How it Started.

It all began with the making of a one-metre hexagon kite, with a tail eleven metres long.

Sitting out in the field with the hexagon flying high, the thought of making another, perhaps with a face, passed through my mind. Maybe, reduce length of the tail, but increase its width. Maybe make the tail into a body. Would the arms press towards the body in flight, would an extra spreader hold the arms apart? Maybe fit a hat, what sort of a hat, and for that matter what character?

During a visit to the town square in Shrewsbury I saw some buskers and street entertainers. That’s it! A juggling clown. With pencil and coffee shop napkins the first sketches were drawn. A clown’s pointed hat held up with a Bermudan head stick. What about a Della Porter type tail from hand to hand like a skipping rope?

Full size patterns were made, ripstop cut out and the sewing begun. As you’ll realise from these pages, the sizes of sticks, tail, and bridles were partially dictated by the shapes of Hexagon, Bermudan Head Stick and Della Porter Kites.

Late night sewing to get it completed. Laid out on the floor, but would it fly? Following day, as usual with a new kite, no wind. Frustration, and worrying thoughts, would the clown legs wrap around skipping rope tail in flight. Maybe secure the legs to the tails at the toe would help. Late afternoon, with a rising breeze, decided to give it a go. Local playing field, nobody about, kite made up and line connected. Pulled into the wind, all looked quite sound. Kite turned turtle and the head hit the ground!!!!!! Slight adjustment here and there and, with dancing feet, away it went up into the air.

John Southerton