Published: October 12, 2010
In photos: Burnham-On-Sea fundraiser completes daring wing walk

A daring wing walk above the skies of Essex has helped plucky Burnham-On-Sea social worker Judith Alder raise more than £1,500 for a local good cause.

Burnham-On-Sea.com reported in August how war veteran Harold Pursey, who refused to move into care unless his faithful dog could go too, had died peacefully at the age of 94 with his labrador Bob at his side.

Mr Pursey was allowed to keep Bob with him when he moved into a residential home and then latterly into Burnham Nursing Home. And when Harold died, staff at the home agreed to give Bob, aged 10, a home for life. However, they needed to raise funds for any veterinary care he requires, which is why the daredevil fundraising wingwalk was organised.

Judith performed the wing walk at at Damyns Hall Aerodrome in Upminster, Essex at the weekend and told Burnham-On-Sea.com that the stunt had been "incredibly exhilarating."

She told us: "Fortune favoured me as we arrived at the airfield earlier than planned to find perfect weather conditions, with sun and minimal wind, but with a front due in the afternoon. The pilot immediately agreed to bring my time slot forward."

"Before I could change my mind, I was being escorted to the bi-plane where the pilot awaited. The procedure to get positioned on top of the top wing seemed daunting and somewhat precarious.  I was soon strapped onto a metal post with a harness around my upper body, leaving legs and arms free as a bird."

"If I had a problem, I was told to do a thumbs-down or a thumbs-up if I was OK. The engine roared into life and I wondered where the runway was. At this point, I was already worried about landing on such an uneven surface."

"We took off and climbed over London with breath-taking views and with the amazement and disbelieve that I was strapped to a wing of an aeroplane! We then headed back towards the airfield, where the pilot started performing some breath-taking stunts by rolling the plane on its side and then exhilarating flypasts where he would swoop down and back up into the skies!"

"The whole experience was amazing, but they don’t tell you how physically fit you need to be! Your body is fighting the wind elements of up to a 125 mph slipstream. I certainly have the bruises, the aches and pains - and now a chest infection - as proof of the experience!"

But she says it was definitely worth it, having collected an amazing £1,500 to date thanks to the generosity of many who supported.

Anybody who would still like to donate can send their cheques, payable to Burnham Lodge Residents Fund, to Burnham Lodge, 147, Berrow Road, Burnham, Somerset TA8 2PN.

Judith is photographed performing her wing walk (Photos courtesy of Richard Ford)

 


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