GBRCAA Beginnings

This information has been provided by John Mee and has been added to these pages on the 24 September 2007,  after enquires were made on the GBR/CAA forum about the origins of our Association.  

Dear Keith  (Jackson – News Letter Editor of the time) 

I came across the following article which was published in the May/June/July 1995 issue of the newsletter and thought it might interest new members as to the birth of the GBR/CAA. This was written by the late Geoff Franklin. I scanned the article and made some small corrections but it is 99% as it was written. Hope you enjoy it. 

G.B.R./C.A.A. (formed December 2nd 1978) – How it came about! 

I had a telephone call from our Chairman Brandon asking me if I could do a few words on how the GBR/CAA was started – so here goes. 

First it goes back a long way when I had the idea of a separate association for aerobatics. I was on the R/C Tec committee for many years and we had a rep for each of the contests we ran (Aerobatics, Pylon. Gliders, Scale, Helicopter and later Club 20). 

Well I always got the job of CD for the 6 Centralised meetings, getting the airfields and judges organised etc. Whilst running these contests I realised that newcomers did not have much chance of getting anywhere in the results as we had a hard core of about 10 top fliers. I did ask the SMAE if we could organise some more classes and they said, “you want it. You do it”. 

After having a chat with the regular aerobatic fliers I organised a meeting at Neville Holmes hotel for December 2nd. Around 5O or so fliers turned up and the talk started. First we wanted a Chairman, so Nev Holmes was asked and he accepted. After that the following people were nominated as follows: – 

Terry Watson                                       Comp Secretary.

Sue Robinson                                       Secretary

John Robinson                                     Treasurer

Bill Timlock                                           Chief Judge

Tom Isom                                              P.R.O

Myself                                                   News Editor 

Terry and Kath Watson and Sue Robinson had assisted me for many years in running the centralised meetings and could be relied upon to do a good job I was the CD but I also trained all of my judges

15 in all whom would sit on the flight line and judge the contests. After one season they were all vetted and asked to join the happy throng. 

I should like to pay tribute to the following people for the great work that they did in the early days. 

Dick Pavey. John Blackman. Peter Cappleman. Owen Giddings.

Val Gasgoine. Bob Hall. Dave Hulme. Tom Isom. Bill Timlock.

Derek Taylor. Yvonne Weller. Bob Binley. Russ Tomlinson.

Derek Giles and Gareth Thomas 

What a great crew they were. 

Next on the agenda was to organise our first meeting in order to sort out who flew what, as we had decided on a Master and Senior class. This was to be held at RAF Swinderby on February 25th 1979.  The weather as you may realise at that time of the year was lousy but on the 25th the sun shone and it was dead calm.

 About 60 or so fliers came along, so with all the judges we had several flight lines available and it was on with the flying. We flew all day and ended up with 21 in the Master class and the rest in the Senior class. Each flier had about 4 flights and the rest of the time until dark was spent with the Master fliers giving help and advice to all the new recruits. All in all avery good day and the GBR/CAA got off to a good start.

 During our first year we had 45 contests and brought in the Standard class with the points system which allowed the fliers to upgrade themselves Membership rose to about 180 and looked like never stopping. The first contest was held on my own club field – The Larks – and we had 33 fliers. We also organised the Home International and our own GBR/CAA Championships for all classes.  At this stage it crossed my mind that Yes, I thought the Great Britain Radio Control Aerobatic Association was here to stay. We became a specialist body to the SMAE and were left to do our own thing which, I am pleased to say is still going strong.

 These days I do not do much as age and health prevent this but still keep my one good eye on how things are going in the GBR/CAA

 So keep up the good work chaps and I guess I will be along to one or two meetings to see you all and have a natter.

 All the Very Best.

Geoff Franklin


I know quite few of our more mature members will remember the first meeting of the GBR/CAA, I got to know Geoff Franklin when he was judging at the 1979 World Championships together with the British team of  Ken Binks, Martin Macintosh, Phil Stevens and the team manager Neville Holmes. We all had a great time and I think this was Ken’s first World Championships. 

John Mee