Drum-Box kite, Drumbox kite, How to fly a kite, How to make a kite, Kite flying, Kite making, Writer's Blog

Making a Drum-box Kite

I am going to show you the Drum-box kites my husband is currently creating. Along with his brother I think the plan is to fill the sky with these latest designs. These instructions assume you are an experienced enough kite flyer to know how to add the spars and line at the end of the process but please do contact me if further information is required and I will send you more instructions.

First, the template needs to be marked out and created as shown below.

The two long edges need to be 890 mm but measuring a 10 mm concave.

The bottom edge is 540 mm with a 10 mm concave to the centre and the small flat top edge needs to be not quite pointed, but with a flat of 10 mm.


Ten sail pieces are required in whatever choice of fabric you have decided upon, but alternating patterns/colours look the most effective. The side edges and the wide bottom are slightly concave by only 10mm to the centre of each panel. The reason for the concave shape is that when they are all sewn together they will be as tight as a drum!


As you can see in the above image, the alternating design is effective and will look stunning in the sky. The sections are then all sewn together (as above) and then the two ends are joined to form a continuous circular shape.

At the almost-pointed end of each panel, he then created reinforcing pockets into which the spars would eventually fit. They start with semi-circles of fabric sewn with the edge lining up with the flat at the top of the triangles as shown below.
The overhanging parts of the reinforcing fabric need to be hotcut to remove and tidy.
The top and bottom edges of the fabric are bound in black to create a stunning-looking outline.
Next, you need to create ten pockets. Cut a piece of fabric 15cm long and turn over 1cm at the end and then fold in half (as below).
Turn the fabric over and fold in half with 5mm to spare as shown below.
Mark up the centre and then in between as shown here.
Pushing the edges inwards, first mark up and then sew straight along as shown below, sewing both sides to form the pocket.
Attach these two the almost-pointed ends, on top of the reinforcement semi-circles.
At each pocket-point, tabs are added which is where the flying line will be attached.
When the sewing is all completed, create your frame, using 10 carbon fibre spats which need to be 6 mm wide and each one just under 1 metre in length. A cap is fitted at one end which pushes into the pockets which were sewn in as above. The other end of the carbon fibre goes into a centre piece shown below – five pointing up and five pointing down.
Attach the line (if you are a beginner kite maker then do contact us for more information on this as needed), and your kite is ready to fly!
Credit for the pocket images goes to Dick Toonen. My husband has used his instructions to create his kite and I look forward to sharing the images of his finished Drum-Box when the frame is finished.


Norfolk Beach

Journey, jam, fight and flight!

Brake lights are frowning, fierce brows lie ahead,
Hoping the green light dares not change to red,
Birds taunt our dilemma, with freedom of wing,
Their flight is our envy, delay is our thing.
Crawl slowly past houses, this holiday morn,
Those who sleep late meeting not break of dawn,
Fields of young corn whisper, mockingly so,
Leaves rustle their solitude, we pass by – so slow.
Yawns of indifference break through the tension,
Eyes avoiding each other, annoyance unmentioned.
Silently yearn, wish we’d stayed warm in bed,
Tempered vibes palpable, pounding of head.
Ominous clouds threaten even less joy,
Incite inward screaming, no smile can destroy,
What lies ahead more than a dull, gloomy day,
Please pass by quickly, my mind can but pray.
The beach, still no brighter, cold seeps unseen places,
Companions arrive, the same gloom on their faces,
The journey, so tiresome, at least now has ended,
Our spirits, now together, our anger is mended.
Trolleys now loaded with kit and kaboodle,
We’ll hide ‘neath the shelter, but not to canoodle!
Our journey, not wasted, our men take their stance,
Of their kites we are voyeurs of much merry dance.
Much laughter and chatter, and wrongs to put right,
Hidden from cold winds, the men just in sight,
Sun’s rays, their appearance a welcome array,
A far better end than the start of our day.

Norfolk Beach, Places to write

Gorleston – a place to write…

Gorleston was a relatively recent discovery of ours. As a child, nine Sundays out of ten were spent at Wells-Next-The-Sea. Not that I have anything against Wells (as it is colloquially known), but when you have been subjected to the same beach so many times that you can mentally visualise every grain of sand it becomes a little dull. In fairness, Wells does hold lots of memories for me as we had family living there and it was the last beach we ever visited with my dad before he became ill quite suddenly and we subsequently lost him. Maybe that is part of the reason I avoid going back there? Who knows how my subconscious advises me?

My husband and I happened upon Gorleston (Gorleston-On-Sea to give the town its full name), having headed to another nearby beach and found it overly busy and with parking spaces lacking. Driving a few miles along the coast we had arrived in Gorleston. Of course, I had heard of it, living in Norfolk all my life, how could I not have? With its beautiful sandy beach, a promenade stretching out into the distance and a handful of shops and amusements this was clearly a much-loved venue indeed.

The first section of unspoiled beach is a no-dogs, lifeguard patrolled area. Situated near to the few amusement arcades and beach shops, just enough that they are not distracting, it also boasts a generous pond for remote controlled boating enthusiasts and an extremely shallow pool, currently under refurbishment, for toddlers to paddle and splash in while parents look on from the comfort of the surrounding benches.


Until very recently the beach also sported a generous inflatable play area where children could bounce, jump and burn off excesses of energy. Tragically, following a fatal accident, this area is now closed and, I believe, is still under investigation. It’s difficult to believe such a traumatic event could take place in such a beautiful location.

We discovered a fabulous beach cafe at the far end of the promenade. If you are prepared to walk for ten or fifteen minutes to reach it, or if you know the area well enough to drive to the parking spots close by, up on the clifftops then you will not be disappointed. The cafe is called Jay Jays and serves generous portions of delicious foods ranging from full hot meals to enormous salads, jacket potatoes and chips. The counter displays a most tempting array of cookies, cakes, savoury pastries and biscuits too.  No trip to Gorleston is complete for me without at least a cappuccino from Jay Jays. It was somewhat quiet a couple of years ago, when we first discovered it but it is quiet no more and is most often heavy on customers, with chairs and tables spilling out onto the promenade and queues of customers prepared to wait for the delights on offer. If for no other reason, it’s worth a trip his to pop in for a coffee. The staff at Jay Jays are always friendly and genuinely appear to enjoy their work. They clean the tables non-stop and the place has a worthy 5/5 food hygiene rating.

The beach, more the promenade, is frequented by runners, skateboarders, dog walkers and walkers alike and there is more than enough space for everyone. We often go to allow my husband to fly his kites on the beach or clifftop depending upon the weather and not forgetting the all-important wind speed. This might be a good time to point out that during the great storm of 1987, Gorleston experienced the highest recorded wind speed in the UK, reaching 122mph! I am certain my husband does not have a kite capable of handling that much wind.

The most important thing about Gorleston is the peacefulness. While hubby is happily flying his kites, I can sit and daydream, read a book and write. If its breezy, he puts a windbreak around me and I cuddle down behind it with notebook and pen, in writing heaven. We pick a spot near Jay Jays or, very occasionally, at the busier family end of the beach, just close enough for us to buy drinks and ice creams and use the facilities.


Whether you want to ride your bike or skateboard, walk your dog, fly your kite, play on the beach or, like me, sit and watch the world go by while planning your next story or poem, Gorleston truly is a most beautiful, unspoiled place to choose.