Ian Beckett joined the Devon and Somerset Gliding club in the late 1960’s and was a keen and talented pilot with a wonderfully dry sense of humour.
Between 1978 and 1981 he built a glider called a Duster. This was a really beautiful little glider with around 28: 1 performance and in addition to completing a 300k Diamond Goal flight in this country, he also took it to France each year and flew it in the Alps.
Ian also had a Kestrel and when he died in 1998, his wife, Valerie Beckett, donated the proceeds of his Kestrel share to the Club to establish a fund (the Ian Beckett Fund) that could be used to help young members to achieve things that perhaps otherwise they could not afford. For example; helping towards the cost of attending a BGA courses, club expedition, an exceptionally expensive flight (500 k distance followed by long retrieve) etc.
The fund started at about £3200 and within a short time had increased through other kind donations to over £4000. Naturally it will fluctuate according to donations both in and out but it would be nice if we could maintain the fund both through donations and perhaps fund raising activities organised by those who stand to benefit from it.
To ensure the long term stewardship of the fund with the minimum of rules the fund is controlled by three Members.
The Steward will be chosen by the CFI and Treasurer and approved by the committee. He / she will be an established Club Member who takes a personal interest in the fund and the training / mentoring of those who are likely to be beneficiaries of the fund.
Each application will be discussed and decided by the CFI and Fund Steward and the amount agreed will be transferred by the Treasurer from the Ian Beckett Fund into the applicant’s flying account. In the event that the money is needed to pay for expedition or off site course expenses the Treasurer can issue a cheque made payable to the applicant.
When making an award careful consideration should be given to why the money is needed. It should always be for a specific purpose – e.g. to help with the cost of a gliding course or expedition that will further the candidate’s experience or help to achieve a particular goal such as a height or distance flight / BGA course / mountain flying etc. It should not be used simply to cover the cost of local and routine flying expenses.
In the unlikely event that the CFI and Steward could not reach agreement over an award, then the matter is to be voted on by all three controlling members.
29 November 2005
Fund Steward John Burrow