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Shropshire Kite Festival - 9-10th August 2014.
Ernie & Sandra returned after missing last year to Shropshire Festival. This is a small friendly festival organised by Paul & Helene Morgan of Skybums fame and is held at Cleobury Mortimer a delightful village in the south of the county. Ideal as a base to explore the Shropshire hills, Ludlow & Hereford.
We made our base at Morton on Lug just outside Hereford for 4 days exploring the area before moving on to the festival site Friday lunchtime. A steady number of caravans & motor homes arrived through the afternoon, some new faces and some we had met previously on our travels.
It wasn't long before a few light wind kites appeared and were flying in the summer evening. The evening silence was filled with flyers chatting and exchanging experiences and news of the kiting fraternity.
As the sun dropped as did the wind and the gnats started looking for their evening meal, marking the time to head back into the caravan.
Saturday morning gave us overcast skies and a light breeze but never the less I pegged out my lifter lines hoping for an improvement. It wasn't long before the breeze started to pick up and the clouds started to break allowing the sun to peep though by 10.00 ish . Optimistically I attached the flowform 7’s to my 2 lines and went for a lift, well nearly but the heavy lines had become quite wet lying in the grass wet from a heavy shower during the night. Not to be beaten I changed to lighter lines and success, the lifters were up. Not enough lift to support anything but there was colour in the sky and two large kites that could be seen from the high street.
Sandra had been to the bakery and returned with fresh cream cakes. A coffee and a cake rekindled the enthusiasm, the sun was now out and the wind was picking up, enough to consider a change of line back to the standard 1200lbs it wasn't long before the lifters were back in the air and the first inflatable was filling. The Dog which was soon followed by the Dalek on the other lifter quickly attracted the attentions of the press and public camera's.
With steady wind and stable kites we could watch the show from the sidelines and admire the other flyers kites while taking a break for lunch.
Time for a change, down came the Dog and replaced with my shoal of Kio Carp and the Dalek was replaced with Red Rum & Black Beauty, Dave Holt horses.
Unfortunately mid afternoon the clouds started to gather and they became a little darker, with it the winds started to bluster so a dash was made to gather in the Koi and the horses. But a sharp shower caught us out while gathering in the last horse. The lifters were left to fend for their selves while we dashed for shelter and the visitors disappeared.
Eventually the lifers came down saturated but fortunately the shower passed and we were able to re-launched them to dry out but that was the end of the flying for the day as more showers arrived making it a wet night.
This did not deter the flyers from gathering in Skybums marquee for Chinese & Pizza washed down alcoholic refreshment of choice till late unaware what was going on outside with the weather.
Sunday with rain still falling and blustery winds unfortunately washed out the day for visitors but by midday the rain had stopped, while some tried to fly deltas and stick kites in blustery 20mph winds I was happy with my 1.4 2 line bag kite. The old 2 liner often comes up trumps in what were horrible conditions.
It was announced the festival was closing to visitors although none were there and the raffle would be drawn followed by presentation of trophies
The raffle was huge going on for over an hour followed by myself being presented with the Julian Wright Cup for the best overall display.
The evening continued with the remaining flyers celebrating the festival in the marquee with nibbles and drinks well into the night as there was no rush to get off the field the following morning.
An excellent week end, we will return.