Thursday, 27 October 2016

The Great Balloon Experiment

When I was 15 years old my family visited a garden centre in Bath. On the day in December they were handing out helium filled balloons. My sister, our friend and I decided to grab one each. When we got home we decided to make labels with our addresses on, attach them to the string of the balloons and cover the labels in sellotape to make them waterproof. We then went out to our cul-de-sac and released them into the air. We actually found one of the popped balloons the next day over the field nearby in a tree but the other two went away and we didn't really think about them. 

Early March of the next year there was a knock on the door from a teacher from the local school which was on the road nearby our road which had a similar name. The teacher was holding a letter addressed to me. When I opened the letter I was amazed to see my balloon with my label in the envelope, a coin and a letter. I read the letter and it was from a young boy, aged 11, called Daniel. He had found my balloon near his home in south GERMANY! I was amazed that my balloon had travelled that far and that he had kindly looked up Bath on the map as I didn't think to include England on the label. He also sent me a lucky coin from Germany too. I think it was the equivalent to a penny over here. We wrote to each other a few times but he didn't know much English at the time so we stopped after about two letters. Sadly as the years past and I moved home I lost the balloon and label but I always tell the story of how my normal helium filled balloon travelled all that way. 

So today my niece Lilly and I decided to recreate it with five balloons and see if we get any replies. We went down to the local card/balloon shop here in Midsomer Norton and got 5 plain coloured balloons filled with helium. We came home and made a brand new gmail email account for the experiment and made the cards asking for people who find them to email us with their special numbers for each balloon. We stuck sellotape around the card to make them waterproof and attached them to the ribbon on the end of the balloon. We then walked over to the local field to release them. 

Lilly holding the balloons

Due to it being a bit windy they got a bit tangled up on the way so it took us awhile to untangle them ready for release as we wanted them to go separately and the pink one got away first. Then we set about releasing the others one at a time. 


Lilly saying goodbye to one of the balloons

I did try and do a video but in the fluster of unravelling the ribbon it didn't work. We don't think the green one will get too far as it seemed heavier and a bit of a slow starter but it did eventually go up so who knows. 

Our green balloon the slow starter

We really hope people find some of our balloons even if they only live nearby and it was great fun to do. If we get any replies we will definitely update our readers. You never know one of these could be heading over the sea to Europe! Fingers crossed!

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