Bill is flying high at 85

IT was far from what he was expecting as an 85th birthday present - the chance to soar through the skies while at the helm of a vintage Tiger Moth.But that was exactly what Bill Williams received as a surprise gift from his daughter Sally.

IT was far from what he was expecting as an 85th birthday present - the chance to soar through the skies while at the helm of a vintage Tiger Moth.

But that was exactly what Bill Williams received as a surprise gift from his daughter Sally.

The former county surveyor, who looked after Suffolk's roads and bridges from 1974 to 1983, recently took up his trial flying lesson.

Mr Williams, of Old Barrack Road, Woodbridge, received the surprise gift in January.

He said: “Some time ago I said I had one or two ambitions I hadn't realised and one of those was to have a trial flying lesson in a Tiger Moth.

“My daughter must have heard me because the gift came out of the blue on my birthday.

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“I have flown in different aircraft before - private and commercial ones - but I have never piloted one.”

The 20-minute lesson took place at Sywell, Northamptonshire.

Mr Williams said: “It's a 50-year-old biplane with two cockpits. I got the feeling it had been built just after the war.

“It was an open cockpit and it was very cold. It was a fascinating experience.

“The aircraft was very steady and it was a beautiful day. I spoke to the trainer via intercom.

“We flew over the airfield and that part of Northamptonshire.

“It was a very interesting experience - I enjoyed it.

“It was certainly the most unusual birthday present I have had.”

But Mr Williams, who likes reading and going to the theatre and is a member of Ipswich Rotary Club does not think the lesson will be the start of a new hobby.

He said: “I don't think I particularly want to do it again - I am getting a bit old for that sort of thing! But if somebody offered me the chance I might give it a go.”

Have you received an unusual gift? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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