We are sad to announce that another of our founder members has recently passed away. Our sincere condolences to his family from all at Alouette.
David's membership number was 005 so you can see he was there at the start!
A few words from his daughter Christina;
The service will be at 1.30pm on Friday, 25th July at St Mary's Church, Tatsfield.
Please wear your bright party clothes (rather than black) and join us afterwards at the Old Bakery, Tatsfield, to continue to remember and celebrate David's life in the way he wished. The family have requested absolutely no flowers. The retiring collection will go to Cancer Research UK and the Stroke Association. Donations by cheque to these charities are also being received at: W. Uden & Sons, 186 Main Road, Biggin Hill, Kent TN16 2BG
We welcome all and any Alouette members, past and present on the day. For those that remember him,Tony Rees, has kindly sent a tribute for inclusion in the service.
Although Dad has not been such an club active member in recent years (the last BBQ I went to was in 2005) Alouette played a huge part in his life in the 60s and 70s, also for many years he was on the Air Fair committee and at times it seemed as if us children were brought up on all things aviation.
For the first time in many years, we are pleased to announce a reduction in the flying rate for both of our aircraft from £140 per hour down to £135. This reduction reflects the recent stability in fuel rates which is one of our major costs and hence, after careful scrutiny of the accounts, the Committee has decided that we are able to pass this on to the members.
So with the summer weather upon us, daylight on our side and a lower flying rate, what better time to get in some flying hours?
We are sad to announce the passing of one of Alouette's founder members, Audrey Hills. Our thoughts are with her family.
A few words from Mike Warner, also a long-standing member of Alouette;
"A perky 'Hello boys!' would herald the arrival of Audrey Hills at the original clubhouse on a Sunday morning. She called us all 'boys'. Come to think of it there weren't any other lady members of Alouette that I can recall at that time.
Like many of the pioneering early members of the club she had learned to fly on 'tail draggers'.
She became the long-standing club secretary under the chairmanship of Peter Wain.
For years after she stopped flying she would turn up at the club for a chat. I have fond memories of sharing a coffee in the current clubhouse with Audrey and Don Perch on a Sunday morning. It's just possible that the 'old days' cropped up in conversation.
It was said of Audrey that when she went flying she always made sure that in her handbag she had a collection of pennies (in old money that is). The reason was that if she had to force-land in a field she would have the required coins to make a phone call from the nearest phone box.
A really sweet person. The phrase could have been invented for her."
And from Tony Rees, a former member of Alouette who now lives in Perth Australia....
Ah, dear me,
Reunited in the spectral sky, where the weather is always gorgeous and you have tailwinds wherever you fly.
I remember Audrey so well. She was one of those lovely people, who never found fault with others, and always did the washing-up!
And she never flew without her handbag, even in the Chipmunk, which didn’t have a lot of room for anything.
What a marvelous reminder to us all that a perfectly ordinary, and fairly timid, housewife of the ’60s could take on something as outrageous as learning to fly. She overcame all the obstacles, did it well, and went on to become a competent pilot.
Fly free, Audrey, we remember you with great fondness.
And a final note from Mike Warner;
The funeral of Alouette Life Member Audrey Hills was held at Eltham Crematorium on June 23.
Her daughter Carol said that her mother — modest, unassuming, hated a fuss — thought of herself as an ordinary woman of her times but was in fact extraordinary.
A mother of two who taught secretarial skills, Audrey rode a moped until eventually taking lessons to drive a car. Her dream of learning to fly was achieved when she ‘got her wings’ at Alouette Flying Club, where she took on the role of secretary. She could also be found making the teas and coffees.
Among the mourners was a next door neighbour — the same next door neighbour she’d had for an amazing 62 years
No doubt many members will remember the old bench seat that was outside our clubhouse for many years, slowly deteriorating to the point where it was no longer usable.
Well after considering the options, the committee decided to donate it to the Bluebell Railway.
Since it was originally a railway seat anyway and the railway has recently been extended into East Grinstead, we felt they would make better use of it - which they have.
As you can see, it has now been restored to its former glory and can be seen on the Bluebell's East Grinstead station platform.
We have secured some new Alouette clothing which would make a great present for the pilot in your life - or why not buy one for yourself to keep out the cold on those windy days when you are checking out the aircraft?
We have blue Windcheckers, like the one shown, available in a variety of sizes and all with the Alouette logo embroidered on the front. These are really warm, have zip pockets, a breathable lining and are water resistant. These are really good value at £40 each.
Also available we have sweatshirts and polo shirts, also in blue, with the Alouette logo embroidered on them. These are just £15 each.
If you want to try any of these for size or would like to make a purchase, please contact any committee member who will be pleased to help.
Recently our Warrior had a scrape around the back of the maintenance hangar. Read flying instructor Bruno's interesting and informative report - and the conclusions he draws from the incident.
An account of a trip to Waterford, finally completed in August 2011 but attempted many, many times before!