It is with great sadness that we lost our great friend Peter Redshaw suddenly on St George’s Day 2014.
Peter was born into a gliding family on 15th May 1944. His father Sir Leonard Redshaw was one of the UK’s gliding pioneers and Peter along with his sister Jill spent most of their early life at gliding sites and on airfields crewing. Evenwhen away from gliding,on family holidays in the Lake District, Len would take a glider trailer along to double as a makeshift bunkhouse for the kids!
It was perhaps inevitable that Peter would follow in his father’s footsteps and he began his own gliding career with the Lakes Gliding Club back in the early 60’s when the clubhad moved from the fells above Tebay to Walney Island. Peter became and remained a stalwart member and, over the years, served as CFI, Chairman and Secretary. He was a triple Diamond pilot with over 5000 gliding hours and he remains the only pilot to complete a 500Km flight from Walney.
It is almost without doubt that without the unwavering commitment that Peter gave to the Lakes GC, particularly over the last few years, the club may well have folded. Whatever obstacles we have had to the running of the club he was always determined to find a solution and would rally the membership together to achieve his aims.
In 2009 we lost the hangarage that had been provided to us by our landlord, BAE Systems, and had nowhere to store our tow-plane and gliders. This was a major setback for the club but undeterred Peter was instrumental in organising the funding, design, development and construction of a superb new hangar which stands today in his memory.
In the twekve months prior to his passing he was the leading force in organising the purchase of a new Eurofox tow plane and travelled out to Slovakia to see the plane under construction. Very sadly he was not around to see this latest project reach fruition, however, our new Eurofox Tug is testament to his commitment.
Regardless of all his major work for the club he was also the lynchpin in carrying out the routine maintenance procedures. He would often be seen, even during the week, driving round the hangar on his lawn mower and generally housekeeping around the club.
His enthusiasm for visiting other gliding sites and entering competitions meant that he was well known throughout the gliding movement in the UK. He was known not only for his great flying skills but also for providing a renowned centre of entertainment on each airfield. The first job on arrival at another site was to erect a huge orange tent topped with an obligatory St George’s Flag. This tent, complete with an ice machine, was affectionately known as the ‘Gin Palace’, and was readily seen from anywhere on the airfield. The Gin Palace was limited to serving ‘Capstan Specials’ and was an open house each evening for all on the airfield.
The annual trips to France organised by Peter were legendary and each year we would travel en masse to the heart of the Loire for some gliding camaraderie and Joie de Vivre with the French, Dutch and German teams. Peter wasn’t a great linguist, although, he did develop a mastery of French sign language, often put to use instructing a French farmer how to correctly drive his own tractor when towing us out after a field landing. He did however become strangely fluent in the words “Gin Tonique” and managed to convert our fellow European competitors in to drinking the infamous Capstan Specials.
His absolute dedication is also evident in the amazing restoration of the vintage T49 Capstan, A23. This stunning looking glider was always the star of the show at competitions throughout the country and gave him endless enjoyment over many years. ‘Team Capstan’ as we became known was almost a brand in its own right with various bits of PR designed merchandise produced over the years, however, the thing that stood out the most was the fluorescent orange gillet. These garments had to be earned and they can now be seen proudly gracing gliding sites all over the UK and Europe as well.
Peter’s favourite outing with the Capstan each summer was to the Wolds two-seater competition at Pocklington where he and his team won the Wood Classon ten occasions which included two overall wins.
He was very adaptable and this was always in evidence at the Pocklington Fancy Dress competition. While the rest of us were scouring the local charity shops trying to put an outfit together, somehow, Peter managed each year to pull the same jacket, hat and trousers from his wardrobe and by the addition of some small accoutrement convert it into the party theme of the night!
His favourite part of the evening would be judging the women’s fancy dress, which was often more to do with the attributes of the woman inside the outfit rather than the outfit itself! On one particular occasion he was caught by the ladies with an upward facing mirror on top of his shoe!!! No elaboration required!!
Peter’s devotion to his family and particularly his grandchildren was something he was always very proud to share. His camper van was adorned with photographs and mementos of the family and despite his busy summer gliding schedule, which ran from May until September, his most treasured two weeks away were on the family holiday in Majorca. He particularly loved the monkey bike given to him by the family on his 60th birthday and at every competition he would be seen whizzing around the airfield on it at any opportunity.
Peter’s friendship, sense of humour and enthusiasm for his hobby has had an overwhelming influence on us all. He was an outstanding pilot and, for the fortunate few of us who flew as his co-pilot, we were treated to some truly breath-taking and on many occasions nerve-wracking flights. His loss leaves an enormous unfillable void at the Lakes Gliding Club and in the gliding movement as a whole. In a nutshell, Peter really was the life and soul of our club
Badges Held: Three Diamonds
Instructor Rating: X-CFI
Total Gliding Hours: 4700hrs + and 5000 + launches
Started Gliding in: 1962, actually he was brought up on an airfield
Club Trophies: The Leighton-Hall Trophy 1968, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1980, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013 The Lonsdale Trophy 1967, 1984, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2003, 2012, 2013 The Alsford Trophy 1991,1993,1995, The Duddon Trophy 1991, 2003, 2007 The Club Ladder 1994, 2011, 2012,2013 The Elegant Window Systems Trophy 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006 The Wooden Spoon, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1999, 2003.
And in the Capstan
Wolds & UK National Two Seater Competition
2000 1st Wood 14th Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North
2001 1st Wood 3rd Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North
2002 1st Wood 1st Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North, Alan Meadows
2003 2nd Wood 10th Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Peter Gillett, John Martindale
2004 6th Wood 35th Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North
2005 2nd Wood 11th Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North
2006 1st Wood 1st Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North, Andy Tebay, Kate Frost
2007 1st Wood 3rd Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North, Kate Frost
2008 2nd Wood 20th Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North, Andy Tebay, Kate Frost, John Burdett
2009 1st Wood 15th Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North, Andy Tebay, Kate Frost, John Burdett
2010 1st Wood 3rd Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North, Kate Frost
2011 1st Wood 13th Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North, John Burdett
2012 1st Wood 12th Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North, Andy Tebay
2013 1st Club 10th Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Chris Richardson, Mike Jordy
Poitier European Two Seater Competition
2003 25th Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North
2005 20th Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North, Andy Tebay
2007 2nd Wood 6th Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North, Andy Tebay, Kate Frost
2009 1st Wood 10th Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, Dave North, Andy Tebay, John Burdett
2011 1st Wood 17th Open Class Pilots - Peter Redshaw, John Burdett, Peter Craven, Peter Lewis
Husbands Bosworth task week 2006 1st Pilots - Peter Redshaw + various HB members found in the bar the previous night.
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