The rotating beacon

The Rotating Beacon - the newsletter of IFFR UK since 1983

The Rotating Beacon was first published in 1983, in a pre-internet, pre-email era. For nearly 40 years it has been keeping our members informed of our plans, our activities and what we’ve been doing. 

Having been formed in 1966, there was obviously an original newsletter –  now lost in the mists of time.  The late 1970s and early 1980s were evidently quite tough times for IFFR UK. But, in 1977,  a “new style IFFR bulletin” was launched, with Dennis Bothwick as its editor.  It ran for 3 editions.     

In early 1983, a small committee determined that they would re-invigorate IFFR UK. John Ritchie agreed to be Chairman and also the editor of a new bulletin and came up with the name “The Rotating Beacon”.  The cover of his first edition had a hand drawing of a Piper PA28 sporting the registration G-IFFR – a registration that he was ultimately to acquire in 1999 for his PA32. 

John continued to edit The Rotating Beacon until his untimely death in 2008.  After a break in 2009, Angus Clark became the editor in 2010, and has been followed by Tony Erskine and Duncan Moffatt. From 2023, Tony Flinn has taken on the role and is now the current editor.

The oldest editions were stored on floppy disks – now unreadable.  But John also kept paper copies which have been scanned into PDFs, together with the 3 newsletters from the 1970s. It is possible that one or two editions from the 1980s are missing – John would have a print run done by Prontaprint, and send copies out to new members – so it is possible that occasionally he sent out his last copy. But we hope you enjoy this historical archive – its as complete as we can make it.

Today, as ever, The Rotating Beacon depends on members for contributions. So, if you’ve an interesting aviation or Rotary story to tell, do share it with Tony –



Angus Clark become editor


No editions published