RESIDENTS at a Great Alne retirement village got a taste of travelling on Concorde when a former co-pilot paid a flying visit.
Captain Les Evans jetted in to Great Alne Park to host a charity talk and dinner.
Nearly £500 was raised at the event from ticket sales and a raffle, which will be donated to Les’ charity of choice, DineWithUs – which helps recycle unused, but still valid, food from supermarkets to those in need.
While some of the 42 guests were lucky enough to enjoy a private dinner with the captain, with Great Alne Park’s Chef, Derek Cook, creating special dishes inspired by an original Concorde menu.
Les’ talk drew upon his extensive knowledge of aeronautics from the time he was a Test Pilot in the Royal Air Force right up to flying Concorde, the world’s fastest commercial jet, with British Airways.
An iconic, record-breaking supersonic airliner, Concorde brought the thrill of very high-speed flight to the ordinary passenger. Les had the privilege of flying Concorde for four years culminating in the aircraft’s early retirement from service in 2003.
Les highlighted some of its fascinating technical features before going on to describe what it was like to fly this magnificent aircraft, describing a typical supersonic flight from London to New York.
Although to the passenger the journey felt like a normal airline flight – apart from the exhilarating take-off – for the pilot there was a touch of the fighter aircraft about its handling and its complex systems.
Stephen Walsh, a resident at Great Alne Park, said: “Les Evans was impressed with the village and enjoyed meeting the residents. He was bowled over by the amount we raised for his charity. I am grateful to the village team and their background preparation that resulted in a grand social occasion, as well as an informative presentation.”
While Ben Ling, Village Manager, added: “Mr Walsh and his fellow residents did a wonderful job organising this event which raised nearly £500 for charity. It was fantastic to hear all about Captain Les’ career and Chef Derek perfectly set the scene of what it was like to dine on a Concorde with his bespoke menu.”