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