HISTORY OF HDMAC
The Club was formed in 1946 by two gentlemen who were members of the Royal Observer Corps and under the auspices of the Air League of the British Empire, a body formed in the 1930s to foster an interest in flying within Great Britain.The Club was therefore originally known as The Huddersfield Air League Model Aircraft Club.Meetings were held weekly in the Air Training Corps Headquarters in the Town centre and subs were 6d (2½p) per week. Later there was an amalgamation with several small groups in the area and the Club was given it's present name.
Members were allowed to fly models on the privately owned airfield at Crosland Hill by permission of the owner Mr. David Brown, a local Industrialist who became the President of the Club.
As all model flying was Free Flight in those days a long flight could mean a chase of up to several miles to retrieve models.
In 1949 the Club took part in a Hobby Exhibition which was organised in the Huddersfield Drill Hall.
Models were almost all Rubber Powered or Gliders with just the odd Control Liner in evidence.
Control Line flying was at it's height by the 1950s and members would meet at week-ends in Greenhead Park near the town centre, when up to four CL circles could be in use at once.
The Club gave regular demonstrations at the Huddersfield Holidays at Home events.
Club open days were held each year at Crosland Hill when several hundred spectators would attend to see visiting fliers compete from a wide area. Members also gave control line demonstrations at local events such as the carnival on Denby Dale Cricket Ground.
Later when the airfield became much busier and eventually became a Commercial Airfield it was necessary to find a new home.
Fields in various locations were rented but all suffered from the problem of noise sensitivity. In an attempt to alleviate this, a rota system of flying from each field every third week was tried. One of the most used fields for many years was at Hade Edge. Unfortunately a combination of a sloping runway and dry stone walls claimed many a model.
In 1988 the Club was given the opportunity to buy it's own Club Flying Field known as The Whams at Upper Cumberworth, in open countryside with the nearest house being over a kilometre away. Planning Permission for the flying of Model Aircraft at most times of the day, seven days a week was obtained from the local council.
A decision was reluctantly made to temporarily withdraw from the BMFA in order to devote the whole of the Club's income to the purchase of the field and to the extensive work needed to bring it up to it's present standard. Needless to say the Club rejoined the BMFA and has been a staunch and proud supporter of the organisation ever since.
From the late 1960s the Club also had the sole use of the excellent Cheesegate Nab, locally known as Tinkers for use by silent flight models only, by kind permission of the Land Owner. This site was very popular with members and also was used for National BMFA F3F and EPP60 pylon race competitions.
In 1986 the Summer Wine Cross Country Glider Competition was instituted, where teams of four flyers would fly their large thermal soarers around an eight mile road course in open country, following the models in open vehicles and relaunching by hand towline when the models came down. Teams from as far away as the Medway in Kent and Kinloss in Scotland came each year and a handsome "Summer Wine" Cup was kindly presented by the members of the Invicta team from London. The competition was successfully held for 12 years, but eventually had to be dropped through clashes with other National Competition events and a series of cancellations due to bad weather. On at least two occasions the entire course of eight miles was completed from the initial launch.
The club also had a smaller version of this competition whereby members had to fly around a course using gliders powered by small diesel engines with fuel tanks of only 7.5cc.
In 2000 members of the club provided the flying shots and staged a deliberate crash for an episode of the BBC's Last of the Summer Wine, which was filmed around the area where we have our flying fields.
More history to follow...