Sky’s the limit Kit marks 90th with a wing­walk

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Robin JENK­INS

robin.jenk­[email protected]­

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

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