Leeds Castle Balloon Headcorn In 1965 Don Cameron was building his first hot air balloon in his garage in Compton Dando, near Keynsham while I was less gainfully employed visiting my physics master’s daughter in the same village. Don had studied aeronautical engineering at Cornell in the States just as the American Marines were looking for an airborne observation platform which led to the development of the hot air balloon that we see today. He went on to form the eponymous “Cameron Balloons” in Bristol in 1971 and is still running what is now the biggest balloon company in the world. After a couple of years cycling three or four times a week to Compton Dando and back to my home in Midsomer Norton, a round trip of some 20 miles, I fell off my bike one dark night. This hurt and I soon found that there were girls closer to home and some even within walking distance.