My first day at Cromer

My first memory of Cromer still stands out very vivid in my memory, and occasionally I still have a laugh about it. I had rang Greg Thompson and asked if he would allow me to fly from the Norfolk club site at Cromer, and there was no problem. Although Greg did ask if I would be interested in joining the club, which I told him was no problem and that I would love to join. He also laid down the law that I would not be allowed to drive up to the light house, and that I was to leave my car on the main road.

Came the big day and I arrived and parked amongst few other cars that were also parked on the main road by the mouth of the drive way that led up to the light house. As I got out of my car to remove my glider from the roof, I noticed that most of the other cars still had their gliders on the roof racks. To me I just assumed that maybe the wind was not what was required to fly this site. However, I also noticed that on top of some of the gliders there was also a golf trolleys. While other cars had them on the back seat. Not a bad Idea, I’m thought. On a bad day when you can’t fly at least you can play a round of golf, so the long trip to Cromer would not be wasted. My first thought was that these Norfolk guys had covered all the bases, as they say.

I decided to walk up to the light house just to see what the site looked like, and upon my arrival I was greeted by a few members of the club who introduced themselves to me. Sadly the wind was very light and most of the guys were moaning about it so I just said, “So I guess this is not a bad time to play a round of Golf”. All of a sudden it went very quiet as they all stopped what they were doing and looked at me in a funny sort of way, but never spoke. I guess they thought I was making fun of them. So I let it go not wanting to get off on the wrong foot with my new found friends.

Half an hour later I was still not in conversation with anybody. However, to me it seemed like the wind was picking up so on my own I headed back down the drive to my car and took my glider off the roof of the car and headed back up what turned out to be a very steep climb especially with a glider on one shoulder and a bag of gear in the other hand. By the time I got back to the cliff, the other members were surprise to see me with my glider, but agreed I had made the right decision, because the wind really was starting to increase. With that they all hurriedly disappeared back down the hill while I rigged up.

Can you imagine my surprise when a half a dozen guys suddenly appeared at the cliff face all pulling their gliders that were strapped to a golf trolley. I felt a bit of an idiot not working it out earlier, what a great idea. Not only that, where as I was still panting after carrying mine up on my shoulder, these guys had not even broke into a sweat.

Very next day I told my wife I was taking up golf, she replied “Your not giving up hang gliding already are you”.

Terry Aspinall

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