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Great gran stakes claim as Britain's oldest wing walker

Gloria Lonyon, 81, from Macclesfield, raised £1,400 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

A great-gran with a head for heights has staked her claim as the Britain’s oldest wing walker.

Thrill-seeking Gloria Lonyon, 81, achieved a lifelong dream by racing through the skies at 135mph strapped to a biplane.

The adrenalin-filled trip was also an attempt to support the Alzheimer’s Society.

Gloria, of Clarke Lane, Langley, has so far raised £1,400 for the charity which has helped her husband Harold, 88, who is battling the disease.

The 15-minute hair-raising trip was captured on film and has clocked up thousands of hits on YouTube.

Gloria described the experience as ‘brilliant’ and said wants to try it again.

She said: “I wasn’t frightened at all. I thought I might be when it came to the crunch, but I was simply very excited.

“The worst bit was taking off because the plane had to travel through a field which was very bumpy. But once I was in the air it was absolutely brilliant. The weather was perfect so I could see for miles. Admittedly for reassurance I clung to the wire which held the seat in place, but next time - and I’d love there to be a next time - I would probably be more relaxed.”

Her safe landing culminated with hugs and congratulations from her son Marcus, 48, and other family, who travelled down to the airfield in Cirencester for the flight.

Gloria Lonyon

Gloria has always been adventurous and was a member of a parascending club at the Woodford aerodrome.

Her uncle Des Pastore, served as a fighter pilot during the Second World War and played rugby until he was 93. Her dad was also a pilot.

Gloria stays fit by dancing and in her younger days she and Harold, a retired timber merchant, danced together competitively. She still teaches sequence dancing.

She is now plotting her next fundraising adventure.

Ashley Dodd, Alzheimer’s Society community fundraiser for Cheshire, praised Gloria’s effort.

She said: “We are incredibly grateful to Gloria for taking on this impressive challenge. Dementia can happen to anyone and there is currently no cure. But with the right support, people can live well with dementia.”

If you want to donate to Gloria’s fundraising click here or paypal to


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