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I met David in '77 at Biggleswade Common, the Mecca of our embryo SAM Chapter. He was the C. of G. and prime mover for all SAM activities and the most enthusiastic hobbyist I ever met, always looking on the bright side, full of ideas, encouraging others to build and fly, yet with an endless ability to build models quicker, lighter and truer than others, that mostly flew straight off the board with a high loss ratio because he never used a DT.

A bottomless library of magazines, plans and articles, yielded mass encouragement like confetti from the boot of his car and if a subject was not available it was usually dispatched the next day, generally at nil cost. My long held belief is that all this balsa cutting, xeroxing and mailing came courtesy of our mutual tax collector, the UK Treasury. And why not, we all paid our taxes?

Known worldwide, his name is synonymous with vintage model flying in the UK and of all his achievements, moving on from SAM35 to SAM1066, he created a legacy, via Old Warden, at Middle Wallop now universally recognized as the new Mecca for our hobby.

Flying Faces No 1 David Baker

David Baker single handedly, launched SAM35 and SAM1066 in the UK and whilst the former chapter flourished under an organising committee, SAM1066 was latterly difficult to sustain due to the loss of his wife and soulmate Hilda and a recent bout of very poor health. Yet, despite the gloom, SAM1066 is currently being rebirthed by friends and colleagues as the first ever digital chapter of the Society of Antique Modellers with David as it's honoured president. He was, is and will forever remain, a revered member of our world wide society and I count myself fortunate, indeed, to be his friend.

David Baker died on 1st Jan 2009. He introduced me to Vintage Free Flight. He was a hero and mentor. I am proud to have been his friend. You can read a personal tribute to him - here

Ramon Alban

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