On the calm Monday evening of 9th July, one of our balloons floated across the sky and took our passengers above the evening celebration of the torch relay in South Park, Oxford.
Two of the lucky passengers on the flight were sisters Jackie and Alison Jordan. After their Mum flew in a hot air balloon a couple of years ago, ballooning was something the pair had always wanted to do. As a birthday gift, their family bought the sisters a balloon flight, perfect to celebrate Jackie’s 50th and Alison’s 40th. Oxford was their chosen launch site as they wanted to enjoy beautiful, familiar surroundings. Jackie, who works for the University of Oxford, was particularly excited as the balloon actually travelled over her department meaning she got some excellent shots of the University.
Friends and family below the basket spotted the balloon flying above the torch ceremony and captured some great photos. Alison and Jackie loved their balloon flight experience, telling us
“It was wicked, we loved every moment!” and they have already recommended it to all their friends.
Adding to the British celebrations, the winds swept the balloon North East over Oxford, meaning the passengers also caught a glimpse of some sites where past British records have been set. The first infamous landmark was Iffley Road Track, where Rodger Banister set the record for the first sub-four minute mile. Another spot from the sky was Christchurch meadow where James Sadler launched England’s first ever balloon flight 1784.
Pilot Mark Shemilt said he always enjoys his flights over Oxford as there is so much to see. On this particular flight he told us “There was a great bunch of people and everyone got involved.” He added that there was more even more of a buzz on board as he was constantly in contact with air traffic control because the airspace is particularly busy due to the rehearsals for Farnborough Airshow. Alison was impressed with the serene landing of the balloon on the edge of Bicester, as she expressed,
“The flight was thoroughly enjoyable with amazing views, even the landing which was expertly controlled.”