Extracts from Sailplane and Gliding and other Sources

These extracts are of club news from old UK Gliding Magazines

May 1935

This club's nacelled ZoGLING which was illustrated in our last issues, is a brand new machine, built by Messrs. Zander & Weyl, and not a reconditioned one, as was stated in error. It is true that the same firm has recently reconditioned a ZoGLING, but it was bought by another customer. The sailplane which the firm is building for the club is now nearly finished; it has some interesting and original features which we are not yet allowed to divulge.

The club, we understand, takes a certain number of members form outside, subject of the condition that two-thirds of its members must be resident at the university. A unique feature is that it is intended to provide auto-towing facilities in the afternoons every day of the week. We hope the club will in time achieve the position held by many of the university gliding clubs in Germany, which can usually count on the support and co-operation of the teaching staff from the aeronautical and meteorological faculties.

September 1937

On 2nd September 1937 John Simpson (1915 - 2007) became the first CUGC member to get a Silver Certificate, why flying at Camphiil. A week later on the 8th September at the Long Mynd, John became the first person in the UK to fly in wave, flying in CUGC's Kirby Kite.



Two ex-CUGC members form Bristol Gliding Club


April 1939

Training has continued at Caxten most days this month. Many members have been plodding away steadily at spot landings in an effort to qualify the Easter Camp at Huish, and enough have been successful to ensure a good attendance of prospective "C" pilots. The latest DAGLING  has had longer 'life than most of its predecessors; perhaps the many modifications, including differential ailerons and enlarged skid blocks, are at last bringing their reward to our harassed ground engineer.

Sunday, March saw us at Duxford for the first serious aero-towing of the year, and Morison, Musker, Barry, and MacBean all had their first tows. The air was very smooth and only the BLUE GULL and MacClement in the club Kite were able to delay their descents appreciably.

Cambridge to Colchester In the Clouds.

Thursday, March 23rd,-Several consecutive days of magnificent gliding weather at last. Proved too much for three members who were staying on after the end of term. The club KITE was taken to Marshall's and from the second tow J. Pringle managed to connect and rapidly disappeared into a cloud at 3,500 ft. The wind was about 30 m.p.h., and the up-currents were confined to huge storms about 10 miles apart, so he stayed with this cloud for half an hour flying blind just inside the base and trying to find the central funnel of rising air. Then another storm started to the north and he flew towards it, finding lift as he approached and going on up to 5,000 ft. before the cold forced him to leave the cloud. Arriving over Colchester at 3,000 ft. he flew around and finally landed on a recreation ground in the middle of the town. The distance of 40 miles took 1 hr 40 mins., of which over half was blind flying in poor lift; below the clouds there seemed to be very little activity.

Attendance in the workshop has been unusually good this term, and the GRANTA fuselage, tail, and rudder are nearly finished and all the wing ribs made. It is hoped to be able to publish an account of this remarkable little machine in a future issue. The trailers have been overhauled ,ready for the camp, and a huge blue notice board has been prepared for the roadside at Caxton. This last is part of a drive for new members to keep the DANGLINGS busy in the summer.

For the benefit of those who wish to make use of the club's aero-towing facilities it might be as well to restate the charges. Country membership for the summer costs £3 3s (including aero-towing subscription), and entitles private owners to tows at 7s. 6d. (club machines 9s.). Those not wishing to join for the whole summer are charged 12s. 6d. a day membership and the same towing charges. Flying takes place at Duxford aerodrome most Saturdays and Sundays when the weather is good, and on weekday tows can be had from Marshall's Aerodrome in Cambridge beteen the hours of 1 and 2 p.m., provided previous notice is given to J.W.S Pringle (Tel. 4411). The club is hoping to have a hangar Marshall's by the beginning of May.

June 1939

In the absence of the TOTTERNIIOE, which is now being rebuilt, members are passing straight on to the CAMBRIDGE  after qualifying on DAGLINGS. The production of the GRANTA has been held up recently by the preparation of DAGLINGS for the Air Defence Cadet Corps camps.

Training at Caxton has proceeded steadily with two slight breakages. Seven new members have joined the club, five of them holding power “A” licences.  Of these, R. M. Lloyd had an aerotow a fortnight after his first trundle.

Aero-towing has taken place at Marshall's on week-days, and a hanger is now being built there for the club. On one occasion we managed to fit in four tows during lunch hour. D. MacClement flew 15 miles to Guilden Morden, and H.W.F. Jones just missed his "Silver C" distance by going 30 miles to Stevenage.

May 6th and 7th. 28 aero-tows , made at Duxford this week-end with a total of 18 flying hours.  J.W.S Pringle reached about 7,000 ft. in cloud, but had no barograph with him, and P.A.W  flew to Cambridge and back in the MINIMOA.

The club is giving its usual demonstration on Empire Day at Duxford. Certificates Gained.-"A": Lloyd, Hammick, Melvill, A. Walker, Sharp, and Walton. "B": Lloyd, Hammick, Melvill, Selenyi, Clapin, and Lyon.

August 1939


October 1939

A Wedding: The marriage is announced or Ralph C. G. Slazenger and G. Margaret Ascroft on Septemher 14th at Sandwich" Kent. Mr. Slazenger is well known as one of tilC tounders or the Cambridge University Gliding Club and as a sailplane pilot. After winning: the altitude prize at this year's National Contests he landed into a stone wall, and for some time afterwards had to wear a plaster support for his back, but he is now a lot better. Miss Ascrort is a member of the Derbyshire and Lancashire Club, and has been responsible for much of its Press publicity.


Nov 1939

Unfortunate the club has been unable to do any flying this term owing to the band on civil flying in this area, but we are hoping to get permission to carry on at least Primary training in the near future. At our former site the hedges have been pulled up and the ditches filled in, so that when hostilities cease we hope to be able to offer unrivalled facilities for both winching an aero-towing.

According to latest information, John Pringle is “somewhere in Scotland” Fed Gardiner, John Parker, Mike Thomas, Duggie Davie, Nat Barrie, and Rickets are showing the R.A.F how flying should be done, while Walker and, we believe Pat Pringle are Meteorologists.

In Cambridge we are glad to have George Pirie back again, and still designing things; while Wally Morrison may be seen about resplendent in the uniform of Aircraftsman 2nd Class, and apparently on leave for the duration. It is rumoured that owing to the number of officers in Cambridge, George is fitting him with a mechanical saluting arm!

The club now has a tie, dark blue, with a light blue stripe and heraldic MINIMOAS rampant, which may be obtained from the Hon. Sec., R.M.Lynn, Emmanuel College for 5s, 9d. or 6s post free.

The club room at 1, Bene’t Street, has been given up for the time being, but by the next issue we hope to be able to announce flying facilities of a limited nature.

The registered office is at Netherton, Queen Edith’s Way.


From Take Up Slack (Edward Hull)

In [1937] the Cambridge Club had pioneered a south west facing hill slope at Huish,  just south of Marlborough.

For some reason, in 1938 the Cambridge Club enquired about merging with the London Club and negotiations were still going on when the outbreak of war in September 1939 called a halt.

In 1993, a lunch was held in the Club restaurant to which were invited pilots who had flown at Dunstable in pre-war years. Among them was Michael Maufe, a Cambridge Club member who had flown his Silver distance from the Club in 1938 and, chatting at the dining table to his neighbour, asked him if he knew whether Geoffrey Stephenson was still alive. 'I think I am.' replied Geoffrey!


CUGC are filmed by British Pathe at Camphill 


August 1949

CUGC members George Spencer-Brown sets a world record by going from ab initio to Silver C in 78 days. 



Anthony Edwards, Stuart Waller and John Griffiths build a Slingsby Swallow.


CUGC expeditions to the Lake District and Eden valley lead by Pete Whitehead ultimately lead to the founding of Eden Soaring in 2008.


Late 1970s

Marshal Papwoth is a member of CUGC and learnt to fly with us, the Marshal Papworth trophey is named in his honour.



The club moves from Duxford Airfield to Gransden Lodge


Founding member and longtime supporter of CUGC Ralph Slazenger dies aged 91.