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The way we were....

some 8mm film of club activities in the 70s and early 80s

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Peter Christy15/11/2017 17:56:13
935 forum posts
Watford Wayfarers club activities in the 70s and early 80s!
A while ago someone asked about the "Battle of Britain" models. Well, you'll see the Messerschmitt 110 in action here!
You will also spot some well known figures and forumites before they were famous!
Percy Verance15/11/2017 18:26:37
6482 forum posts
110 photos

Mmmm, looks a bit close to those houses. It didn't seem to matter much back then, but it's probably much less acceptable today......

Crowds of spectators too. That's something some clubs might seek to avoid these days. Certainly my club tends to avoid the limelight, and we fly in a relatively remote location quite some distance from habitation. 

As someone who switched from flying control line to radio in the 70's, I've seen our hobby (and the public's perception of it) change a lot. For example, there is much less tolerence of noise today.



Edited By Percy Verance on 15/11/2017 18:47:34

Colin Carpenter15/11/2017 19:06:21
478 forum posts
34 photos

Ah yes ! Following your chopper round the field whilst attempting control !! I remember that ! In Bath MHC we all stood around the field hovering in little spaces at the same time !😫😫 Fantastic ! Colin

Martin Harris15/11/2017 20:27:03
7560 forum posts
188 photos

Thanks for posting these.  They certainly bring back memories!  I remember watching your first solo film at a club meeting far too many years ago.

Was the "new field" the one at Chenies? I think I spotted myself around the 8 minute mark but it's worrying as I don't remember the day at all!  Was the skinny blonde youngster John Greenfield - I know I had trouble recognising him when I got back into the hobby at the turn of the century...

Edited By Martin Harris on 15/11/2017 20:37:21

Josip Vrandecic -Mes15/11/2017 22:11:31
2868 forum posts
241 photos

Dear Peter, these are precious and invaluable filming. I am from your generation and therefore very well understand and appreciate your RC engagement in those long pioneer o

Note: John Sharman in 9:18 ...a weak engine, tall grass ,short runway and a strong wind did not mind him in wanting to take off.


Martin Harris15/11/2017 22:40:06
7560 forum posts
188 photos

Scrub the last question - I've spotted John now...I think I'm in that shot too...

Mike Stevens16/11/2017 07:33:03
455 forum posts
57 photos

All looks pretty chaotic - pilots standing all over the field - those were the days............face 7

ken anderson.16/11/2017 09:42:37
8022 forum posts
729 photos

thanks for sharing peter...indeed happy days and memories....

ken last century dept.

Jon Laughton16/11/2017 09:53:44
1075 forum posts
89 photos

Peter - thanks for the nostalgia I really enjoyed it!

Oh for the days when we were slimmer and had hair....wink

John Lee16/11/2017 10:22:24
512 forum posts
42 photos

Wonderful Peter, I could smell the castor & nitro impregnated on the rally jackets. Whilst I was at the other end of the country the parallels are such that it brought back many memories.

Eagle 89916/11/2017 11:14:34
150 forum posts
15 photos
Posted by Jon Laughton on 16/11/2017 09:53:44:

Oh for the days when we were slimmer and had hair....wink


And it appears that November Juliet is still airworthy yes


Alan H16/11/2017 11:48:29
28 forum posts
1 photos

Pete, I've got some standard 8mm video from the late 1960's somewhere up in the loft that might be fun to see again. How did you go about digitising your old film?


Peter Christy17/11/2017 14:30:46
935 forum posts

Thanks for all the comments, folks! Quite a few questions there, so I'll try and reply to as many as possible!

Percy V: Yes, it was a long time ago, and as I captioned, "Elf'N'Safety" didn't loom so large back then! Nowadays no-one would dream of taking off towards a crowd line, or so close to houses, but it was a different era, and I don't think we ever had an accident that involved anyone outside the club! No Achievement Scheme back then, either!

Martin H: Yes, the "new field" was the one at Chenies. I thought you would probably be in there somewhere, but bearing in mind all this was shot over 30 years ago, there are a few faces in there I couldn't marry up to names! Apologies!

Josip: IIRC, that Tiger Moth was powered by an HP 61, probably the most powerful motor of its era, but still barely enough to haul that Tiger Moth aloft! Mind you, the real thing wasn't much better....!

Eagle 899: Yes, I know NJ is still around! We had two of them, G-ARNK as well. That is also still flying, but has been converted to tail-dragger configuration. They both clearly survived my early attempts at landing! wink

Alan H: One of the WW club members was a fairly senior engineer at BT, and he constructed a home-made telecine machine using a stepper motor, an old projector and a webcam! He passed it on to another club member - a former BBC video tape editor - who transferred the films for me. Its a fairly slow process, running at only a few frames a second, and because of the slightly Heath-Robinson nature of it, it needs to be constantly monitored to avoid damaging the film. But it produces excellent results, auto-focusing each frame before capturing it! Youtube has softened it slightly, but the original video is pin sharp!

It does need to be slowed down in a video editor after capture, as otherwise it will run at 25 or 30 fps instead of 16.

Its certainly much better than my original technique of simply pointing a video camera at the projector screen!

There is now a factory in China (where else?) manufacturing a high end domestic 8mm telecine:


There are some youtube videos showing excellent quality from it, though some users report problems with over-heating belt drives and faulty preset focus. Also, it reportedly suffers from compression artefacts, though the youtube videos look OK. They've just announced a new (and probably more expensive) version, which has a higher resolution and can handle bigger reels. One of those is on my "must get" list, as I also have a stash of 8mm films, including quite a lot taken at the Nationals in the mid 60's at RAF Hullavington! We probably won't see the new version in Europe until the New Year, though.



Edited By Peter Christy on 17/11/2017 14:47:09

Seraph17/11/2017 16:12:26
25 forum posts
7 photos

image.jpegimage.jpegimage.jpegimage.jpegHa! Hullavington in the 60s. BristolRCMAC

Alan H19/11/2017 00:28:47
28 forum posts
1 photos

Pete, thanks for all the information regarding the digitizing of the old 8mm film. For the small amount I have I will try pointing a camcorder at the projected image but with frame rate differences and an angle between the projectors view and that of the camcorder I don't expect much. The projector has been up in the loft for years so goodness knows whether it will even work.


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