I started building model 'planes in 1947, when I was 10. My first club was Chester MFC in about 1954. Where I lived - in North Wales - there was no club in my first ten years of modelling, so a group of us from school flew in different fields around the area, and with the owner's permission. Happy days!
I came to Chester in 1954 to commence an aircraft engineering apprenticeship for 5 years at De Havilland's (now "Airbus"). I then got quite involved in control line aerobatics, and A2 free flight gliders. I competed in these two disciplines for a few years, and my "claim to fame" is the free flight glider I was flying once did over a 3-minute "max" after D/T-ing - then I got up off the ground to fetch it! It had caught a thermal; gone straight up, come straight down, and landed about a hundred metres away in the calm, hot conditions! Another flight with the same model, at another time, flew out of sight, and landed over 25 miles away!
I started in R/C in 1970, and have now tried my hand at disciplines available in freeflight, control line, indoor and R/C over the years.
I started to do work for the BMFA in about 1983 on the Area Committee, although I had been attending on behalf of my club since about 1979. I took on board the Treasurers' job, then the PRO, and am now the current Chairman of the Area since 2008. I put myself forward to RC Power Technical Committee in 1989, and was elected as their Chairman and Delegate to Council immediately at the first meeting and continuing in this post for about 3 years, then took on the Society's Honorary Secretary position for a short while.
In 1992 I helped to set up the Northern Ireland Area and was its alternate Council delegate, serving in this capacity until 2006.
Having been elected to be North West Area Delegate to Council at the 2006 North West Area AGM, I will happily continue in that position until I am too old (!) or my Area deselects me.
I have also been an Area Chief Examiner for approximately 15 years, and give talks on any aeromodelling subject to clubs within driving distance of my home in Cheshire if required.
I also organise the Eddie Riding Free Flight Scale event at Woodvale, the RAF Shawbury Scale R/C fly-in, and help with a number of Indoor events over the winter months, and of course, a lot of you will know me for organising the Northwich Swapmeet since 1982 until I recently passed it on to new organisers.
All this involvement in our great sport or hobby (or whatever you call it) has brought me many friends all over the world - particularly with my ability to provide old aeromodelling magazines to those who seek them (see my web site www.magazinesandbooks.co.uk ).
When not involved with aeromodelling, I have a son and daughter, and two grandchildren - and all living in the same village as I do, so my time is very full indeed - I am still looking for someone to explain to me what is this thing called "retirement"?