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Teenager soars to national gliding glory

Congratulations to Joel Hallewell, a Junior member at Wolds GC Pocklington, for his success in winning the Advanced Trophy at the British Glider Aerobatic Championship at with the highest score ever by a British pilot at that level. Joel featured in the Pocklington Post, other Yorkshire papers, on local radio and in the national Sailplane and Gliding magazine for his remarkable achievement at only 16, just two years after he flew his first solo flight on his fourteenth birthday at Pocklington.

 Next comes the World Championships in 2018 and you can help Joel on his way at


Pock Post Joel aero champ Sep 17 compSG Oct 17001 Joel Aeros comp

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Huttons Ambo village evening visit to Wolds GC

A group from Huttons Ambo village near Malton came on an evening visit to try gliding at Wolds GC earlier this year and wrote up their visit on their village website.

You can see the full story at

Huttons Ambo 1

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Plan for homes rejected as ‘aircraft could crash into them’

Hull Daily Mail (25 July 2017) reported on the ERYC planning committee meeting which refused the resubmitted application to build houses close to the main runway at Wolds GC’s Pocklington airfield

Hull DM POC 1 170725 lr

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Concern over building plan

The Pocklington Post published this item about the threat to Pocklington airfield operations from a proposed development on the approach/departure path for the main runway. Ironically it appeared in the paper opposite the previous story in “Press and Reviews” about how we are training world class pilots at Wolds GC!

Pock Post New Threat 170601004 lr

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Sky's the limit for Wilberfoss teenager Joel

The Pocklington Post published this story about Wolds GC junior member Joel Hallewell’s ambition to compete in the 2018 World Glider Aerobatics Championship.

Pock Post Joel aeros 170601005 lr

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Teenager Chris soars to maiden solo flight

Chris Edmunds recently  flew his first solo on his fourteenth birthday at Wolds GC, Pocklington, and his achievement was reported by the Pocklington Post and the York Press.

Please note that the Taster Day on 24 June referred to has been cancelled for operational reasons.

CE Pock Post 170518 lr

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The Wolds Way - Wolds GC in S&G April/May 2017

The April/May 17 issue of Sailplane and Gliding published Wolds GC Chairman Graham Wadforth’s observations on being involved in the filming of the BBC Look North programme about the Yorkshire Wolds Way – you can just see him in the rear seat behind presenter Paul Rose in the main photo.

The programme was transmitted locally on BBC One Yorks and Lincs in January 2017 and a national transmission on BBC 2 is anticipated in early spring 2017.

SandG Wolds Way comp

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Gliding club donate £2,000 to YAA

Last month the Pocklington Post published an article about our fundraising for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance at this year's Two-Seater Competition and Annette Bendelow's sponsored running in the YorkMarathon series. In addition a further £100 has been donated through John Pursey of Devon and Somerset Gliding Club who "enthused by ale and fund raising for YAA" at the Two-Seater Competition was challenged by his friend Lin of Knaresborough, to lose a stone in eight weeks - and he actually lost eighteen pounds.Pock Post 27-Oct-16 YAA Donation comp

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31st Two-Seater Comp - Gordon and Derrick prepare

The Press, York, carried our story of how Gordon Basey and Derrick Roddie of Wolds GC are preparing once more for our Two-Seater Competition, this year the 31st for the unique event that sees gliders (and pilots) of all ages pitted against each other.

YPress  white comp

Although the article mentioned that Derrick and Gordon have been “flying together for a number of years” they didn’t print the photo from thirty years or so ago of the pair at the Enstone regional competition, so for those that missed it on Facebook last year here it is again.

Facebook 2

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Pocklington Post at Taster Day 2016

 Pocklington Post reporter Poppy Kennedy and photographer Paul Atkinson flew with Wolds GC at our Taster Day on 23 July 2016 and last week the Post published a two page spread report and pictures from the day under the headline "Looking down at Wolds with a bird's eye view"

Altogether there were 115 visitor flights and Wolds GC will be donating £115 to Yorkshire Air Ambulance from the day's proceeds.

The prize for getting into the most photos goes to Club CFI John Norman who appears in three (can you spot him, he's smiling in all of them!).

The Post also published our press release before Taster Day and the day had very good support from Pocklington residents, many of whom took the opportunity of an early morning flight. The furthest anybody had come was from a New Zealand address, but it turned out they just  happened to be passing the airfield the day before and saw one of the banners, and not that the advertising campaign had reached the other side of the globe.

Pock Post Taster Day after 01 crop lr

Pock Post Taster Day after 02 crop lr

Pock Post Taster Day after 03 crop lr


Pock Post Taster Day after 04 crop lr

And from before Taster Day......

Pock Post Taster Day before crop lr

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Pock Post reports POC1 refusal and Flying Man Festival

This week’s Pocklington Post (12-May-16) had articles on the refusal by East Riding of Yorkshire Council of the planning application to build houses opposite the end of one runway at Pocklington Airfield and on the Flying Man Festival.

Pock Post POC1 May 16 comp corr

The Post discovered that the application had been dealt with internally by the Council rather than going to a planning committee. An ERYC spokesperson told them “No letters of support were received for the proposals”. However, the Post also reported that the applicant had told them “It’s early days, we only got the decision from the East Riding last week and I am currently considering my options.”

Pock Post FMan May 16 comp corr

Last weekend also saw the Flying Man Festival, raising funds for All Saints Church in Pocklington. On the Friday evening Wolds GC instructor Will Blackburn flew with Flying Man committee members Jonathan Mardall and Alec Ramsden and several Pocklington residents to get the Festival off to a flying start. The Wolds GC simulator spent the weekend in the church generating considerable interest again this year and raising about £60 for church funds.

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Planning application for housing on POC1 REFUSED by ERYC

The planning application to build houses on a site north of the airfield at Pocklington, directly on the approach to one of the main runways used by Wolds Gliding Club, has been REFUSED by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Wolds Gliding Club chairman Graham Wadforth said “The Club is very grateful for the support it has received from Pocklington Town Council, Barmby Moor Parish Council, the British Gliding Association, Sport England and the many local residents who objected to the planning application. It has taken forty five years to develop the Club to where it is today and this application presented a great threat to its future”.

In the decision notice ERYC said “The Club is an important recreational, social and economic asset to the town of Pocklington and the wider area. Sport England have designated the Club a Significant Area for Sport of regional importance. The residential development of the site would affect the continued safe and effective operations of the Club in terms of safe flying operations and potential impact on the safety and amenity of future occupiers ... as confirmed by Sport England, the British Gliding Association and Members of the Wolds Gliding Club. The significant potential impact upon the Wolds Gliding Club would cause harm to this locally and regionally important recreational and economic asset.”

ERYC Rej P1 jpg comp

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Is gliding at Pocklington on your bucket list?

It was, at number three, on Will Ramsay’s on 02 April 2016 in the Weekend section of the Hull Daily Mail. At number one was 'Pose naked with Spencer Tunick'. Of course there has long been a rumour that the the first flight on a 'Dawn to Dusk' day at Pocklington some years ago was flown by a pilot wearing no more than a parachute but Spencer Tunick wasn't there to photograph the event.

HDM Bucket 1 ed

Here’s Will’s full list:

1 Pose naked with Spencer Tunick

2 Abseiling from the Humber Bridge

3 See East Yorkshire from high in the skies (that’s us)

4 Dine with sharks at the Deep

5 Skydive from 10,000ft above the coastline

6 Take a trial flight in a helicopter

7 Eat a meal with a Michelin starred chef

8 See Hull from the big wheel

9 Run the Humber Bridge Half Marathon

HDM Bucket 2a ed

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"Reporter takes to the skies"

"Goole Times reporter PHIL WINTER experienced gliding for the first time at the Wolds Gliding Club"

We reported Phil's visit to Wolds GC a little while ago and his article appeared in the Goole Times of 28 January 2016.

Goole Times 1 300 comp

Goole Times 2 300 comp

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"Champions!" Sailplane and Gliding Feb/March 16

Not only honourable mentions for Sam Roddie in the latest, Feb/Mar 2016, Sailplane and Gliding for his bronze in the World Junior Championships in December in Narromine,Australia but also a cover photo from this year’s Wolds Gliding Club Two-Seater Competition by our own Des Ashton! Photos by Des also illustrate the article “Why Fly Comps?” in the magazine.

SG Cover doc comp

COVER STORY  Air in turmoil: K-21 ‘GBV’ (sniffer P1 – Mike Fox, P2 –Steve Ruffell) returning from an unsuccessful sortie during Pocklington’s 30th annual two-seater comp, before the day’s flying was scrubbed. Some local soaring in the background: the Pawnee ‘G-AXED’ is towing T-21 ‘DAR’ (Des Ashton)

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Wolds GC in Yorkshire Life "Eye on the Wolds" article

For the "Must visit.... Pocklington" article in the February 2016 Yorkshire Life magazine, p172 Yorkshire Life photographer Joan Russell came along to Wolds GC in December to take some photographs around the Club to illustrate the piece and here we are ..

Yorks Life II Feb 2016 crop red comp


Just in case you think this is a quick snapshot here's what you need:

  1. A photographer with a wide angle lens
  2. A stepladder (with a competent holder) for the the photographer to stand on
  3. A couple of strategically placed gliders
  4. Even more strategically placed Club members able to lean at the appropriate angle, look up and smile (?) at the same time numerous times
  5. Someone else to take pictures of the photographer taking pictures (thanks to Chris Price for the photo)

Yorks Life photocallAs you can see it was a good day and, with a brisk breeze straight down the runway,  after the photocall we got a dozen or so winch launches in with many over 1700'.

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Wolds Gliding Club goes "To The Pub"

Many visitors to the Wolds Gliding Club at Pocklington will also know The Plough at Allerthorpe. Last summer Greene King sent out video cameras to about fifty pubs to make short films of what goes on in their area as part of an advertising campaign for IPA and we contributed to The Plough's video.

You can see The Plough video by clicking on the image below and a compilation of a number of the videos at

ToThe Plough 2

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"Wolds pilot Sam earns World bronze"

Congratulations to Wolds pilot Sam Roddie who won bronze at the World Junior Gliding Championships in Narromine, Australia earlier this month as reported in the Pocklington Post on 17-Dec-15

Pock Post 17-Dec-15 Sam R

This is based on Derrick Roddie's press release report which is reproduced in full below. You can also hear Derrick's interview on West Wolds Radio at

Here's Sam (right) on the podium with his bronze medal along with team mate Tom Arscott (centre) who took the gold, a great result for GB Gliding while German pilot Philipp Schulz (left) took the silver

Sam Roddie-podium

Selby Pilot Wins Bronze Medal At World Gliding Championships In Australia

After a gruelling 10 days of flying in temperatures of up to 40C, 25 year old Selby glider pilot Sam Roddie has triumphed to win Bronze medal at the World Junior Gliding Championships in Narromine, Australia.

Over the 10 days, Sam has flown more than 3,500km (2,170 miles) in 35 hours 21 minutes of flying time and finished with a total score of 8,975 points, just 180 points behind the new World Champion, GB team mate, 23 year old Tom Arscott from Hampshire.

What makes this achievement even more fantastic is that before the start of the last day, Sam had fallen to 7th place overall, but a combination of brilliant flying and superb strategy, enabled the British team to completely outfly the 3 German pilots who had been beginning to dominate during the last few days.

25 year old Sam, an ex-pupil of Selby High School and Selby College, had his first glider flight at the age of 5, going solo at 16 and flying his first national competition at just 17 years old.

Although now living and working as an aeronautical engineer in Derby, Sam still flies alongside his father Derrick, as an instructor with the Wolds Gliding Club at Pocklington.

Dad Derrick (who was also Sam’s crew when he flew in the 2013 World Championships in Poland) said “I have been gliding for 35 years and this feels like the highlight of MY flying career, even though I’m 12,000 miles away. I can only begin to imagine how Sam, Tom and the rest of the team are feeling right now”.

All of Sam’s family (along with many in the UK gliding community) were up at 4am today, in order to watch the flights live, via a satellite tracking website. “I was living and breathing every moment of the flight” said Sam’s dad “and we simply could not believe it when the final scores started to come in. I can honestly say that there were tears and cheers in the Roddie household”.

“All of the family are extremely proud of Sam’s gliding achievements, but full credit must go to all the members and instructors at the Wolds Gliding, Pocklington, who have supported Sam to where he is today. Gliding is a sport which demands personal discipline, team work, and respect for those around you as well as basic flying skills and an ability for 3 dimensional tactical decision making. When flying in competition, you really do not spend much time thinking about the view!”

This will be Sam’s very last competition as a Junior pilot though he will continue to fly at senior level (where he has also been flying since 2011).

However, for the Wolds Gliding Club, this is neither the beginning or the end of the story, as the club has been the source of Junior pilots in virtually every World Championships since 2007 and has a real crop of talent snapping at Sam’s heels.

A recent law change means that the minimum age for solo flight has now been reduced from 16 to 14 years old and a number of really good pilots have already taken advantage of this at Pocklington. In particular, look out for Will Blackburn of Seaton Ross, Joel Halliwell of Wilberfoss and Lewis Kell from Driffield, all of whom look set to challenge for World Championship glory in the coming years.

The Wolds Gliding Club is always open to keen new members and for junior pilots in particular, there are numerous bursaries available to provide financial support to those who show a real passion for the sport.

Wolds Gliding Club Chief Flying Instructor John Norman added: "Sam’s achievement is a personal triumph and his selection to represent Great Britain is a positive reflection on the Wolds Gliding Club.  I can't say how much this will inspire junior pilots who now  realise that competition at World Class level is achievable and affordable.  His own dedication over the past 20 years has been equalled by the support from his mentors and fellow gliding club members, we can bathe in his reflected glory.  He is the fourth member of the Wolds to be selected at Junior level, and I suggest he won't be the last. I have no doubt he will continue to fight for a place in the Senior Team.  We already have two Senior representatives at European and World championship level."



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Pocklington Town Council objects to housing development

The Pocklington Post (17-Dec-15) reported that following the Pocklington Town Council meeting on Tuesday 08-Dec-15 the Town Council had registered an objection to the proposed housing development just north of the threshold of runway 18 at Pocklington airfield.

Pock Post 16-Dec-15 2


Plans for a new housing development in Pocklington have suffered a setback after the town council objected to the proposals.

A planning application has been submitted to East Riding Council to build the new houses on land to the north west of Barmby Road, near to Pocklington Airfield. The proposed site (POC-1) is not one of the sites that East Riding Council has allocated for housing in the East Riding Local Plan.

The plans have caused controversy, with Wolds Gliding Club, which is based at the airfield, claiming it may have to close if the scheme went ahead.

At a planning meeting recently, the town council heard from Jennifer Hubbard a planning consultant for the applicant, David Fielder. Councillors also heard from members of the gliding club and residents.

After hearing the various points the town council decided it would like to strongly oppose the proposal. It has commented on the application, saying: “The area is not included in the emerging East Riding Plan for development. The site was rejected because of its adverse effect the building of houses would have on the operation of the Wolds Gliding Club.

“The building of such houses would be dangerous to residents and those using the gliding club. If the emerging plan is to count for anything it must be adhered to.

“There is real concern about the risk of flooding as this area is already prone to flooding.”

A transport assessment submitted with the application has assumed there would be 250 houses on the site, but the figure would likely be signficantly lower than 250.


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'Gliders could crash-land on properties.....'

The Hull Daily Mail published this article on Saturday 28 November 2015 highlighting concern that the proposed development of housing on the approach to runway 18 at Pocklington Airfield, home of Wolds Gliding Club, will jeopardise aviation safety and the long term viability of the site for gliding.

HDM POC1 28Nov15

There’s still a few days left (closing date 4th December) to make your objections to East Riding of Yorkshire Council about the application to develop an estate of hundreds of houses just off the end of one of our runways. Wolds GC believes that, if allowed, this development would threaten aviation safety so much that activities at Pocklington would at best be severely restricted, possibly jeopardising the continuing use of the site for gliding. You can make your views known at

There will soon be many new housing developments in the East Riding of Yorkshire, some of them in Pocklington, but there’s only one place in East Yorkshire where you can learn to soar with national and international champions (and good luck to Sam Roddie of Wolds GC in Team GB at the Junior Worlds in Australia btw). If this development goes ahead it might make a modest contribution to easing  the overall shortage of housing in East Yorkshire but it could wipe out gliding at one of the premier gliding sites in the country.

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