The core members of the Northern Monkeys Kite Group (NMKG) first met up together in mid 2011 off the back of a post on the Fractured Axel kite forum asking if there was anybody else around the Leeds area, UK who happened to fly trick kites and would be interested in meeting up.
The first meeting took place between two flyers at Pontefract Racecourse and they then started to meet up regularly at weekends. Both had spent a lot of time flying individually in their local fields and soon realised that it was a lot more rewarding to be around other flyers, both in terms of having someone else to talk to about kites but also to spur each other on and share knowledge on how to do certain tricks.
At some point between mid 2011 and mid 2012 a few other trick-flyers were discovered who, up to that point, had been flying on their own in their local fields, and so 2 became 3, 3 became 4 and so on. In the early part of 2012 an idea to spend a weekend camping and flying kites at Filey, East Yorkshire cropped up and it was probably this event that saw the real emergence and idea of growing the NMKG. It was a foggy, damp weekend but was a real success and all who came have been back to each one since. The Filey weekends have now grown to two weekends per year, the first in July and the second in September.
So why Northern Monkey Kite Group as a name? It stems from a trick fly’in held down in Hinckley, Leicestershire, which 3 members of the group travelled to. We were the only people from the North of England there and so followed the usual English banter of ‘Northern this’ and ‘Southern that’, throughout the day and a great time was held by all. In the car on the way back there was discussion on the famous scene in the film Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels where a group of criminals from Liverpool meet up with a similar group from London. Business is taken care of and as they depart one group says ‘F**cking northern monkeys!’ whilst the other state ‘I hate these f**cking southern fairies’. It just seemed to fit and hence that is what we have been known as since (yet we love Southerners).
The NMKG now meet at least once a month, often more so, and have big plans for the next 12 months including the continued growth of the Filey weekenders, attracting new people into the group, branded merchandising, and supporting our fellow flyers events and fly-ins.
Whether these are successful or not the NMKG are determined to never lose sight of our original vision – to have fun, become firm friends and be pleasant to all we meet.