The following is an article by Anne Welch that appeared in the April/May 1972 issue of 'Sailplane & Gliding' magazine. After her earlier article in the same magazine (Feb/March) it seems she received quite a lot of correspondence and information from people all over the country and also under took her own research, on the subject of hang Gliders arriving in the UK from America. At the start of this article she mentions that she knows of at least three gliders having already been built. Such a pity she does not mention their names. Going out on a limb I’m assuming that she is referring to Geoff Mcbroom, Dave Watts and possibly the Haynes brothers who went on to form the 'Waspair' hang glider company. Although I have to also take on board the possibility that Anne could have been referring to Tony Prentice from Kent, who was also building at that time, although Tony's gliders at that time were constructed of bamboo and used a parallel bar system. To Anne he was building a hang glider. Tony was also building an Otto Lilienthal replica around that same time, so it’s quite possible that she might have also heard about the replica. After reading her first article when she visited the USA, anything that had a pilot hanging from it was classed as a Hang Glider.
If Anne was referring to people who had flown up to that point (April/May 1972), it must be remembered that during 1971 so far my research has only uncovered three flyers. The very first being Les Hockins who was part of Geoff’s McBroom's team. Geoff was the second and the third was Dave Watts flying what he describes as a Batso, but like I’ve mention elsewhere on this web site the photo from Dave shows it not to be an honest copy of a Batso. At this moment in time the 4th to fly was Robin Haynes and talking to his brother Terry Haynes, be believes the flight took place around August 1972 well after Anne’s (April/May) article came out.
This article is taken with permission from the 'Ken de Russy Collection'