The L&DMAS Story

In 1935 a group of young lads got together to form the Luton & District Model Aeronautical Society.

The following history was kindly provided by founder members Rex Brown and Harold Baggott in 1985 and 2012 respectively

The Society was founded in 1935 as the South Beds Model Aeronautical Society. Founder members included Harold Baggott, Jim Blatchford, Rex Brown, Peter Faunch, Peter Gray, Basil Harris and Dennis Shepherd.

Early meetings were held in the basement of "Brown's Book Shop" in Park Park St, Luton which also sold balsa wood and other accessories necessary for the building of Model Aircraft.

From 1935 to 1939 the solid foundations of the Society evolved and it was given a more appropriate name of the Luton and District Model Aeronautical Society. The early committee was active both regarding model flying and the social side. The first sausage and mash supper and dinner/dance being held in 1937at the Red Lion Hotel in Castle Street (Guest Speaker Mrs Adeline Baggott, mother of founder member Harold Baggott).

The Society had a very competitive spirit, taking part in local, national and international competitions. Also during this period the society produced two issues of a magazine called 'Thermals' (produced on an old Flat Bed and Roller silk screen duplicator), elected its first President and introduced the badge (designed by Mr P Thomas) and this is still the official club badge. During these early years permission was obtained to fly at Lewsey Farm, Poynters Park Estate and the London Gliding Club, Dunstable.

The Society was still active during the 1939-1945 war period, meeting on a regular basis for most of this time in a cellar in North Street, Luton. After the war ended meetings moved to the St Matthews church Hall which was still used well into the 1980’s

Picture of an early members gathering outside the meeting place, waiting for an exhibition

After the war years, keen flying members placed well in the results of national competitions and broke some officially recognised British records. Free flight models gradually gave way to radio controlled and control line models. The Society successfully negotiated the use of the Royal Air Forece Henlow Camp Airfield. The social side with picnics, dinner/dances, outings and exhibitions continued. Strong support was given to the SMAE, South Midlands area, particularly the rallies at Cranfield Airfield.

In 1982 the Society purchased it’s current 5 1/4 acre flying site.