Epping and North Weald Model Flying Club (ENWMFC) is a long-established model flying club, affiliated to the BMFA, based and flying beside North Weald Airfield. Historically ENWMFC flew from the North Weald Airfield, flying off from the live airfield from a designated separate concrete runway.
The history of the club began in the early 1970’s approximately the time when the airfield was vacated by the MOD, a few modellers would use the site on an ad hoc basis which at that time appeared to be abandoned. Inevitably by the mid 1970’s an ever-increasing number of modellers started to fly there attracted by the superb long runways. From the onset a few modellers led by David Windrow were keen to organise and put the model flying into a proper club basis, this eventually involved long negotiations with Epping Council who had by then taken control of the airfield.
It must be emphasized that model flying had the full support of Epping Council in its endeavours helping to ensure the airfield’s availability for sporting and recreational use, particularly sports and hobbies requiring large air and ground spaces, this was in conjunction with developing the operation of full-size aircraft. It became apparent that if model flying was to be undertaken on a permanent basis the council was keen that it embraced the widest possible catchments area of clubs. This in turn led to the original arrangement whereby a consortium of local clubs allowed its members the right to fly at North Weald under the umbrella of the Epping & North Weald MFC abiding by its organisation and rules etc.
While this arrangement was good in some aspects, for example staging truly massive model aircraft meetings it never the less had its downside that included an administrative nightmare as well as a complete lack of club feel “feel”. By the early 1980’s the groundswell of opinion was calling for a dedicated club to be formed with the sole club right to fly model aircraft on the airfield.
Again led by David Windrow and supported by some other members, long negotiations were held with the Council the outcome being that E&NW MFC was finally reformed with the sole right to fly model aircraft at North Weald.
The club facilities are excellent and the buildings were renovated to a high standard by a team of volunteers led by club member Woody. Throughout the club’s history it has attracted various members who stood out and went on to help pioneer aspects of our hobby including air to air photography, very early gas turbine development, multi cylinder IC four stroke engines including numerous radials, very large models and much more.
Whilst this seems common place in our hobby today, then it was cutting edge technology. Some even went further and flew, or attempted to, their own design full size flying machines.