Graham share this latest news on behalf of Amanda, Penelope and Genevieve. Ed
A single spitfire took to the skies above the Solent last Saturday (5th August 2017) to mark the joint 85th birthday celebrations of Chris Jolliffe, a retired Concorde Captain and his wife, Josephine an ex-BOAC stewardess.
Chris and Jo moved to the Isle of Wight to run the (now closed) Wellington Lodge Hotel in 1978 and celebrating alongside friends and the family, who included 14 grandchildren and two great grandchildren, were a couple who had honeymooned at the hotel, over 30 years ago.
The whole of Ryde seafront was treated to a ten minute spectacle of pure aviation joy as the iconic Spitfire soared above the skies of the Solent. Dipping, diving, looping the loop and thrilling all who watched, it showed everyone just why this aeroplane was the crowning glory of the RAF a few years short of 80 years ago.
Anyone of a certain age will have instantly recognised the distinctive roar of the Merlin engines reverberating from behind the clouds for a good minute before it eventually appeared to give an electrifying performance prompting cheers and echoing roars of approval from its appreciative audience.
The Jolliffes were absolutely delighted with their birthday display. Chris Jolliffe said,
“The pilot, John Dodd, did the most fantastic job – if he’d been armed with guns, we wouldn’t have stood a chance. I don’t know him personally but he’d be very welcome to drop by if he’s ever over this way.”
Image: © Graham Reading Photography