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Very sad news concerning Chris Tompkins


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Baldyslapnut

Long term BARCS members will appreciate the steady hand on the tiller that Chris Tompkins brought to everything he did.

Sadly recently Chris passed away.

I am very grateful to Jim Wright who was a good friend of Chris and served with Chris on the BMFA local committee for the South Midlands area. Jim as usual has written a very well informed obituary about Chris.

Attached is a picture of Chris receiving the Arthur Mullet Trophy at the BMFA awards dinner in recognition of his outstanding service to model flying.

I will hand over to Jim to say a few words about Chris.

 

Obituary for Chris Tompkins - RIP

We are greatly saddened to report the passing of Chris Tompkins during February 2021.

Chris started aeromodelling in 1946 while still at school and joined the Oxford Meteor Model Flying Club in 1948 and was then flying free-flight power and later became active in R/C thermal soaring competitions.

He played a major part in establishing BARCS (British Association of Radio Control Soarers) as the special interest group within the BMFA. He was BARCS member No. 4 and held the position of BARCS Chairman for 14 years from 1975 to 1989. Chris also served as the President of BARCS from 1996-1999 and was awarded a Fellowship of BARCS in recognition of his long and loyal service to UK Soaring both as an organizer and active competitor.

The BARCS AGMs were very enthusiastic gatherings of over 120 thermal fliers and it seemed as if all wanted to discuss the various rules. Chris’s steady chairmanship was remarkable as he patiently handled many proposals and their multiple amendments from the floor with all the multiple voting that led to the main BARCS Open rules and eventually forming the basis for the worldwide FAI F3J class.

For the first ever F3J Thermal Soaring World Championships held in 1998 at Upton-on-Seven, Chris served on the organizing committee as Deputy Event Director, Trophies and Master of Ceremonies. Furthermore he also designed and produced the F3J World Championship Trophy (that is still awarded today) plus the other ‘placement awards’ in 1998, a lasting example of Chris’s contribution to international R/C soaring. He was also Chairman of the FACCT (First All Country Competition Team) Club and a member of the Western-on-the-Green club where was on the club rota to mow the grass strip.

For almost 30 years Chris held the position of Area Treasurer of the BMFA South Midlands Area and prior to this he was Area Competition Secretary for a year. In 2012 and at over 80 years old, Chris decided to stand down as South Midland Area Treasurer.

In the same year Chris was nominated for a BMFA award and received the Arthur Mullett Trophy for his long service to model flying in a variety of roles especially to the South Midland Area, to BARCS and to his club. Chris received the award from the BMFA President, Sir Michael Alcock at the Awards Dinner in November 2012.

In later years Chris moved into flying indoor duration classes with his ‘thermal soaring’ friend John Shaw, also well known to the thermal soaring community.

Later he became an enthusiast of model and real steam railways in no less a company than Lord McAlpine enjoying many days at Fawley in Lord McAlpine's estate working on full sized trains and also an ‘O’ grade model railway until eventually he began to suffer from confusion during his final few years.

In his working life from 1957 he was employed in the architectural drawing office in Oxford University.

Chris was a true gentleman of many talents who gave his time and energy in a variety of roles for the betterment of UK and International model flying. We need more like Chris, RIP.

12 March 2021 - Jim Wright FSMAE and additional information from Denis W. Oglesby

 

 

Chris Tomkins received Arthur Mullett Trophy P1010725.JPG

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ThermalBoy

This is very sad news. Chris was a true gentleman through and through. His generosity in the time he gave up so freely for the benefit of others was legendary.

RIP Chris, you will be missed.

Colin

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Another great loss to BARCS and the modelling world. A true gentleman, organisor and and skilled enthusiast.

RIP Chris

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EssexBOF

Yes a true gentleman who I remember with great affection. The 3 FACCT guys John Shaw, Neil Webb & Chris Tompkins  probably done more than anyone else to promote Thermal Soaring in the UK.

Brian

BARCS 230

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  • 2 weeks later...
Baldyslapnut

In the last few days I had an e-mail from Ian Purcell. Ian contacted me with some footage from a TV programme from 1985 showing a Barcs thermal comp. Footage includes Neil Webb and Chris Tompkins. I have to say it gave me a lump in my throat watching it.

A big thank you to Ian. for sending it to me.

Regards

 

Greg

 

 

 

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Andy_B

looks like my old home patch ...a long time since I've seen images on Dennis 

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EssexBOF
1 hour ago, Baldyslapnut said:

In the last few days I had an e-mail from Ian Purcell. Ian contacted me with some footage from a TV programme from 1985 showing a Barcs thermal comp. Footage includes Neil Webb and Chris Tompkins. I have to say it gave me a lump in my throat watching it.

A big thank you to Ian. for sending it to me.

Regards

 

Greg

 

 

 

Fascinating looking back to those days, but wait, no John Shaw, usually inseparable with Neil.

Brian 

Barcs 230

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Rob Cavell

Thanks for that it's great to see the old faces again & how it used to be done, the proper way!

Regards to all the 'new' faces and with great respect to Chris (he would never mind) particularly the old ones still here!

RobC 

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  • 4 weeks later...
Baldyslapnut

Denis Oglesby has asked me to post these words on the forum as an addition to the comments made by Jim Wright.

Chris had suffered some mental confusion in his last few years so it was after my annual exchange of Christmas cards with Jeannette, Chris's wife, last year that Jeannette broke the news to me of Chris's passing. I then eventually managed to lodge the news at the BARCS website. Not without some delays due to numerous other activities and my inability to access the appropriate part of the BARCS website.

In the early to mid-70s I was exploring R/C thermal soaring just north of the Humber and met up with BARCS treasurer the late John Whitaker when he moved house to become manager of a local bank branch. He recruited me into BARCS and then as the second northern area representative trying to cobble together a season of thermal meetings across the area. Rules were "site-flexible" and based on a six minute max from the new 150 metre towlines (the 50 metre towline free flight people would have laughed at that max!). This brought me into BARCS committee meetings and also the AGMs where I was quickly impressed with the very active and direct way in which the members themselves developed our thermal soaring rules directly while under the chairmanship of Chris Tompkins who resided in Islip, Oxford and worked in the university's architects office. This process was lightning fast compared to the then very indirect area delegate procedures of the SMAE (later the BMFA).

The next year I was proposed and accepted as Hon. Sec. and started handling the considerable minuting and rule amending of a very formative decade during which the early BARCS thermal soaring sub-group became the tail that wagged the dog and grew to nearly a 1000 members. Through some 10 to 15 hours a year of committee meetings Chris was a delight to work with, he had a quiet, charming and measured approach to his role. In over ten years of committee work I was only shocked on the one and only occasion I heard him swear!

The AGMs were very enthusiastic gatherings of about 120 thermal fliers and it seemed as if all were wanting to discuss and amend the various rules. Chris's steady chairmanship was remarkable as he patiently handled many proposals AND their multiple amendments during debates with all the multiple voting that evolved the main BARCS Open rules These eventually formed the basis for the worldwide FAI F3J class.

During this period, following actions by the ever influential Geoff Dallimer, the FAI awarded BARCS the Diplome d'Honneur. One committee member arranged for numerous smaller colour copies to be printed and I posted these to all except one committee member at the time. I still have that last one to deliver so if you hear about this Jackie (ex) Barker, get in touch!

Chris's niece Sally helped sort out his house when Chris's wife moved back north and reported finding a large version of this certificate, it must be the original so I am liaising with her for its safe return to BARCS/BMFA.

After about 10 years like this Chris justifiably thought he had earned the right to stand down, taking many acknowledgements of gratitude from the AGM floor with his usual calm grace. For continuity I stayed on another year and was rather brought back to reality by his replacement, a capable but busy friendly executive who would come to one of our 5 hour committee meetings with all the briefing notes I had sent out with the minutes and would start items by asking me what was such and such an item all about! I handed my Hon Sec role over to my replacement, together with a small van load of indexed meeting minutes to an enthusiastic young thermal flier, the sadly now late Chris Moynihan!

Chris Tompkins remained active at competitions for a number of more years together with the famous (now late) "Oxford Three" comprising himself, Neil Webb and John Shaw. Neil was the first to pass on, this happened quite suddenly while Chris was away on holiday. I just happened to telephone Chris minutes after he returned home so it fell to me to break the news.

Chris and John moved on to flying indoor duration classes, probably until John passed on.

Chris later went into model and real steam railways in no less a company than Lord McAlpine enjoying many days at Fawley in Lord McAlpine's estate working on full sized trains and also an O gauge model railway until ill health developed during his final few years.

Denis W. Oglesby

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