The early May bank holiday weekend again saw the club at the Blyth International Kite Festival. As usual, the weather was somewhat changeable, with everything from rain and hail to strong winds and sunshine – four seasons in a day! This year’s event was attended by fliers from NEKF, Northern Kite Group and the Midland Kite Fliers – it was a great chance to meet up with friends from around the country – old and new.
Despite the challenging conditions, displays were put on by the Free J’s, Tall and Small, the Executives (their debut performance) and the Pallas Family Fliers, with superb commentary this year by Alan Poxon.
Sky Artists and Smile Factor 10 filled the sky with their large inflatables which, as usual, drew in a good crowd.
Throughout the day, there was a fantastic display of many different types of single line kites, including displays of Drumboxes, deltas and ‘animal’ kites. Many thanks to Peter Hartt who supervised the very successful kids rainbow delta sessions.
One of the highlights this year was the visit by Robert Valkenberg from Holland, who amazed the visitors with his spectacular Wind Garden.
Again, the Saturday evening fliers buffet was provided by Tony and Marie from GoKites, with the ‘entertainment’ going on late into the night.
The second Blyth Kite Festival was held over the first Bank Holiday weekend in May. Kite fliers from all over the UK were there, and, for the first time, we were joined by our good friends the Sky Pirates from Holland and Belgium. The festival got off to a relaxed start on Saturday with free flying all day, with fliers showing off a wide variety of kites. BBC Look North came, with an interview with the club Secretary showing later that day. Tony and Marie from GoKites kindly provided a buffet for the evening get-together, which was followed by the traditional charity auction. We were honoured to be visited by the Lady Mayor of Blyth, Olga Potts accompanied by her husband Cllr John Potts. Despite the worsening weather, they were entertained by displays by Graham Lockwood and Josh Mitcheson.
The overnight weather was horrendous! An awning or two succumbed the rain and gale force winds, but were we down hearted? This continued for most of Sunday which led to the abandonment of the planned programme, but by late afternoon, a few brave fliers, led by Shaun Denton of the Northern Monkeys Kite Group, ventured onto the field in time for the 4pm free flying slot.
Monday was a much better day, with a full programme of displays, led by the invited fliers, Graham Lockwood, Sky Artists and the Free J’s. We were also treated to a show of reproduction kites courtesy of Jan Boorsboom of Sky Pirates.
This year we were pleased to have Stephen Hoath providing his excellent, professional commentary which added to the enjoyment of all. Of many special moments, the highlight was the flying of Jim Potts’ Dragon Kite – quite a spectacle.This festival is going from strength to strength – watch out for next year!
The second Kites Over Souter took place over the weekend of 5th & 6th july this year and was well attended by kite fliers from all over the north. The weekend started off a bit wet, see photo but it soon fared up and a great weekend was had by all. As usual Marie and Tony from Gokites were in attendance and this year we were joined by Sky Artists, and Jock and Peter Walker. the highlights of the weekend must have been the mass flying of Kelvin Woods butterflies and the childrens taster sessions, these went down so well we had to run extra ones. The National Trust management were so pleased with the event that it has already been earmarked to run again next year.
On a rare visit to the south of our patch, a dozen fliers worked very hard on a calm day to entertain the folks of Seaton Carew. Despite noisy competition from the local motorsport club in the car park a good day was had by all at the newly redeveloped beach – although this now means a long walk or lifting the gear over the new sea wall!
Ten members of the club made the long journey to Portsmouth for this year’s kite festival. We took some of the European Air Gallery, but unfortunately didn’t have the chance to fly them. Through the weekend, we were treated to displays of two line flying, most notably by Cerf Volent Folies from France, and of historic single line kite designs.
There were two highlights for us. Firstly, to help our good friend Dick Toonen from Holland in a mass fly of his unique Drum Boxes, and secondly, we were honoured to be asked by Robert Brasington from Tasmania to help him in his a mass fly of his own kites.
It was also great to meet up with our friends from Sky Pirates (Holland) who helped us close the festival with a flight of the Friendship Kite. It’s actually further from the North East to Portsmouth than it is from Holland!
We continued our travels with our ever popular kite workshop weekend at Druridge Bay Country Park again this year, this popular event with the kids gives them the chance to make and fly kites with club members and everyone who attended got into the swing of things. Kites were made and kites both homemade and bought were flown in abundance, and the weather was good to us as well this year a very successful weekend.
This year we attended the Amble Puffin Festival for the second year running, we flew kites on the Saturday and Sunday and put on a good display on the Monday, this included a teddy bear drop which was very popular with the kids, once again the sky was full of inflatables flown by young Bradley, and attended by a good turnout of club members.
The week after Blyth a few members of the club attended the Western Lakes kite festival at Millom a venue we have been to many times. The club was well represented at this event with displays by Graham Lockwood, Josh Mitcheson and the Pallas Family as well as putting the Air Gallery on display. The weather was typical lake district, rain and wind but those who attended had a great time, a couple of photos to show you what it was like.
The first bank holiday weekend in May saw the return of the club to Blyth to organize the 2014 Blyth Kite Festival, and the event was a huge success.
Over 90 fliers from all over the country attended the event including fliers from Scotland, Yourkshire, The Midlands, the North-East and even Kent. The evnet was very well attended by the public and the Rainbow Delta taster sessions went down very well, this year we had extra attractions such as kiddies rides catering and of course our kite trader in attendance.
Kites of all shapes and sizes were flown over the 3 day event and thanks to all who participated, the display arena was kept busy with performances from the Free J’s, Graham Lockwood, Josh Mitcheson, Ben Denton and the Pallas Family Fliers.
The festival is destined to become a regular event in the North-East kiting calender over the next few years and we look forward seeing it grow .