Long before drones, capturing aerial footage was no easy feat.
Plane and helicopter rides could be expensive and capturing the right shots was tricky but film-maker Stewart Gledhill rose above all that – in a hot air balloon.
Mr Gledhill enjoyed an eventful balloon ride over Huddersfield as a 50th birthday treat around 20 years ago during the construction of the Kirklees Stadium, now the John Smith’s Stadium.
He captured footage on behalf of the Huddersfield Cine Club – now the Film Makers Club – which has now been posted on Facebook.
“The guy who flew it lived locally and he was a friend of a friend of my daughter,” he recalled.
“The balloon was called the Blue Whale. I had never been in one before so it was a new experience.
“We set off from Crosland Moor airfield and headed for Lockwood. Obviously you can’t steer these things so they go where the breeze takes you. We then headed towards town and then followed Leeds Road where you can see the stadium and then over Syngenta, then headed towards Kirkheaton.
“Then the balloon decided to go towards Mirfield. Frank the pilot decided to land somewhere. You can see by the video that it’s a bit of a hit and miss job.”
Mr Gledhill recalled the landing as being quite rough.
“Frank said that the field we were heading for is very small so he will put the balloon down fast.
“We were travelling fairly quickly and we might bounce a bit and so he showed us how to hold on and said don’t let go because the balloon might go back up.
“So as we approached the field’s boundary wall he pulls a rope that releases the air and the balloon drops onto the field. The basket goes over onto its side and is dragged across the field for a short while with all three of us hanging on.”
Mr Gledhill, who is now president of the Film Makers Club, said his expensive video camera ended up in the grass.
“I wished that I had left my camera running but all I did was put it on the floor and put my foot on it. It managed to find its way out of the basket into the long grass but was still in one piece and it still worked.”
Twenty years on, he can still recall how quiet it was during the ride.
“What struck me was how quiet it was up there when the gas burner was off,” he said. “You could hear dogs barking and children shouting up at you but the most exciting bit was coming into land.”
His footage is among a treasure trove film archive of Huddersfield and beyond spanning many decades.
“We have been going for over 80 years now and we have got an archive of footage taken over the years by our members.
“Each year we make what we call a Magazine of local events and these go back to the 1960s. These are quite valuable records of the town and are used quite often by TV companies.
“We are just working on this year’s films along with our member films and we show them each year at the Town Hall for the public to see in November.”
* More information at www.huddersfieldfilmmakersclub.org.uk