Con­corde pi­lot and wife’s ‘mur­der-sui­cide’ in vil­lage where the Mid­dle­tons live

Daily Mail - - News - By Jemma Buck­ley, In­derdeep Bains and Fionn Hargreaves

‘They were such a friendly cou­ple’

A RE­TIRED Con­corde pi­lot and his wife have been found dead at their home in the vil­lage where the Duchess of Cam­bridge’s par­ents live.

Tony Mead­ows, 84, and his wife Paula, who was also 84 and had de­men­tia, were dis­cov­ered at their farm in Buck­le­bury, Berk­shire, in a sus­pected mur­der and sui­cide.

Mr Mead­ows was one of the first Con­corde pi­lots in the 1970s. Dur­ing his ca­reer with Bri­tish Air­ways he flew the supersonic jet for royal pas­sen­gers in­clud­ing the Queen and Princess Diana.

He and his wife, who had been mar­ried for more than 60 years, were found dead at around 7.30pm on Tues­day at their farm. Po­lice said they were not look­ing for any­one else in con­nec­tion with the deaths.

Foren­sic teams and firearms of­fi­cers, who re­moved a small black holdall, were seen yes­ter­day out­side the £800,000 prop­erty, on the out­skirts of the vil­lage around two miles from the £5mil­lion home of Ca­role and Michael Mid­dle­ton.

Friends de­scribed Mr and Mrs Mead­ows as a lovely cou­ple who had lived in Buck­le­bury for more than 30 years.

One neigh­bour said Mr Mead­ows was ‘fit as a flea’ and had been de­voted to his ill wife, of­ten tak­ing her for walks in the vil­lage when it was sunny.

They also at­tended a monthly lunch An­other ex­tremely doubt out­go­ing, ‘They Tony a club were strain added: friendly was well just at for look­ing ‘Paula and the ever him. cou­ple. vil­lage that such had after de­men­tia. was a nice, hall. her no

her came ‘One an­kle out of our in and the friends took woods charge once and broke Tony and helped be­cause us the stretcher am­bu­lance the girl ser­vice out was hope­less.

‘Tony used to run marathons and he was a Con­corde pi­lot. He was a lovely chap, very friendly and with a great sense of hu­mour. I can’t be­lieve this has hap­pened. It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s just like a big hole. It is just very sad.’

Mr Mead­ows, who became an air­line pi­lot after do­ing his na­tional ser­vice in the RAF, was on many of Con­corde’s early flights after join­ing Bri­tish Air­ways. In 1977 he was the co-pi­lot on BA’s in­au­gu­ral supersonic ser­vice from Lon­don to New York. Writ­ing about the ex­pe­ri­ence for a mag­a­zine in 2016, he de­scribed the ‘eu­pho­ria’ when the team landed and said the flight was ‘ spec­tac­u­lar’. He pi­loted the re­turn jour­ney him­self.

Two weeks later he flew the route to Sin­ga­pore for the first time, launch­ing what was known as the East­ern en­tered worked com­ply with ser­vice, to Bul­let. en­sure noise Mr Be­fore reg­u­la­tions. the Mead­ows jet Con­corde would had the In fastest an in­ter­view speed in he 1982, ex­pe­ri­enced he said in Con­corde was ‘more or less 1,450 miles per hour, or 23 miles ev­ery minute’. Mr Mead­ows flew the Queen on the air­craft in 1979 as part of her royal tour of the Mid­dle East. He also flew part of a round-the­world Con­corde trip. The for­mer pi­lot en­joyed orienteeri­ng and in 1976 took part in the World Orienteeri­ng Cham­pi­onships in Scot­land with his wife and daugh­ter Ni­cola, one of the cou­ple’s three chil­dren. Be­fore the com­pe­ti­tion Mr Mead­ows joked: ‘I may travel 23 miles a minute in Con­corde, but I reckon I only get one mile in 23 min­utes when I’m orienteeri­ng.’

The home he shared with his wife was less than two miles from 18-acre Buck­le­bury Manor bought by the Duchess of Cam­bridge’s par­ents Ca­role and Michael in 2012 for £4.7mil­lion.

Mr Mid­dle­ton was a for­mer air­craft dis­patcher for BA, while Mrs Mid­dle­ton was flight at­ten­dant for the air­line.

They bought the seven-bed­room, Grade II-listed Ge­or­gian prop­erty as it gives them more pri­vacy than their pre­vi­ous home in the vil­lage, where Kate grew up.

Buck­le­bury Manor was the lo­ca­tion in May 2017 for the wed­ding re­cep­tion of Kate’s sis­ter Pippa and her hus­band, hedge fund man­ager James Matthews.

Yes­ter­day De­tec­tive Chief In­spec­tor Andy Howard said of the deaths of Mr and Mrs Mead­ows: ‘ This is a tragic in­ci­dent in which two peo­ple have died.

‘We are cur­rently in­ves­ti­gat­ing and have launched a mur­der in­quiry but we are not look­ing for any­body else in con­nec­tion with this in­ci­dent.

‘There is no dan­ger to the pub­lic so peo­ple lo­cally should not have any un­due cause for con­cern.

‘We are aware that Buck­le­bury is a small com­mu­nity and this will have an im­pact on its res­i­dents. As such, peo­ple will see an in­creased po­lice pres­ence.’

Pi­o­neer: Tony Mead­ows with Con­corde in 1976. Left: With wife Paula the same year

Tragedy: The farm in Buck­le­bury where the bod­ies of Tony and Paula Mead­ows were found

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