The exact origin and formation date of the New Plymouth Model Aero Club is unclear, suffice to say that some history was recorded by one of our members, Don J. Robinson who joined the club as a 14 year old member.  He has written the following about the club from his knowledge.

I joined the NPMAC in 1953 as a junior at the age of 14.  Other juniors who joined about the same time were:- Ross Giddy, Graeme Gilliver, Barry Gilliver, Barry Cardiff, Pat Spellman and Malcolm Sexton.

I can remember being told by senior members that at one stage there were two model flying clubs in New Plymouth.  One was called the New Plymouth Model Aero Club and the other the New Plymouth Model Flying Club, if my memory serves me correctly on the second name.  I am not sure if both clubs existed before and/or after WW2.  The original NPMAC goes back prior to WW2, as can be proved by the “Champ of Champs” shield which has the name “J. Joll, 1936” engraved on it.  In case I am incorrect with the date, the exact date can be checked by reference to the shield.

When my family was on our way to the 1986/87 Gore Nationals, we stayed overnight in Wellington with Shane Willard.  During the night, while glancing through some early Wellington club bulletins, we came across an article about the Second Official Flying Meeting of the NPMAC on 6 January 1935.  Further on in the bulletin it was mentioned that Mr. F.R. Bullot was the president of the NPMAC at the time, and that a second club existed in New Plymouth called “The New Plymouth Model Flying Club”.  This bulletin was dated 16 January 1935, hence I believe that the NPMAC was originally formed in late 1934.  This information was published in the NPMAC bulletin of March 1987.

In the April 1987 NPMAC bulletin was a copy of a small article published in the Taranaki Daily News of 4 April 1987, under the heading “50 Years Ago” mentions a NZ record flight by J. Joll of Fitzroy, New Plymouth.  The NZMAA had only just been formed at this stage (1934) and the Wellington bulletin, called “Model Aircraft”, was regarded at this period of time as a New Zealand bulletin.  The NZMAA’s first Annual Conference was held at New Plymouth in 1936.  See the Wanganui Aeromodellers Club 60th Anniversary booklet, dated 1 and 2 April 1989.

I understand that the club went into recess during WW2 and I would guess that it was reformed about late 1945 or 1946 after the end of the war.  I believe that the late Mr. Gordon Smith of the “Bettair” model shop in New Plymouth was the president of the New Plymouth Model Flying Club.  The following is from my memory and some club bulletins so exact dates cannot be quoted but this may be the best information available on our club’s history.

1950’s

 

Members who joined in the 1950’s…(some may have been the early 1960’s):

Ross Giddy, Graeme Gilliver, Barry Gilliver, Barry Cardiff, Pat Spellman, Malcolm Sexton, Alan Barnes (deceased), Jack Wheeler, Chris Allen, Richard Olsen, Kevin Harris, Johnny Johnson (deceased), Colin Marceau, John Marceau, Len Birch, Stewart Sexton, Michael Clegg, Tony Pidgeon, Wayne Hodgson, Dave Bolton. Rod Brown, Rob Whalley, Graham Kindberg, Jim Hancock, Trevor Martin.

Members who held various official club positions:

Dave Howlett (President), Avis Howlett (deceased - Secretary), Colin McNeil, Bert Street, Lloyd Grundy, Leon Jury, Geoff Tubby, Don Robinson, B. Cardiff.

Events of note (All flying meetings were held on the old Bell Block airport):

Hosted the 1955/56 Nationals

1960’s

 

Members who joined in the early 1960’s:

Robin Southern, Bruce Lynch, Doug Lovegrove, Trevor Henderson, Peter Reid, Wayne Zimmerman, Rod Brown, Dave Bolton, Leslie Wheeler, Ted Bretherton, C. Morton, C. Johnston, Barry Rollo.

Members who joined in the later 1960’s:

Graham Kindberg, Mathew Connor, Dave Griffiths, Alan Charteris, Rodney Drake, Ray Guild, Allen Lawrence.

Members who held various official club positions:

Barry Cardiff (President), Janet Cardiff (Secretary), Don Robinson (1961 President, Recording Officer), Judy Robinson (Secretary), Kevin Harris (1961 Club Captain, Bulletin Editor and Free Flight Steward), Pat Spellman, Chris Allen (1967 Bulletin Editor), Lloyd Grundy (1967 President), Robin Southern (1967 Secretary), Trevor Henderson.

Events of note:

Hosted the 1960/61 Nationals

October 1961:

First New Zealand 1,000 lap Class A Team Race held at New Plymouth.  Was won by C. Allen/D. Robinson (New Plymouth) in 1hr. 8min. 4.5 secs. (possibly the first 1,000 lap Class A Team Race held in the world?)

October 1961:

B. Cardiff (Secretary) and J. Cardiff (Committee Member) resigned from the committee

October 1967:

Grass sown at the new Bell Block airport for Control Line circles

1970’s

 

Members who joined in the 1970’s:

Tony Brosnan, Dan Collis, Brian Allen (1970), Gary Pool, Marcus Downey, Alec Fuller, Mark Robbins, K. Ede (1971), Allison Shrimpton (1971), Ian Street (1971), Alec Pitwood (1971), Peter Leithbridge (1972), A. Sutherland (1972), Dave Bootten, Doug St. George, Tim Hutchinson, A. Pitt, S. Wood, G. Ellis. Bob McCready, Lloyd Vickers, Alan Barnes (rejoined 1973), Derek Lawrence (1973), Bill Pepper (1974), James Caldwell, Grant Squires, Michael Robinson (Deceased), Craig St. George, Alan Boniface, Robert Boniface, Leonard Krook, Bill Shannon (Deceased).

Members who held various official club positions:

Dave Bolton (Secretary 1970, ‘71 and ‘73, Club Captain 1974, ‘75 and ‘76), Graham Kindberg (Recording Officer 1971, Committee Member 1973 and ‘74), Rod Brown (Bulletin Editor 1970 and ‘71, Committee Member 1973 and ‘75), Allen Lawrence (President 1973 and ‘74), Rob Whalley (Committee Member 1973 and ‘74, President 1975 and ‘76), Trevor Henderson (Recording Officer 1973, Secretary 1974), Doug St. George (Secretary 1975 and ‘76), Chris Allen (Club Captain 1973, Recording Officer 1974), Carole Bolton (Bulletin Editor 1974 and ‘76), Alan Barnes (Recording Officer 1975 and ‘76), Lloyd Grundy (Committee Member 1973), Don Robinson (Committee Member 1975), Gary Pool (Committee Member 1973, ’75 and ’76), Mark Robbins (Junior Rep. 1973), Dave Bootten (Committee Member 1974 and ’75), Alex Fuller (Junior Rep. 1974) Bronwyn Kindberg (Committee Member 1974), Alan Charteris (Committee Member 1975 and ’76), Tony Brosnan (Junior Rep. 1975), John Hollins (Committee Member 1976), J. Thompson (Committee Member 1976), Grant Squire (Junior Rep. 1976).

Events of note:

Only approximately 12 members in 1970 which increased to approximately 40 members by 1972

Obtained the use of the maintenance tea rooms on the Control Line site in 1971

Club Control Line display models built in 1976

Radio Control flying site moved to Lower King Road flying site in late 1977

Radio Control flying site moved to Manutahi Road in 1978

Raised money for tarmac Control Line circles in 1978 on the New Plymouth Airport property at Bell Block

1980’s

 

Events of note:

Hosted the 1981 Control Line Trans-Tasman event

Control Line circles moved to new site at rear of New Plymouth Water Treatment Plant, Junction Road.  Site first flown on in May 1984

Hosted the 1985 Control Line Trans-Tasman event

Control Line club rooms constructed 1985/86

Leonard Krook  attended the inaugural Electric Flight World Championships in Belgium, August 1986

Control Line equipment shed upgraded and made permanent in 1987

Hosted a Control Line Aerobatics Clinic in January 1991 with Art Adamisin (USA) as coach

Members who commenced modelling with the New Plymouth Model Aero Club who have moved to other areas of NZ but still modelling:

Trevor Martin (now in Auckland), Wayne Cartwright (now in Auckland), Malcolm Sexton (now in Taumaranui), Trevor Henderson (now in Christchurch), Brian Howser (now in Hamilton), Michael Clegg (now in Hawera)

Members who have represented New Zealand:

1950’s/1960’s

Dave Howlett and Alan Barnes in Free Flight World Championships (Models proxy flown)

1976

Alan Barnes and Rod Brown in Control Line World Championships (Models proxy flown)

1979

Alan Barnes Free Flight World Championships

1981

Alan Barnes Free Flight World Championships

1983

Alan Barnes Free Flight World Championships

1985

Alan Barnes Free Flight World Championships

1983

Alan Wooster and Tony Withey in Radio Control Scale Trans-Tasman event

1984

Robin Boys and Craig St. George in Control Line World Championships

1986

Allen Lawrence and Tony Withey in Radio Control Scale Trans-Tasman event

1986

Rob Whalley in Radio Control Pylon Trans-Tasman event

1987

Rob Whalley in Radio Control Pylon World Championships

1991

Rob Whalley in Radio Control Pylon World Championships

1989

Allen Lawrence and Mike O’Grady in Radio Control Scale Trans-Tasman event

Control Line Time Trials:

1974

Allen Lawrence

1975

Rod Brown, Alan Barnes

1976

Rod Brown, Alan Barnes, Dave Bolton, Allen Lawrence, Chris Allen

1977

Alan Barnes, Don Robinson, Allen Lawrence, Chris Allen

1978

Rod Brown, Alan Barnes, Dave Bolton, Allen Lawrence, Chris Allen, Don Robinson, Bill Pepper

1979

Robin Boys, Craig St. George, Alan Barnes, Allen Lawrence

1980

Alan Barnes, Robin Boys, Allen Lawrence, Don Robinson, Bill Pepper

1981

Dave Bolton, Alan Barnes, Allen Lawrence, Robin Boys

1982

Alan Barnes, Allen Lawrence, Don Robinson, Andrew Robinson, Dave Griffiths

1991

Robin Boys, Rod Brown, Dave Bolton, Robert Bolton, Allen Lawrence, Chris Allen