The Red Balloon ~ Ups And Downs Last Night Over Wenlock


I was watering wilting vegetables at the allotment, when I glanced up and caught sight of this hot air balloon coming my way. It was floating over Windmill Hill. But as it drew closer I could hear it huffing, and it was soon obvious that staying airborne was not so easy. Not enough air currents perhaps; too much external hot air?

Anyway, the next I looked it was coming down somewhere behind Down’s Mill.


And then it was up again:



But not quite high enough: the Priory ruins were looming:




And then the church tower, this view taken through fellow allotmenteer, Ron’s raspberry canes:



Finally as it traversed the town, the balloon gained more height, and floated majestically over Walton Hills:



The last I saw it was off towards Callaughton, flying over the cemetery chapel:



An exciting ride for all those aboard:



And watching this had me thinking. How many of you know/remember the short French film Le Ballon Rouge/The Red Balloon 1956.

I was entranced when I first saw it donkey’s years ago. It’s on YouTube of course. If it plays in your region, welcome to 1950s Paris. Enjoy!

30 thoughts on “The Red Balloon ~ Ups And Downs Last Night Over Wenlock

    1. Oh what fun. We used to get hot air ballons a lot over in Harrogate, but here? Not so much. Those shots of yours look as if there were a couple of near misses. But all is well, and now I’m going to treat myself to a little French nostalgia.

  1. What a delightful little movie. Have you seen UP? Balloons play a big part in it……We have several hot air balloon festivals over here where the air is full of them…Beautful!

  2. A number of years ago I also noticed a hot air balloon slowly lose altitude as it made its way across the afternoon sky. There was a slight breeze but not enough to help the thing gain altitude. My suite faced east and there was a grade school across the suite from my residence.

    As the troubled craft got closer to the school the balloon suddenly began a rapid descent. I feared if the gondola portion of the unit cleared the school it would head directly to my building and crash into it. That did not happen.

    The machine landed in the school yard with a thud. No one was injured. The person piloting the craft had radio contact with home base. Two hours later a truck from the company and a stretch limousine arrived to transport the passengers and the balloon back to base.

    That incident convinced me to not try this form of transportation.

  3. Thanks for the reminder of Le Ballon Rouge, an excellent short film 🙂 And of ballooning too, which I’ve had the fun of doing in three places so far (there will be more if I get the opportunity!) – Oxfordshire, Namibia and Morocco. It may be that the balloon was dipping down deliberately? When we were in Oxfordshire the pilot dropped low so we could pick a leaf from a tree below us! And in Namibia our pilot dropped so low that our basket gently scraped the sand dunes!

    1. Namibia must have been a terrific experience. I did wonder if the dipping down was deliberate, but as there was so much huffing going on I tended to think it was mostly lack of upward umpf.

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