The "Flyers" was founded by Neil Harvey and the late Ron Gunter back in 1987, and soon grew to a club of high repute, with a membership rising at it's peak to 200 strong.
We build and Fly all forms and shapes of kites for the enjoyment and fun for all the family, be they 5 or 105!! With a quarterly news magazine containing quizzes, information, plans, etc.We can now also offer individual insurance for flying at any time any where in the world except USA and Canada.
Members hold Kite Workshops, Demonstrations, Teddy Bear Parachute Drops, Etc. at Fete's, School's and Events within our area for all to benefit from member's skills. The club can also provide children's kite making workshops for other events and organisations when the children will be guided through making kites that they can then take out to fly.
For 21 years until 2011 the Club organised the Annual International Kite Festival at Swindon. Due to a lack of public attendance and no financial support from the council or local companies this event has now been abandoned and has been replaced by the Fun Fly in September.
No Geographical area is defined for the coverage of the club, but we have members come from London in the East, Cardiff to the West, Brighton, Portsmouth, Gloucester and Banbury; we even have members across the world in Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada and Strong links with the Westport Windriders in Washington State, America.
The main attraction is our regular all-day Kite Fly-in at Barbury Castle (near Wroughton, Swindon), which is on the second Sunday of each month. A location that has the necessary facilities for us to stay all day. Unfortunately the local inteligencia decided that as they had no bonfire for November 5th 2009 they would use the cafe, (this burnt to the ground), and have a firework display in the toilets. The toilets have re-opened but the planned Visitors Centre and Cafe have been delayed by the ecconomic climate.
Unofficially, and a little more up to date!
WHKF is best known as a "Single Line" club because of the selection of large parafoil and flowform kites the club displays throughout the country, some of which are the largest in Great Britain. We just like setting records!
But don't think it ends there, this is the home of the "Ted Berets", Arthur Dibble's parachuting fauna! but he is not alone, there are now 5 or 6 club members into this activity. And the Class One Parachuting Teddy Bear record holder, with 99 Teddy Bears parachuting in one go, Vic Walker.
Sports kites do hold their own in the club, Home of team "Matrix Management" who were one of the top ten teams of the World Championships in the past, as well as Pair "Gemini", STACK UK Experienced Class Champions in 2003.
The low point,("High Point" said one person !!!), is the fact that we cannot support Buggying, due to the fact that it is banned at Barbury Castle by the local council (Shame). But we try and make up by letting the British Power Kitesports Association (formerly British Buggy Club) have good access to the airfield at our Festival when we have been able to use Wroughton.
Over the past few years the club has been running kite building workshops for kite flyers, in February and October thanks to the efforts of Dave Robinson, very popular and varying subjects have been run, something on the lines of the famous Fort Warden Retreats held in America. Due to dwindling numbers caused by other clubs following our lead and by the recession this has been reduced to just the one, usually in October.
A recent development is the new national governing bodyBritish Kite Flying Association (BKFA), of which the WHKF have been members since its inception, the aim of this organisation is to promote and support kite flying throughout the country and to assist the local clubs, like ours, with technical, logistical and legal knowledge. We feel it is important in this day and age that a national representative body is available for our sport and hobby. This has proved invaluable with recent changes in insurance.
The Club has now also become the only British club to be affiliated to The AKA, the American kiting organisation with world wide membership and in 2007 were awarded the Kite Club of Year.
So there you have it, not just a club, more a way of life!