23 Aug Certificates awarded to students at Midland Gliding Club
Deputy Lieutenant Katherine Garnier spent a very enjoyable and happy afternoon as a guest at the Midland Gliding Club situated on the Long Mynd. She was delighted to present certificates at an award ceremony at the invitation of Clun resident Professor Marion Wooldridge, who is Liveryman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots (HCAP), a livery company of the City of London. The Company is honoured to have His Majesty The King as patron.
HCAP is a philanthropic membership organisation which represents and protects the interests and welfare of pilots and navigators and strives to encourage and assist all those, from any background, who wish to become a pilot. Every year the Company offers residential gliding scholarships to students aged 16 or older, regardless of their level of flying experience, who are chosen by the awards panel. The Midland Gliding Club, which is largely run by volunteers, is an approved Junior Gliding Centre. They welcomed four HCAP scholarship students to experience not only the excitement of flying, but to learn about the structured, yet enjoyable environment of an operational airfield, interacting with committed and enthusiastic volunteers. Having successfully reached the end of their week’s training each student received their certificate before describing the variety of skills they had learned throughout their stay. Instructor Andy Rands and club Administrator James Moores praised their teamwork explaining that it takes a minimum of five people to launch a glider and no one can get into the air without the help of others. Each took responsibility for their actions and in addition watched out for the safety of others, supported one another and socialised with club members. All four plan to apply for further Air Pilot scholarships in the hope of securing a future career as a pilot.
Founded in 1934 the Midland Gliding Club is one of the oldest in the country and welcomes members from all backgrounds and from over the world. It is a Mutual Society, that depends on members voluntarily doing the day-to-day tasks that enable the club to thrive and operate economically. Weekend instructing is free to members, provided by trained volunteer instructors while two professional instructors are employed to teach on the weekday professionally led courses. These weekday courses enable the club to stay open for member flying seven days a week during the summer.
The Honourable Company of Air Pilots was established in 1929 (as The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators), became a Livery Company in 1956 and was awarded Honourable status by the Late Queen Elizabeth 11 in 2014. It is unusual amongst Livery Companies in that it has a large worldwide membership base of circa 2200, of which (currently) approximately 570 are Liverymen. It is run by a Court of approximately 25 elected Liverymen, and before moving to Shropshire five years ago Marion Wooldridge was a Court member for six years. She also spent time as Chair of the Technical Committee, and as a Trustee of the Air Pilots Trust.
Having accepted the incredibly generous offer of a flight with instructor Andy Rands, Katherine was able to watch the young pilots put all they had learned into practice before being winched into the sky to soar over familiar South Shropshire landmarks including the Stiperstones, Long Mountain and Corndon, Bishop’s Castle, Church Stretton and Craven Arms
Midland Gliding Club contact details 01588 650 206 or email email@example.com
HCAP scholarships contact details: Angie Rodriguez 020 7404 4032 or email firstname.lastname@example.org