hailed originally from Worthing, Sussex and came to the Midlands
from his home in Croydon sometime in the early1980’s to set up an office for
Nachi Bearings. He joined the South
Birmingham MFC after being a member of the Three Kings Model Flying Club near
Croydon with Wal Cordwell and son Brian.
Don’s main interests were control line speed
and team racing.
friends at that time were Dick Roberts, Mike Egerton, Paul Eisner and Tony Goodger,
Tony’s association with Don lasted for some time, with them attending many
speed and team race events around the South East, with Don being chauffeured by
Tony as his only transport at that time was an old Norton motorcycle. He also
recruited Paul Eisner to join them.
Goodger related an incident while being Don’s pit man for a team race event, he
forgot to activate the release catch on the dolly for take off after
refuelling, which meant that more than a few laps were flown with the dolly
attached. The dolly used, was made by Don and nicknamed the Forth
bridge having been so strongly constructed. In another team race pit stop due
to confusion with starting the engine, because Don was left handed, both the
plane and the dolly crashed into Dons’ tool box causing further amusement to all
around because it “exploded” scattering all of the contents across the flying
1989 he looked after the great George Aldridge from San
Antonio (designer of the Nobler and the Peacemaker) when he visited
. Driving him to Scotland to
see the Blacksmiths Forge at Gretna Green
where George and his wife Julie “re-married” over the traditional anvil; also
to meet Iain Ward, and then back to Barkston Heath for the National champs of
that year. It is no secret that Don complained of being shattered for days
after what turned out to be over 2000 miles of driving in less than three
became friendly with George after meeting him in America. A trip Don managed to
organise with expenses paid, after a visit to his employer, Nachi Bearings HQ
engines were Don’s favourites and he had a sizeable collection of them. George however,
gave him two Fox .29 engines he especially tuned for him, (tuning Fox engines was
one of George’s enterprises at the time.)
married Tokiko from Japan
in November 1990. They lived in Sutton Coldfield where Don continued with his
aero-modelling interests until his sight began to fail. He still continued to come
to the Friday club nights when Greg Miller could collect him.
of us in the SBMFC were greatly impressed with the quality of build and finish
of Don’s models which were pristine and given a glass like shine.
was a great aeromodeller and engineer, with a deep knowledge of model aircraft
and always helpful to new members. He passed away on 13/1/2014
leave you with the words of one of our members and a good friend of Don –
Raconteur, A gentleman, civilised,
well travelled, and very lucky to survive all the noxious chemicals he used in
the fuel for his engines during his team racing days!
leaves his widow Tokiko.
will be sadly missed and much remembered.
South Birmingham Model