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MBE for maker of hot-air balloons

SCOTTISH hot-air balloon maker and expert flyer Don Cameron has been awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year Honours list.

Mr Cameron, who has lived in the Bristol area since 1963, set up firm Cameron Balloons, which is now be the largest manufacturer of the airships in the world.

Born in Scotland in 1939, he studied aero engineering at Glasgow University before travelling to the US to undertake post-graduate study.

In 1967 he took part in a project to build the first modern hot-air balloon in Western Europe called the "Bristol Belle", which was later flown on one occasion from the HMS Ark Royal, then the flagship of the Royal navy. The Scot is also the founder of the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, now in its 35th year, and led a team attempting to make the first Atlantic crossing by balloon, for which he received the Royal Aeronautical Club Gold Medal. He is also a former governor of High Down Infants' School and was honorary president of 2494 (Portishead) Squadron Air Training Corps.

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