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I welcome extra images for this page, as long as you are capable of delivering them in JPEG format with the size of each file not exceeding 100K (most of the ones here are much more heavily compressed than that) and in 640 by 480 resolution or less. You can find out how to contact me or the organisers of this flight at the end of this page.


Firing up the Balloon, 24148 bytes

12th July 2000; 7:29 pm, British Summer Time

This collection of pictures was taken on a Ballon flight organised by Heart of England Ballons, starting out from Cross Lanes Farm, at Walcote, near Alcester, and heading East-North-East to Warwick, skirting Stratford upon Avon and crossing the M40 motorway and Grand Union Canal en route.

To keep the time to load the page down to a bearable minimum, I have split the collection of graphics and text into several sections, each of which can be loaded and viewed as a separate page. This should also make it easier to add pictures when some of the others who went on the flight get in touch with me with their own images.

Lift-off Preparing for lift-off Companion Views of the other balloon

Sky Views Images in flight Landmarks Landmarks from the air

Landing Coming back to earth Finale Packing up the balloon

Our pilot in the rainbow balloon was Roger Sanderson, who organised the balloons spectacularly used in the first Batman film, and appeared as a Joker (with a pointy beard) into the bargain. Here he looks more like Biggles....

Biggles?, 55299 bytes

After two weeks on the film-set he collected two pay packets - one for acting and one for his technical contributions - and promptly spent the money on (of course) a balloon of his own!

Our pilot at work, 27266 bytes

Having flown over this area for quite a few years, we carried a map with certain fields coded in two colours - to mark those which we'd been asked not to land in, and those which we'd been told definitely NOT to land in, on any account! The recovery vehicle carries a bottle of Scotch as a reward for the owner of the land where we touchdown, and the owner is also offered a flight if they want one. The EC directives about 'setaside' land have been a boon to balloonists.

Roger's enthusiasm and professionalism and willingness to explain put us at ease and made the flight far more comfortable and entertaining than it might otherwise have been. Thanks also go to Martin, mission control in the Land Rover, who kept us in the ground at the beginning and followed us by road till we landed, collecting the ballon and ferrying us back to the launch site to rejoin our own vehicles.

Flight organised by Heart of England Balloons (

Heartfelt thanks to my partner Chris Lyle for imaginatively and generously giving me this flight as a Christmas present!

Copyright © 2000 Simon N Goodwin (simon at clay dot + All Amiga - Wintel free zone :-)