A total of 60 delegates representing 34 Branches attended the 2016 Branches Conference which took place at Hamilton Place on Friday the 13th May. The conference celebrated the RAeS sesquicentennial with short presentations highlighting the Society’s history and also presentations that looked forward to the future.
Air Cdre Bill Tyack CBE FRAeS delivered the opening lecture covering the history of the RAeS with particular emphasis on the early pioneers and RAeS founding members. Dr John Hawkins, accompanied by Graham Pattenden, followed with a presentation covering the life and career of Col Fred Burnaby 1842-1885. Burnaby joined the Society in 1870 and was elected to Council in 1874 where he served until his death. Burnaby was the first person to fly a ballon across the channel from England to France. Dr Kit Mitchell FRAeS then delivered an excellent and very well received potted history of the RAeS Branch network. Mr Martin Broadhurst OBE FRAeS concluded with a presentation that covered both current and future RAeS activity and strategy.
The conference concluded with a drinks reception followed by a gala dinner. RAeS President Prof Chris Atkin FRAeS closed proceedings with a short address in praise of the Branch network, and thanking all the Branch committees and officers for their tireless work on behalf of the Society.