Up Up and Away part 2

The comments to yesterday’s blog have reminded me about the other balloon-related event that we at Hospital Radio were involved in. We organised a balloon race, with balloons being launched from the centre of Southampton and a prize going to the sponsor of the balloon which travelled the furthest. Because the balloons used for this sort of things are all cheapies which perish, they had to be inflated with helium, tied off, and labels attached all on release day, which was fun: Also, because our chosen launch point was on the approach path to Eastleigh Airport, we had to get air traffic control clearance to launch!

On launch day, we built and netted an enclosure for the balloons to launch from: This had initially concerned us, we’d made a mistake with the formula for calculating how much room we’d need and were initially going to put a roof over Wembley Stadium. Anyway, we got ourselves organised and a team assembled to inflate, tie, attach and stuff into the enclosure got to work. Even at this stage we were still selling tickets to the public, so right up to launch time we were still adding balloons.

True to form we couldn’t resist the chance to wring every last penny out of the public, and we auctioned off the job of pulling the string which released the balloons, so one lucky little girl had an unexpected memory of her day out with her Dad.

The balloons flew, Hospital Radio made a nice profit, and we got some extra publicity when one of our balloons turned up in Italy – needless to say, this was the prizewinner. And we all went for a meal at our local all-you-can-eat meatfeast indoor barbecue place, which was nice. And one of our team got herself a new boyfriend from the event…which perhaps, on reflection, wasn’t so nice.

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