The Early Days

Chapter One

It was in 1933 that C.A Rippon, chairman of the new Northern Heights MAC arranged to have an open to all Gala Day at Epsom racecourse. The date proposed for this turned out to be Derby time. He was able to get permission to hold this event on the Great West Aerodrome, owned by Fairey Aviation (which is now Heathrow Airport) Following the success of this meeting some workers in Fairey's Hayes factory formed a club with a view in obtaining the use of this airfield for their regular use.

A meeting was held in the Fairey's canteen and the name of The Fairey MAC was to be used, but the works manager objected. So the name of Hayes and District Model Aero Club was used.

A first meeting for flying was held on a field at the end of Bourne Avenue, Hayes, (still there) until the aerodrome was available. By coincidence I (Josh) also used this field and time to take my Frog Interceptor and Warneford Demon out for an airing, having just moved to Hayes this was September 1933. Among the founder members I found a friendly and surprised welcome, names remembered are Col Bryant, George Lambert, Stan Banks, Jack Nott, E Batchelor, Mr Lee, F Milne, A Hornet, There was no junior section for me to join and meeting was held in a pub, The Black Dog, in Hayes Walk.

There was no model shop and materials were purchased from Model Aircraft Supplies, 171 New Kent Road, London in bulk and sold to members from Jack Nott’s house “Kismet” Gordon Crescent off Nestles Avenue. The club seemed to have prospered, new members were included that did not work at Faireys.

Remembered are Percy Clemson and Colin Brind from the EMI. A more influential member from this time was W.E Evans who became chairman for many years. W.E. Evans was a modeler from 1909 and started up the country’s first aero model periodical “The Amateur Aviator” and Aero Modelmaker in 1912. He was also a founder member of the SAME and the Paddington MAC 1910. He also started the list of British Records and kit reviews.

Being treasurer and Newsletter editor of the SAME set up a GB HL Glider record of 3min from Ivinghoe 1930 also successful power flier using 15cc Mighty Atom petrol engine in a 12ft model. W.E. Evans became Hayes 1st SMAE representative.

In December 1936 W.E. Evans gave a fill up to the newly started junior section by donating free kits, a 30in span junior club model “Sylvia” which was a 2/3 version of a Wakefield by Col Bryant, which had done well in a trip to a Wakefield competition on Warwick racecourse, a club coach had been run. W.E. Evans also gave thick 5 ply building boards for model. He owned and ran a woodworking family business, which was the first to import and machined Balsa for models

I (Josh) joined the club in 1935, but attended some function between 1933 -1935. Lots of new juniors joined with me to get a free model, plan and building board In the period 1935 to the outbreak of war September 1939 the club expanded to about 140 members, most joining just for the opportunity to fly models on the Great West Aerodrome! Meeting, for talks by experts and business were held every fortnight (tuesday evenings) at Wakefield Hall , Church Road, Hayes, until war was announced and then they were abandoned. (In the clubs meeting book for year 1939 it says WAR IS DECLARED).


Above photo is of the 1938 coach trip to Brighton

Chapter Two

After several weeks no bombs arrived and the meetings recommenced on the 1st Sunday each month, we had the use of the empty hall in the morning. Rubber RTP was popular then, in the afternoon some members went on till restriction said no more flying of model aircraft.

Gliders, winch launched were also very very popular at this time and our models were the most advanced in the country. in 1940 Hayes flyers came 1st 2nd 3rd in the SMAE 1940 Thurston Cup and placing in the first 3 in every competition entered until 1943! george Lambert then hon Sec left the club in 1940 when he became the Adjatent to 1083 ATC sqdn, Frank Brench became sec but shortly afterwards was called up into the Army and I (Josh Marshall) took over. The Club may well have packed up, but for John Wassell, becoming a member and quickly proved keen and a very useful competition flier. He also persuaded several of his friends to join and saved the club in these bad times.

It was my (Josh) ambition to win the SMAE club league championship, The Pugge Cup; We might well have done it this time with a few more members, we made a good showing, that was all! In 1939 our power fliers won all the SMAE awards. Call up and long factory hours took its toll, but in 1943 we supported the "Wings for Victory" exhibition in conjunction with 1083 ATC (which I was a model instructor) we gained some new members and the use of their hut at Townfield School, every fortnight for 2/6 (two shillings & six pence or 12.5p) for the rest of the war.

When the war finished, we re launched the club, using a hall in the Catholic School in Botwell Lane, Hayes. Many new members joined, many being keen ex-RAF personnel. Unfortunately, as we gained newly-demobbed members, those that had spent the war in reserved occupations were called up, and membership hovered around the 40. We had some good fliers and many competitions were won. It was now our ambition to win the London & District Inter-Club Knockout Competition, which was for teams of two gliders and two rubber models. We could field very strong teams and our efforts were well supported. There were bigger and stronger clubs such as Blackheath, Northern Heights, Park Air League and St Albans, but we usually met our match against Croydon. Some years as many as 64 London clubs entered, however, Hayes won the LDICCC at last in 1953. The winning team were Frank Brench, G. Over (rubber) W. Callender and myself (glider).(see photo below) We won this cup several times more, in spite of a rule change to only one each of rubber, glider, and power.


L to R - J Marshall, W Callender, F Brench, G Over

There was for some time a young and strong Club in Southall, which eventually folded and we benefited by gaining some good, effective members. Membership hung around the 40 mark for many years, SMAE affiliation being the main cost. A cycle shop (Rowleys) in Coldharbour Lane, Hayes was induced to stock modeling materials, and even gave us the use of a room to instruct juniors in the skills of modeling. Shortly after the war, Rowleys opened another shop next door selling only modeling plans and materials and some sports goods. A plentiful supply of engines arrived, which caused a great upsurge in control-line activity, starting at first in Botwell Recreation Ground in Central Avenue, every Sunday morning, until the council threw us off! We moved to Cranford Park, and new members arrived in droves. The Park was little used before the war, owing to the easy access to Fairey's field, and in fact it was ploughed up during the war for food production. Eventually, as rationing eased after the war, it was released a bit at a time for public use, and returned to modeling.

The North West corner of the Park was used for Control-Line flying, initially sport and scale, but we became a strong force with combat during the 1950's, even giving shows at Fairey sports days (seven in a circle!). Graham Rivers joined the Club about this time, and when his father's engineering business lost sub-contract work on aircraft, they concentrated on producing the 2.5cc Silver Streak diesel, which was originally good for combat and was developed into an excellent Team Race and free-flight motor. A 3.5cc engine, the Silver Arrow, was produced to fit the best Combat specification. Initially, the Club was not disciplined enough for successful Team Race, but Dave Balch teamed up with Dick Edmonds, set up a new British Record, and went in 1962 to Kiev as British Team members. Hayes took on the responsibility of running National Team Racing for several years. Having been provided by the Hayes Council the 2nd in the country. With a tarmac circle at Charville lane, we became a force in speed, Dick McGladdery and Kevin Lindsey being the stars.

Laurie Barr built perhaps our first multi-function radio model, and also became SMAE chairman. Alec Wilson, a member since 1937, did well with Wakefield, won the first post-war power free-flight comp, the Bowden Trophy at Heston, then turned to tailless models. His plans for Manx Queen and Manx Monarch are still selling today. Pete Hedgeman and myself went to Holland in 1957 and '58 showing the flag in tailless with glider and power models .During the '60's we assembled some effective free-flight fliers, in the form of Roy Wooton, Allan Armes and Laurie Barr with Wakefields, Jim Baguley with gliders, and John Thompson joined us from Ireland, where he was National Champion! In the 1970's, things started to fall apart a little. Dave Balch went to the USA, his replacement being John Carson. Roy Wooton and Alan Armes went to Finland as GB Wakefield team members, with moderate success, however, the former moved away shortly afterwards, as did Jim Baguley. Laurie Barr left the Club and the free-flight arena to concentrate on Indoor models.

Fairey's were supplanted by Westlands for ten years, but when they closed we lost Frank Brench and John Carson who moved to Yeovil. Building of the M3 across Chobham common put paid to regular use of this for free-flight, and restrictions at Cranford caused this discipline to lose popularity. Regular meetings have been held on Wednesday evenings at Cranford park since 1949, radio gliders eventually replacing free-flight and control-line. Alec Wilson was one of the first in the Club to fly radio, using home built equipment to control his Manx Monarch tailless in 1949. He also flew R/C gliders, running them up on a winch, then picking the transmitter off the ground to control the model. The first regular R/C glider flyer in the park was John Eveleigh, using a home-made radio, at first 27 MHz, then UHF! Since then, thermal soaring has become the main Club competitive activity, both within the Club and in inter-club competitions. In the latter, we have out flown ostensibly more competent clubs such as High Wycombe, Windsor, Richmond, and Hanworth, and now find it hard to persuade people to fly against us. Glider supremacy in the Club is now threatened by various forms of electric flight, which brings this narrative up to date and will be covered elsewhere. From the papers of the late Josh Marshall.


History of HAYES DMAC


1946 October

The club was reorganised in May this year, and now has over qo members. It has finished l0th in the Plugge Trophy, which is a great improvement over last year.
Once again we only managed to reach the second round of the London Area Cup. In the first round we beat Kingsbury by 1,171 sec., to 664 sees., and in the second round were beaten by Streatham, 1,103.6 to 928.2 sees. Competition results show that the club is reasonably strong with gliders, but is rather weak with rubber models.
Mr. Wilson has won three petrol contests recently-the Bowden International Trophy, the Bournemouth Reliability Trials and Petrol Competition at Eaton Bray.

1947 October

There has been an air of keenness in the club just lately. A. H. Wilson has proved to be on top of his form and since his inclusion in the British team to visit Switzerland he has become champion of this year's Northern Heights Gala, and followed this up with a win in the S.M.A.E. Tailless Contest, the second year running that a member of the club has won this competition.
On Saturday, August 30th, the club held the annual show in the Fairey Aviation Company's canteen.
The exhibits numbered about forty, and covered every branch of model activities. A display of r.t.p. flying aroused much interest and included microfilm-covered duration and speed models.

1948 May

The A.G.M. was held on March 15yh and all officers were re-elected. 1947 winners were presented with prizes, A.H. Wilson once more winning the power trophy, and W. Callender the senior and Junior trophies runners-up being F. Brench and P. Flower. Tailless models are receiving much attention lately. A.H. Wilson has had good flying with his new six footer and D. Barton made the best flight of over 6 min at Surbiton Glider Gala with his flying wing. J. Marshall has also maid a flight of over 12 min, with his Ace-powered tailless model. The flight, unfortunately, not being valid as record, as it was H.L.

1948 September

The club has now passed successfully into the finals of the L.A.C. knockout competition, beating Brentford and Chiswick M.F.C. in the third round by the narrow margin of 15.4 sec., after a very close fight. In the semi-finals, the St. Albans M.A.C. were beaten, the competition being flown off at the, Blackheath Club's Open Day.
J. Marshall has made a claim for the British power tailless, record, with a flight of 1 min. 23.8 sec., made at the Northern Heights Gala with his Ace-powered model.
Two club records have recently .been broken by P. Flower, these being the long-standing open rubber, with a flight of 8 min. 16.6 sec., and the tow-line glider, with a flight of 7 min. 6 sec., made in the K. & M.A.A.

1948 November


The first Manx M.A.C. Rally, held on September 6th, 8th and 10th, was attended by modellers from as afar apart as Folkestone and Durham.
On Monday, the 6th, the Manx M.A.C. provided coaches to take competitors and spectators to Jurby Aerodrome, 23 miles along the T.T. course, a really beautiful ride. At the aerodrome, the Governor, Air Vice-Marshal Sir Geoffrey Bromett, opened the Rally and welcomed the competitors. All the machines were inspected by His Excellency and party, and the contours winners selected. In a corner of the same hangar an outsize ham was being sliced up for lunch
After lunch a start was made on the Power Contest, 20 sec. engine run, and owing to the very strong wind, hand-launching was allowed.
The wind caused many mishaps : Poile, of Folkestone, had his wing snap, but repaired it in time to get third place-good work this ; another well-placed competitor did 21 sec. engine run on his third flight-most unfor­tunate. The writer kept clear of trouble, and with three flights around go sec. on a 15 sec. engine run, was declared the winner of the Travis Cup.
Owing to the Grand Prix m/c races being put back one day, Wednesday's programme was transferred to Friday, and we were faced with getting two days' flying through in one day.
A real half gale was blowing on Friday. J. Marshall, of Hayes, put up a great show with his tailless glider, which seemed to relish the wind. He won the glider and tailless competition with this one machine, and then went on to win the rubber as well-good work, josh. The writer lost his own tailless after 21 min. on the second flight, needing only 6 sec to win, so had to be content with second place. But the wind played havoc with most models which had shown such promise on test flights the day before.
Meanwhile, the C/L "bods" were doing their stuff in front of a large crowd in a hangar, on 40ft. lines. The low roof rather cramped any real stunting. S. Walker, of Blackpool, caught the roof girders with his undercart on the top of a loop, but survived to goon and win. The Nordec team won the speed event, with S. Walker's “Elfin " running well to get him second place.
On Friday night His Excellency The Governor pre­sented the prizes at the Palais de Danse, Douglas, before a large crowd. We then adjourned to the cafe, and amid coffee and cakes, flashlights, etc., we competitors thanked the Manx officials for a most enjoyable week, and promised to be back in force for next year's Rally.

1949 April

The 15th A.G.M. was an unquailfied success, some 40 members being present and despite the usual interruptions from the "backbenchers" the majority of the "bods" managed to leave before 2 am.The "Old Firm" were once again elected into office, J Sprateley, Chairman; J Marshall, Secretary; F Brench, Competition Secretary, and our wizard of finance Mr. Brind, Treasuer.

1949 August

Once again we are in the semi-finals of the London Area C.C., having knocked out P.M.A.L. after a really good fight. Both teams hit the 5 min. jackpot on several flights. Josh Marshall placed seventh in the free flight power competition at N.H. Gala, with a 4½ min. flight on a 10 sec. engine run. Dave Burton set up a new light­weight glider record of 24min at the same meeting.

1953 January

We are very proud to have at last collected the London Area’s Knock-Out challenge Cup.In a closely fought final with the Croydon M.A.C. on Epsom Downs we emerged victorious by a margin of 1 min 16 sec and one flight. The final scores being Hayes 30 min, 59 sec, Croydon 29 min, 43 sec. Both teams had a job to cope with damage caused by landing in trees and on the rooftops and the last flight was taken by moonlight. We are now getting down to the club competitions, all of which are to be held during the winter months. In the rubber series Geoff Over is proving consistently unbeatable with his conventional Wakefield.

1955 September

After the Nations, we looked forward to the Northern Heights Gala at Halton though with some apprehension on account of the size of the field. All had an enjoyable day, one of our members, E. R. Welbourne, collecting the Glider Trophy and the Gala Championship Cup and Josh Marshall collecting yet another second in tailless, this time in the Concours d'Elegance. The densely wooded down-wind edge of the drome caused no little trouble, and one of our members lost his lightweight glider. after a first round maximum. When it was eventually found the model was resting in the extreme top of an absolutely unclimbable tree, near two other gliders, neither of which could be reached.
,.. The club was much interested recently by the two Japanese engines brought along by a pros­pective member. One, an Enya 63, was a beauti­fully engineered 10 c.c. plain bearing glow-plug, costing only 48s. 6d. new, while the other, an OS 29 cost only 23s, although it is less well put together.
Flying takes place in Cranford Park every Wednesday evening, and keen and active fliers will be welcome.

(We still fly in Cranford Park! 50 years after this was published!) by the webmaster.

1955 October

The club passe into the semi-final of the L.D.I.C.C.C.; having beaten Northern Heights M.F.C. by 4:04. Mainly responsible for our victory were our two rubber men -- P. Hedgman, who clocked two maximums and 2:13, with a 300sq. in lightweight, and J. Wassell, with one maximum in a total of 8:16. The final score was Northern Heights 26:54, Hayes 30:58. J. Baguley recently went trimming with his brand new 1.5 F.A.I power model and came back without it, after a D.T. failure. Other members keep their models long enough to trim them right out! However J. Marshall’s tailless rubber model is giving consistent high times and showing up many orthodox models, Mr Woolls beware!! Models under construction at the moment in the club, include a 300 sq. in. lightweight, a Wakefield, A Y-Bar, and a 6ft tailless glider While our membership is small, enthusiasm is high, and we welcome any keen fliers in the Uxbridge, Hayes and Southall area. Club meetings take place every Wednesday evening in Cranford Park

1956 January

We regretfully report that we were beaten by West Middlesex M.F.C. in the final of the 1 L.O.I.C.C.C. by 36 : 49 to 29 : 24. Their win was mainly due to the exceptional performance of their large gliders, although J. Baguley did extremely well for us, with a Nordic, totaling 9: 07, with two excellent near maximum flights and an unfortunate downdraught. We offer no excuses; they beat us on a clean K.O.
We are pleased, however, to record the efforts of our members in the eliminators: both J. Marshall and J. Baguley hiving considerable success in the Power and AI2 comps. We were all very pleased to see J. Bagley placed third in the London Area Power eliminator with five three's and 2: 51 in the fly-off with his v.t.o. model with B.B. 1.49 Elfin. Jim really made it look too easy.
Our other success was J. Marshall's first place in the London Area A!2 eliminator, with his well matured {almost vintage) model. J. Baguley, flying very consistently, was placed fifth in this new event, with a total of 11:34. Extraordinary efforts in model preparation for the three eliminators enabled E. Welbourne to write-off three models, one per comp., attaining a grand total time of O : 29 for all three.
We are pleased to see Roy Burrows back in England after his National Service and starting modelling once more. Our club meetings are the held in Townfield School, Coldharbour Lane, Hayes, on Wednesday evenings. Prospective members will be welcome and will be sure of an 6 evening's natter on aero modelling topics, rest although, unfortunately, no indoor flying is permitted by the authorities.

1956 February

Apart from certain of the more boastful members actually talking about building a model, the only activity in recent weeks has been the running of two rubber and two glider competitions. Times are restricted by the present condition of our flying field, necessitating a 21 min. maximum under the very lowest wind conditions .Johnny Wareham, back on a 48-hour pass from the R.A.F., turned up to tie first place in the glider with E. Welbourne.
The rubber competition, run concurrently, produced winner F. Brench (who also records the total scores).The second pair of comps. were won by I. Marshall in rubber, with a I sec. lead over F. Brench, and E. Welbourne in glider. Our points system for scoring in the club comps may be of interest. The winner receives 100 points and the other competitors. percentages according to the ratio of their times to the winner's. A truer representation of individual ability is thus given, than on a points-for-place system. Four comps. are held in each of the three classes and competitors may enter three out of the four in any class, so if unable to fly in one, do not lose any ground. A certain member, who shall be nameless, has now applied for membership of the E.A.C.A.S. (Ex Aeromodeller Car Admiration Society), having purchased, we are assured a quite exceptional Austin 7 Special. Fierce discussion breaks out every now and then, since it is only a two seater, and its predecessor was a Vincent chair outfit. Comp sec.'s comments on this reduction of transport capacity were quite positive and completely unprintable.

All the above were in the Club News pages of the Model Aircraft magazine of the SMAE