortunately the weather gods were not that kind to us. There was verylittle wind as can be seen from this rather limp line marker, and we had several heavy showers. Still despite the conditions, we managed to get some members of the public flying kites when it wasn't raining. In the end we'd managed to fly 35 kites during the afternoon, which wasn't bad given the conditions.


    Then came Monday, and a rather large parcel was delivered from China. Thanks to Monica at Kaixuan Kite Company, we now have a couple of Beijing Opera Masks to add to our collection of kites. Hopefully we'll get some reasonable weather on Saunday and be able to give them an airing...




  • Getting in a tangle

    "Harwich for the continent. Frinton for the incontinent". So goes a very old joke. Well I don't know about that, but certainly Frinton was the place to be for us kite flyers on Sunday. This was teh location of the annual Martin Corrie Memorial Fly, where we join friends from various kite groups to remember and celebrate the life of the late chairman of the Suffolk Kite Flyers.

    The weather forecast was excellent - wall-to-wall sunshine was predicted, but it turned out a bit different. In the morning it was quite cloudy with occasional sunshine, and at least one shower. But the afternoon turned out much better, and by the late afternoon, the wall to wall sunshiine was definitely in evidence. As usual, our hosts from East Anglian Kite Flyers did us proud with food and drink available all day, and of course the much talked about bread pudding.

    Unfortunately the wind wasn't as friendly as our colleagues. It was off-shore and decidedly lumpy with lots of holes in it. As it came over the houses and headed out to sea, it was definitely doing its best to cause as many problems as it could. It clearly didn't bother the kite surfer well out in the channel who seemed to be relishing the conditions.

    At the start of the morning, there was a good selection of kites on show from our East Anglian friends, but we soon had a few of the flotails flying, then landing, then tangling, then causing havoc, very reminiscent of Thursday in Dieppe. Fortunately we were far enough back from the tide line not to get the kites wet. One of them tried to escape a couple of times. But after lunch, I decided I'd had enough so as the flotails landed, or crashed, so we took them in.

    Flotails over Frinton

    During the afternoon, Mike and Barbara launched their PLK tiger, which certainly attracted some attention, particularly from this video blogger.

    And we tried to keep a changing landscape of kites throughout the afternoon until time drew on and it was time to head home. Though I understand Mike and Barbara stayed on to enjoy the best of the flying conditions into the early evening.




    And just to prove a point. Its not just Kent Kite Flyers who enjoy a sit down and a natter!

    Time for coffee

  • Glorious Bognor

    Not the fabled last words of King George V then. The weekend of 24th/25th October 2015 was the inaugural Bognor Regis Kite Festival, and members from Kent Kite Flyers made the journey down to support this new event. This was following closely on the disappointing news that the Ostende Kite Festival is to be discontinued after 30 successful years. So a new event appearing in the calendar was certainly good news, even if it was being organised in the tail end of October.

    But support from the kiting community was good. The kite side of the event was being organised by Dave Mitchell of Kite Weekenders, and the weekenders had rallied around to show their support, coming from as far afield as Norfolk to spend a pleasant weekend on the south coast.

    Saturday was a rather dull and overcast day, but with a good breeze, so lots of large inflatable kites were in the air to keep the public amused. The day closed with some night flying, until a squal shorted out most of the kites, and a battery pack disappeared to be lost for ever. There was also a firework display.

    Sunday was a beautifully sunny day with little or no wind. So this was a day when inflatables simply wouldn't or didn't, and a day for proper kites. It took a while, probably no kites were really getting above the treee line until after lunch. But then several were testing the 1,000 feet height clearance. We even had a very brief visit from a paraglider, who made a rather rapid turn to avoid the kites.

    A wonderful new event on the kite calendar. Lots of support from the very friendly locals who came out to enjoy the spectacle. Good music provided by a couple of local bands. Bring on next year - perhaps a bit earlier in the season please.

    I didn't get a chance to take my camera out at all, but you can find some photos on Flickr here

  • Martin Corrie Memorial Fly

    In what is becoming something of an annual pilgrimage, several members made the journey to Frinton-on-Sea to join with members of the East Anglian Kite Flyers and Haven Flyers to celebrate the memory of Martin Corrie. The event seems to happen on the first Sunday of October each year, and, as in previous years, the weather was glorious.

    The activity occurs on the "Greensward" a strip of manicured grass on top of the cliffs at Frinton. This year, when we arrived the wind was off-shore and very light - just about the worst conditions imaginable. Why? Well what little breeze there was was turbulent as it came over the houses. But we have to make the best of things, and it didn't take long for a couple of rollers, walas and a wonderful dopero to take to the sky. And once high enough, there was enough breeze to keep us occupied. But then the wind moved, as predicted by the met office, to southerly and started to pick up. Perfect. So now we had a steady clean breeze and clear blue skies. We could ask for no more.

    And through the afternoon the number of kites grew and the styles changed as people swapped from one kite to another, and all the time, everyone was happy enjoying the conditions. The folks of Frinton were out in force too. Whether just out for an afternoon stroll to work off the Sunday lunch, dog walking, horse riding, whatever the reason, the world seemed a better place for a couple of hours.

    Then the meter ran out and the wind turned off. So as lifters and laundry settled back to earth, it was time for those light wind kites to put in an appearance again. But the wind was in a better direction, so the kites were much happier. Mike's stork flew beautifully, instead of looking to nest in the nearest tree!

    All too soon the afternoon came to an end and it was time to make our way back. Our thanks go to all who made us so welcome, but especially Pete and Lynne for keeping us fed and watered. And a special mention of the bread pudding. You had to be there! Come and join us next year, I promise I'll consider saving you a piece.

    In what is becoming something of an annual pilgrimage, several members made the journey to Frinton-on-Sea to join with members of the East Anglian Kite Flyers and Haven Flyers to celebrate the memory of Martin Corrie. The event seems to happen on the first Sunday of October each year, and, as in previous years, the weather was glorious.



  • Tales of a KAPer

    I've known Sue Storey for years, through our shared interest in kite aerial photography. She is far more active in the hobby than I am. Since her husband, Eric, died several years ago, Sue has toured many kite festivals and events in her bright red camper van. Of course we bumped into her in Dieppe this year, and she stopped for a coffee. Unfortunately I wasn't able to stay long as a flight of flotails needed tending. But through the wonders of the internet, Sue has published a story of her summer tour to four continental kite festivals. Enjoy the read. Kent Kite Flyers even get a mention.

  • One Sky One World

    Today we celebrated the life and kites of Jilly Pelham whilst also celebrating One Sky One World. As is traditional, the One Sky One World kite fly for peace is held on the second Sunday in October each year, when kites are flown all over the world to promote world peace.

    The weather forecast was promising, and we had a good turn out of members, and were very well supported by the public. As usual, we had a selection of kites for children to borrow or buy, and we were soon in full swing with many kites in the sky. Early morning there was very little breeze, but by 11 o'clock, the breeze had picked up to a steady draft and we were able to fly some bigger kites too.

    Jilly Pelham was one of the originators of One Sky One World, when Jane Parker-Ambrose, returning from Russia, stopped off to visit Jilly, who suggested a flying event on the same day every year. Last year we planned to celebrate Jilly's life and kites on One Sky One World day, but unfortunately the inclement weather meant we had to abandon the day. This year we were able to fly some of her magnificent creations.

    Unfortunately, the rain came in a little earlier than predicted and we packed up at about 3pm to head for home.

    Next weekend we are making and flying kites at Brogdale Farm, Faversham - weather permitting.

    One Sky One World

    One Sky One World

  • Frustrating Frinton

    Sunday saw a large contingent from Kent Kite Flyers spend a largely frustrating afternoon on the Greensward at Frinton celebrating the life of Martin Corrie. The day had been organised by our friends from East Anglian Kite Flyers to commemorate Martin Corrie, who passed on earlier this year. Martin had been long time chairman of Suffolk Kite Flyers.

    Most of us arrived shortly after 11 to find the group from Suffolk already trying to fly Walas and other zero wind and light wind kites. Looking out to see, the large array of wind turbines were just about rotating, though the sea was pretty much mirror calm. As before, Pete and Lyn had laid on food and drinks for everyone - The bread pudding was delicious!

    So we spent most of the afternoon chatting, soaking up the glorious sunshine, and being fooled by the occasional draft, I can't even call it breeze. Bill did manage to spend most of the afternoon flying, though he did comment that it was a lot of hard work. Other kites took to the sky for brief intervals as the breeze picked up a little, but it was never strong enough or consistent enough to put on the kind of display that we would have liked.

    After everyone else had left, a light breeze did kick some dust up, just enough to get my gulp of swallows into the sky briefly,

    Gulp of Swallows

    So all in all a frustrating afternoon. As a final note, to the lady who's dog urinated on my kite bag, which was my fault as I shouldn't leave it there, let me know when you have a picnic and I'll bring my 3 hounds along.

    Next weekend is One Sky One World, and we will be flying at Radnor Park in Folkestone where we will be celebrating the life and designs of Jilly Pelham, who was one of the events founders. We're hoping for good steady breezes and some sunshine.

  • Stacks of work

    Sunday 27th October saw members foregoing the pleasures of kite flying in a howling gale and regular downpours, and seek shelter in the meeting rooms at Brogdale to carry out some restoration work on the clubs stack of eddy kites. Len had organised the day, anda  small band of volunteers arrived with sewing machines and other bits and pieces to set to work on the stack.

  • Wet Wet Wet

    No not the group, the weather! At the weekend we attended the Apple Festival at Brogdale. It rained. Then it rained some more, and finally it poured hard.

    Honestly though, it wasn't all bad. We were put in the field by the railway station, and the wind was blowing towards the buildings. So we warned the organisers that we may have some ambitious bears trying to land on the station, but they seemed happy enough, so we set up and prepared for a couple of busy days.

    While the rest of us ran away for coffee, \malcolm was busy bear dropping on Saturday morning. We had restricted ourselves to small 'chutes, and all paratroops landed safely within the field boundary. We threw a few more bears, then the rain came. Fortunately the field has a wooden shelter, which KKF commandeered. So we stayed in there while the kite flew and got very wet. Eventually, completely waterlogged, the kite came down, and was hung up in our shelter to drip dry. Meanwhile an impromptu lesson in kite illumination techniques took place. At about 3:30, the breeze picked up and the rain stopped. So we put the kite back out to dry in the breeze, which attracted some ankle biters who wanted to chase bears. So we spent the rest of the afternoon bunging bears for them.

    Sunday brought more of the same really. Heavy rain, occasional showers, sunshine, wind. We managed to keep bears in the air all morning and most of the afternoon. Then the heavens opened. The lifter was left out again (big mistake). Meanwhile we were entertained by the miniature railway putting on their version of the runaway train. Fortunately the incident closed with no-one the worse for the experience. At the end of the afternoon, we managed to provide our own entertainment. The lifter became very eratic in the sky as the wind and driving rain increased. Eventually as we struggled to bring it down, it looped and came down onto platofrm two just as a train was approaching. We manage to rescue the kite and no harm was done.

    Next weekend we have our make and repair day, fixing things and making new things (perhaps). We'll be insude, so no doubt the weather will be glorious.

  • A Grand Day Out

    on Sunday 6th October, Rob Brixton had arranged a special day to celebrate the life of Martin Corrie. For those who don't know, Martin was, until recently, the chairman of Suffolk Kite Flyers and organiser of Rougham Kite Festival. He is well known among kiting circles. Unfortunately, whilst in hospital recently being treated for pneumonia he was also diagnosed with motor neurone disease. This day was to honour a friend among many in the kiting world.

    The venue was to be The Greensward at Frinton-on-Sea in Essex. Think upmarket Palm Bay. Even the public loos have a thatchedroof! Eight of us set out from Kent to make the trip, which was a really good turn out for a relatively small club. We had all been praying for good weather, and for once the weather gods were looking kindly on us. The breeze arrived about half an hour before we did, and stayed all day, along with glorious sunshine.

    Toilet block

    We all arrived at around 11 am after a pretty good journey up, and went to say hello, to be welcomed with "tea or coffee, there are biscuits there". Rob had laid on catering for us too, and Pete and Lyn made sure the inner man was well looked after all day. Unfortunately Rob completely failed to recognise me. Something to do with the lack of a dead hamster above the top lip.


    So to the purpose of the visit, which was to fill the sky with colour in honour of Martin. We did our best, and it was a pretty good best too. With flyers from Kent Essex and Suffolk we managed to put on a pretty good display, which was complimented by several members of the enthusiastic public. Rob ws giving away miniature diamond kites, which semed to be disappearing amongst the kids at a rate of knots.


    I think we managed to keep the display changing throughout the day, but like all good things, they have to come to an end, and soon enough it was time to bid our fair wells to all. Thanks to Rob for organising the day and inviting us, to Lyn and Pete for keeping us fed and watered and to all the flyers who participated.