BADMAC Club History

Written by Derek Brooks

Aero-modelling in East Yorkshire must have started in the 1930s or even before. Interested people banded together and formed clubs one that springs to mind was Hull Pegasus. One of the most attractive flying sites was Beverley Westwood a large area of common land. It was here, soon after the war, that control line flying took place at a situation close to the black mill.
As radio controlled modelling became popular it almost took over the scene. Of course the first equipment was home built using soft valves and relays and escapements, this was not very reliable. Before you flew you spent quite a time tuning the receiver, and as soon as you were satisfied, the model was quickly launched. If you took home an aircraft that had flown and was still in one piece you were ecstatic. Much of the first radio equipment that were built such as the ‘Hill’ receiver were from circuits printed in Aero modeller.

In May 1960 the first ‘Radio Control Models an Electronics’ was published. By this time commercial radio equipment could be purchased and the reed system using biased switches was taking over from the bang-bang escapement methods. By this time many people had become good pilots. In fact one of them is currently flying full size aerobatics. The largest engine used at the time was a Merco 35. All the flying still occurred on the original site and because control line flyers flew round themselves the radio flyers continued to do the same. The pilots and watchers were grouped in the centre. Apart from the fact that it is easier this helped to perpetuate left hand flying circuits. What a dangerous way to fly, there was no escape. At this point no club as such had been formed.

In 1970 the Pasture masters of the Westwood insisted that we moved our flying site to Burton Bushes, at this time it was realised that if the model flyers voice was to be heard we needed to band together.

There was some opposition to this, however on 1st. December 1970 at a room above a butchers shop in Hull, ten people gathered to form what became known as Hull Area Radio Control Society, H.A.R.C.S for short. The first club treasurer was Lew Parry who was the last of the original ten to remain a club member until his untimely passing in early 2008.

One of the memorable highlights of the early days was a Flying Circus held on part of a disused airfield at Catfoss. People turned up in their hoards each Sunday to watch both us and the model car racing.

Flying on The Westwood was taking place from an un-mown grass strip this meant that in the summer no take offs could be achieved due to long grass. Permission to cut a strip certainly enhanced the facility. By the early 1980s the club was at a high, the membership rose to almost 150. We affiliated to S.M.A.E (now B.M.F.A.) and used their insurance. Formal flying tuition was given to new members, the standard of flying improved considerably. A club owned trainer now exists to give newcomers a chance to become addicted.

It was about this time that because we flew at Beverley, the members  after much discussion and argument, decided to change the club name  to Beverley and District Model Aircraft Club,

Our activities cover virtually the complete range of the radio controlled aircraft hobby, Glider flying, Helicopter, sport and scale models and a recent revival control line flying. Two of the members have constructed jet engines with some success and several members are now flying gas turbine powered aircraft. The latest on the scene being a quarter scale B.A Hawk which flies beautifully.

Our meetings continue to be held on Tuesday each week as they always have done, originally on the Westwood in the summer followed by a visit to the local and then just the local in the winter months. Formal committee meetings are held monthly.

Possibly our greatest achievement in the recent past was to get permission to use Leconfield aerodrome, it took 25 years to acquire but we made it in the end.

Although flying from a concrete runway was much appreciated there came a time when the flying time that we were allowed was decreased. It was reluctantly decided that we no longer were receiving value for money. This and other problems were reducing membership. The hard core members decided that it was time to try much harder to find our own patch. This proved much easier than had been anticipated; in fact we were offered three sites to choose from. They were all good in their own way but a site at Routh, East Yorkshire became favourite. The membership rose dramatically and the members pulled together far beyond expectations, so much so that an impromptu whip round bought a ride on lawn mower. A large anonymous donation was also gratefully received. The farmer gave us an on-site clubroom and sewage sump. Our lawn mowers were stolen but we now have the grass ‘machine cut’.

Our winter club nights also changed their venue to Leven, some in the pub and for larger meetings, the sports hall where we introduced a new discipline, electric ‘round the pole’ flying. 

Our Routh flying site was reclaimed by its owners for development on 1st May 2008, and club members continued searching for a new site until our current site at Meaux, East Yorkshire was secured in the autumn of 2008. The club continues to fly at this site.