An accidental Xmas present in 1963, a Wen-mac control -line model (which never flew) was my introduction to model flying. Despite the disaster with the Wen-mac, I joined a local flying club in Heanor on the understanding that the club flew competitions in control-line combat and everyone was expected to follow, despite their own standard of flying.
This proved to be a rapid learning curve and by 1965 I was competitive, finishing 5th, or second reserve for the criterium of aces (European Champs). Between 1969 and 1984 I flew as a regular UK team member in the European and World Championships, bearing in mind that the first official control line World Champs in F2D was not until 1978.
I achieved three Nationals wins - 1969, 1970 and 1979 and a European Championships in 1980. The significant thing for me when flying abroad was the interpretation of rules, the gap between a UK understanding and European was amazing. In 1980 I joined the Control Line Technical Committee and became a regular CIAM observer. From 1984 onwards through CIAM and working with the likes of Laird Jackson (Chairman CIAM), Guido Michiels (Belgium), Mack Henry (USA) and Ingemar Larsson (Sweden), the rules have become workable with clear definitions. I also feel responsible for what I call a 'working' F2D Jury. In the past juries were never seen. Since my involvement in juries from the mid 1980's, although a jury does not run the competition, a defined method of running a competition is in evidence.
To date I have flown as a UK pilot in F2D 18 times and my trip to Poland in July will be my 25th Euro-World Champs as a Judge.
In 1996 I received the Aeromodeling Gold Medal award from CIAM for my contribution to organising the above competitions.
After being away from the BMFA for ten years, I rejoined the Control-Line technical committee in November 2009.
After all these years I still have a love for control-line and in particular, combat. It is nearly thirty years since my first involvement with rule changes and yet again our changing environment demands that we continually make adjustments. I do have my concerns for the future of control-line, as in the UK fewer young people are becoming involved, but I will endevour, like the rest, to do my best to promote our sport.