RCM&E at 50 – Bertie Barnstormer


  • Bertie Barnstormer certainly polarised opinion during his 6 year reign in RCM&E. Here's a typical offering from 2004. 


Now is not the time to be complacent. The reactionary forces of political correctness are coming soon to a flying field near you. Do not think for one minute that the effete and out-of-touch British Establishment has overlooked our cosy little hobby. Far from it. Even as we speak, professional politicians in all parties, who have never held down a real job in their lives, aided by their Euro co-conspirators and their masses of lapdog bureaucrats, are plotting to curb your freedoms as a modeller. To add insult to injury, they are doing it with your tax money. Ask yourself, why does petrol cost so much? Why won’t they tell you what a gallon costs? We may soon have to fork out for an identity card, whilst the illegals, the terrorists, the drug dealers, and the ne’er-do-wells just ignore them. If modern Britain was a novel, you’d say it was too far fetched!

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The rot goes deeper. Just take stock. Think about all those other hobbies under siege from the forces of political correctness because they “take up too much room” / “are too noisy” / “are a threat to the environment” / “are anti-social” / “impinge upon other peoples rights” / “compromise the well-being of natural fauna”. Mark my words, unless we start a truly robust defence of our noble traditional aeromodelling activities, we will go the same way as power boating on Windermere. We shall suffer like those other celebrated and beleaguered British minorities – those rural communities who have the brass neck to reject political correctness and insist on following traditional field sports. 

The politically correct ‘nanny state’ fellow travellers in all parties, in local councils, and in the national parks have got the hang-gliders, the fishermen, the pony trekkers, jet skiers, the target shooters, the campers, the walkers, the rough-shooters, the motorcyclists, the off-roaders, the water skiers, and the model power yachtsmen in their sights already. And you’re next, chum, with that oily, thuriferous, model aeroplane of yours. If they get their way we’ll all be walking to work, engaging in non-risk hobby activities, staying in a lot, paying more tax, spending Euros, learning about other cultures whilst being totally ignorant of our own, and participating in nothing.

One is increasingly perplexed by the influx of feral gl*der guiders into Barnstormer Great Park. True, we do have turnstiles to control access, but this is merely a revenue generating device. Unfortunately we cannot tell which visitor is an innocent power flyer, or who indeed might be a covert sl*pe soarer. Old Man Gussett says the answer is ‘biometric testing’. This means that we should be able to identify suspects by unique physical telltale features. Though the government plans to record our fingerprints, or the patterns in the retinas of our eyes, Gussett plans a much more fundamental approach. He disappears into the lower workshop to work on the prototype Barnstormer Biometric Turnstile.

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One helps young Miss Gussett with her new political career and her latest speech, to be delivered in London on Friday. She has pledged to fight the nanny state and all its works, to derail the Euro gravy train, to defend power modelling in all its forms, and foremost, to actively protect our flying fields. Meanwhile, Old Man Gussett has almost perfected his Biometric Turnstile for the Great Park.

Gussett emerges triumphant from the lower workshops with his prototype Turnstile, on Chinese ARTF trainer wheels. His machine embodies a number of biometric principles:

● All gl*der guiders have eyes that are too close together.
● All gl*der guiders have faces ruddy with windburn, but have unnaturally pale hands from always wearing their furry gloves on the slope.
● All gl*der guiders are physically incapable of walking upright, because they spend so much of their time with their feet gripping the slope.
● Gussett has shown that if you measure the angle of their feet compared to their shins, you have a final, very accurate, biometric indicator.

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Gussett’s prototype Biometric Turnstile is very simple. The payee enters the turnstile. Hidden sensors detect his ‘shin angle’, which is compared to ‘known values’ for gl*der guiders.
To pay, he must now look through two holes to get his ticket. These holes are biometrically too far apart for any gl*der guider, so he therefore never sees his ticket, and cannot enter. A powerful spring then automatically ejects the gl*der guider back into the car park. Voila!

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. We begin our counterstrike against the politically correct nanny state. At her Guild Hall speech in London, young Miss Gussett takes the stage to rapturous applause from the members of the National Association For the Freedom Of Flying Fields, or NAFF-OFF! Her performance only heightens her image as a powerful and articulate woman – something strangely abhorred by the politically correct. The applause is thunderous. Our campaign has begun. Meanwhile at Barnstormer Towers, a BBC TV crew attends the launch of the new Barnstormer Biometric Turnstile. Unfortunately, the turnstile cannot differentiate between a gl*der guider and a media personality. There are a number of unexpected minor injuries to egos as a heap of TV commentators are dumped unceremoniously in the car park.

The fax, telephone and ISDN lines into Barnstormer Towers are red hot all morning. Government has got wind of Gussett’s successful Biometric Turnstile. They wish to order them in huge numbers for airports, the Channel ports, and the members lobby of the House of Commons. Barnstormer Defence Industries (Biomentric Division) goes onto 24-hour shifts to satisfy the demand. We will clearly make a mint.

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To Saint Nitros’ for Matins. Our dearly-beloved vicar, Ifor Tranni, reminds us of the need for compassion, and for Christian charity towards minorities in society. The whole congregation gets on its knees in contrition and prays for those who are sadly oppressed in British society. The vicar asks us to remember Charlie Dowel banned by the council from sailing his scale powerboat, complete with scale oil-slick, on the Holywell Park lake. In our prayers, we remember Dewi Chamfer – banned from flying his Gangster on the beach by the National Trust for endangering nudists. Finally, we remember Arwel Scarph chased off Moel Y Balsa with his sl*pe soarer over a near miss with the warden’s portaloo. Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do.

Pip! Pip!
Tally Ho!
His Incorrectness
Bertram Barnstormer

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