Sky’s the limit Kit marks 90th with a wingwalk
SOME people lead unusually busy and impressive lives, thinking less about themselves and more about others.
Kit Braunholtz, former Gloucestershire County Councillor and founder of the Cheltenhambased Leckhampton Green Land Action Group, or Leglag, is one such person - at least according to his proud family.
They have just watched him take to the skies above Gloucestershire for a wing walk to celebrate his 90th birthday.
Mr Braunholtz did so at Rendcomb Airfield, near Cirencester.
He said: “Before I got there, I was excited and a little nervous but not too much, I was more concerned that it would be too rainy to fly.
“I put on the red flying suit and gog
gles and really felt ready to fly but the weather looked ominous.
“In fact I was helped up onto the plane once - no easy feat as it was slippery from being wet - and then had to come down again as it was raining too heavily.
“But eventually the clouds parted and I was able to get up and prepare for the flight.
“I was tied into place by the very pretty professional wing walker girl and then left to my own thoughts.
“I have to say that while the plane was taking off I was rattling around and being buffeted a lot more than I had expected and I was very glad to be tied on. It was quite hard work holding on to the wires with my hands and waving and flapping my arms was a lot of effort.
“The plane flew and swooped and I got a good view of the crowd of family and supporters who were gathered below me. It was an amazing view of the beautiful English countryside all around.
“I found it more exhausting than I had expected but also exhilarating and amazing but I was quite ready to come down when we landed.
“I enjoyed a few glasses of fizz with my family and friends at the airfield to celebrate my 90th birthday and the raising of over £1,500 pounds for CPRE - the charity looking out for the beautiful countryside I had just flown over. Thank you everybody.”
Helen Smith, Mr Braunholtz’s daughter, said: “He is a remarkable man.
“He climbed the Matterhorn for his 65th, abseiled down Eagle Star in his late 70s and climbed Napes Needle for his 86th.
“He was a maths boffin at GCHQ, taking early retirement over the union ban, since when he has worked pretty much full time doing voluntary work for meals on wheels, being a Liberal Democrat councillor, his work setting up and running Leglag and being a full time carer for his very disabled wife Valerie, my mother, over the last 20 years.” She added that her father was “a plucky old fella full of derring do” who she said always put himself out for others and thought of environmental issues way ahead of his time.
She said: “He used to cycle to work with the family dog when we were kids, wearing a gas mask to raise awareness of lead in petrol.”
Kit Braunholtz during his wing walk at Rendcomb Airfield, near Cirencester, to raise money for charity and mark his 90th birthday