BRISTOL’S International Balloon Fiesta may still be a month away but that hasn’t stopped balloonists taking to the skies above Wickwar.

To mark the 40th anniversary of the Western Region of the British Balloon and Airship Club (BBAC), members from Gloucester to Land’s End descended on the village for an uplifting three days of celebrations at the weekend (July 4-6).

As well as mass ascents on Saturday and Sunday mornings, the anniversary event included a barn dance and hog roast.

Organiser and BBAC member Douglas Hoddinott said: “It was open to all members, past and present, and we had over 200 members there over the course of the weekend.

“We were very lucky with the weather as the forecast was not good but it held out for us and we were able to get eight balloons up on Saturday morning and 15 on Sunday morning.

“It was great, we wanted to make a proper weekend of it.”

Festivities took place at Mounteney’s Farm, on Chase Lane, where member and balloonist Ben Close lives.

The western region of the club includes Don Cameron, founder of Cameron Balloons, and Wiltshire explorer and balloonist David Hempleman-Adams.