As told by Alexander Denbigh
Happened around: Date unsure
There are far too many stories to tell of abortive launches (or should that be lunches)This tale relates of,surprisingly, a lunch in the summerhouse. Those of you that know of Newnham will know the chaos that this will no doubt entail. My apologies for not giving a precise date but, Summerhouse! If I have to explain you wouldn't understand. This was one of the standard lunches in the aforementioned Summerhouse where we all enjoyed a sensible repast and no cream eggs were shot (another story) We managed to persuade Mike that perhaps it was time for the launch of one of his infamous balloons.This needless to say was met by great expectation and being a wonderful summer's day the outcome seemed foregone. A crepe ballon floating over bone dry crops dripping parafin,what could possibly go wrong?

After preparations that would have put Branson to shame the launch time arrived,with several willing volunteers(?)firmly holding the base of the balloon the cotton wool was duly ignited.The Balloon was rapidly filling with hot air.Cries of "Not yet" filled the air.
There was an expectant pause of breath as the Balloon slowly lifted from reluctant hands.T minus three,four,five seconds.Then nature taking its dastardly cause sent a breeze to capture the Balloon and instead of taking to its intended destination of the great blue yonder decided to send it instead towards the lake at an ever decreasing altitude.
This sent Mike not only into a rage that nature should be so cruel but also hurtling down the bank by the lakes to try to save his creation. The end result was a very damp and apologetic Balloon but an audience that was rolling on the grass having seen Mike in full action mode trying to rescue the Balloon from a watery demise himself ending up running into the lake fully clothed and vanishing under the waterlillies only to surface with his laughter ringing in our ears determined to get the next one right.