Welcome to Mike's autumnal World
You can tell how long ago it must have been when my early memory of a conversation with Dave Hannant was in a Hendon restaurant following an IPMS AGM - it may well have been the one where there was a proposal to allow wood to be a part of a plastic model in the National Champiomships, a not uncommon subject of discussion - and also involved Alan Hall; a result of this chat was that I wrote my first review for Aviation News - it was some time pre-SAM - and Dave handed me a Skyhawk. I think it was a TA4-J, probably Hasegawa, and was accompanied by a decal sheet covering some USN Commander's personal aircraft, coloured as I remember blue and white. Somewhere in the same time-frame I "assisted" Alan in his stand at Mildenhall air days, and this was either next to Hannant's tent, or at times shared. Meeting David at shows, both air and model became an increasingly regular occurrence, and in 1994 we were both at Telford when we were part of a group which formed overnight to take on SAM, and subsequently met regularly and even took decisions. His experience and extensive knowledge of the business was invaluable.
In 2000 I arrived at Heathrow to assemble for an Ian Allan Australia/New Zealand which included the Wanaka show to find that I was paired with David for the next four weeks; in among the museums and collections I was able to meet several of his contacts in the model business, on both the manufacture and retail sides; it was in Melbourne that on the way to a model shop - more an emporium as I remember - our driver described David as "a modelling icon". His company, then and since, was entertaining as well as educational, and I've very much enjoyed knowing him over the years.
Postscript. This is a personal memory, and none is more personal than this. Just after writing the first paragraph, I was at the Farnborough IPMS show when I was approached by a not-very-old modeller who remembered me from a Mildenhall display; we met when I was on a stand jointly run by Alan and David which I've alluded to, if slightly uncertainly. Not only was it personally gratifying but it confirmed the conversations I've had over the last few days that more modellers knew David than he will ever know Rob Sullivan's photo is just as I remember him.
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