A grey morning saw the the Millennium Meadow being used in yet another way. The event was witnessed by a small group of early morning walkers (and their dogs) on Sunday as the sound of a high pressure gas burner was to be heard.



A rare Easterly wind saw the start of a long range balloon trip. The van set off in hot pursuit and the ground crew were reunited 4 hours later 10 miles East of Carmarthen in Wales with balloonists Jonathon and Jon.



The pictures here follow the 30 or so minutes that it took to launch the balloon.




After unpacking the basket and other items from the van and a quick test of the burner, the envelope was carefully laid out.



The envelope was initially filled with cold air by a petrol driven fan. As it started to inflate the escape valve at the top of the envelope was carefully checked and secured using velcro fasteners.



At this point the burner was switched on and the hot air rapidly caused the balloon to start to lift into the air.


At this point the rope attaching the basket to the van came in useful to prevent the whole thing being blown across the meadow.



Only a few seconds later the basket lifted from the ground up into the air and, with a shout of thanks from the balloonists to the ground crew, was last seen heading East towards Wales ... where it landed some 4 hours later.


                               A report from the baloonists is here.

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