Chair’s Thursday Blog

16 Feb 2017

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Hi everyone,  this is the regular Thursday posting to let you know what is coming up in the near future and give you highlights of the last week and the committee  meeting.

Last week:

More cameras

Thanks to the sterling work of Richard Bennett, we now have another webcam. This is a timelapse webcam, showing the view to the west over the last 20 minutes. Please note that this is a work in progress, and we would welcome feedback. The webcam appears on the same page as the other cams, i.e.

Weekend outlook:

Your team this weekend is :  Clive Crocker, Denise Hughes, David Brown, Steve Foster, Nigel Lassetter, Stephen Alexander, Mark Wakem.

Forthcoming events:

Winter lectures

February is the cruellest month:   We had to cancel the National Trust speaker because of the second snowy weekend of the winter.  In the words of Auric Goldfinger “once is happenstance, twice is coincidence three times is ….”

We now have 2 booked during March. We have Hugh Browning the driving force on the safety initiatives, Mike Groves of Skylaunch.  Please do make an effort to attend, it’s a great night and the trick is to fly in the day, have the talk then a really good supper.  

4  March Hugh Browning

This is essential for all glider pilots,  believe me Hugh knows everything about every club in the country and will not only inspire you but make you a safer and better pilot.

11 March Mike Groves from Skylaunch.  This will be a fascinating talk about our winches and winching.

Juniors over Easter

The Club will be running a course for junior members over the Easter holidays from 10 to 13 April with a dedicated instructor and glider.  Junior members may attend for just one day or more. Any members interested should book a place through the office

Llanbedr Expedition

Mike Greenwood has booked the week of  11th March in Llanbedr taking the K21 again.  Please contact the office to book a slot.  We have about 5 already.

Safety reminder from the BGA

Soaring Protocol. Following a recent review, the soaring safety protocol has been updated to include ridge soaring protocols. The latest version of the protocol is at No matter how experienced you are, please refresh your understanding.

20 March get checked week

Steve Male is running this popular week,  it’s a great opportunity to come along and make sure you are ready for the soaring season which I guarantee is going to be brilliant this year.   Don’t forget as Andy Holmes told me “April is when all the records are set” so you will be ready for the great weather.  We have circulated the details separately.  Contact the office if you haven’t yet received them


8 April 17:00.  Please put this into your diary.  We intend a slightly different format this year with the AGM, followed by presentations on the options for going forward.  We have had a couple of good years but we face stormy times ahead.  We must strengthen our position now while we can and your input and feedback are essential.  At the February committee meeting we agreed our 3 main goals and will be publishing them before the meeting so once the formal part of the meeting is over you can contribute to the discussion regarding the priorities of the club over the next few years.

Aim higher course

18 -19 March.

We are up to 15 attendees but there are still places available. Please put this date in your diary, and book in with the office now.  We are so privileged to have Kevin Atkinson to do this course for us.  He will cover:

 How the sky works

How to work the sky

Going further and faster

Self-teaching skill drills and self-tasking

And will be the best preparation you could think of before the cross country season starts in earnest.  This is proving very attractive to visitors from far and wide so I do encourage Mynd members to book up while you can.

June the 3rd 4th and 5th. Aim Higher practical

I am absolutely delighted to tell you that Kevin has agreed to provide a “practical” aim higher course on the above dates.  This means we get the best of both worlds, the theory then followed by the practical after we have all had a chance to practice.  We are really privileged to be able to offer this combination this year so get your bookings in to the office as soon as you can.   We are already getting applications and I think this will be a popular one.

Thinking of summer

Mac is organising the “longest day, open day” recruitment drive on the 24th of June.  In addition we want to increase the activity and the interest for members.  Years ago we used to run a “dawn to dusk” day and we are going to combine the two.  It is fantastic fun, we run in shifts and do “shedloads” of launches (or words to that effect).   Please drop me an email at the address below if you would like to help out for a shift, everyone is welcome and I guarantee you will have a great day.

Notes from the committee meeting held on the 10th of February

Standing orders

The fire alarm inspection will take place on the 17th of Feb

The AGM plan is well advanced, afterwards we will have a discussion on the spending options for the club i.e Fleet, Infrastructure, MT

The ESA grant is late.  Charles Carter will resolve on his return.

Running projects

The caravan and campsite is ready for completion when the rain stops!

The accommodation block roof quotes are still very expensive.  Paul Waller wants to inspect the building structure itself.

Access road.

Howard Bradley is getting towards the end of his research on the best way to refurbish the road,  there is a meeting with contractors this week then visits to similar sites. 

Club fleet improvement

Steve Male tabled his proposal with backing information from Simon,  the principles were agreed and will go forward to the members at the post AGM discussion.

Staff Pension scheme

Auto enrolment is in place, our staging date is 1 April when the letters to staff will be issued.  The cost this year is 2%  this will rise to 3%

Land Rover and Vitara

Julian has brought the tank up and confirmed everything is ready for fitting.  Marc is getting the Land Rovers ready for sale. 

Electric sheep fence

Howard has supplied the parts, the contractor was ill so had to postpone the installation

Air Training Cadets

Paul Fowler is progressing the implementation, we have the terms of agreement and intend to start in April.

Business rates

The 2010 valuation has been sent to the BGA with the 2017 and Charles will progress upon his return.

Operational Plan

The Easter recruitment had to be cancelled because we could not get an owner, the Dutch aren’t coming, they cant get enough interest.

The dashboard shows we are on target, ahead on trial lessons, below on course bookings. 

Strategy and direction

The 3 proposals to the members aim to improve  the fleet, the Infrastructure and the MT.  The latter will be by provision each year, the former via spending from reserve.

We are meeting the BGA to discuss the club’s development plan and our structure, particularly relating to CASC.


Simon has produced a cashflow predictor which will be updated monthly, currently we show break even,  this is without re investment.

Marketing and membership

Sarah is creating the membership survey which we hope to launch on the 1st of March.

We  are creating new packages for recruitment, the first will be the “to solo”

Rob Shepherd, ably assisted by John O’Reilly, has been developing terrific plans for the updated club promotional video, along the lines of ‘A Day in the Life at MGC’. Ask Sarah if you want full details. Rob will contact John in the next week or so with a view to start some of the indoor club facilities shots/filming mid-March with completion July/August time dependant of our availability, weather and club activities.

CFI report

1 incident reported this period.

Steve is liaising with a scout group with a view to them using gliding as a badge.


The K23 has completed its ARC.

Launching and MT

The Skylaunch retrieve winch is nearing completion at Skylaunch, the rest of the equipment maintenance is progressing very well and we are currently on track for the new season.


The gate at the West, bottom, Asterton has been repaired

The signage at the South end has been replaced.


The quiet room computer has been sent off for an estimate of repair, in the meantime there is a low spec computer which will do weather and notams.


The visitor booking process will be amended so that accommodation will require a £50 deposit and there will be a 30 day notice cancellation period.